OBETZ, Ohio – If Columbus had a daily tabloid, the headline on the back page might scream, “Family Feud!!!” or “Crew in-law battle brews.”
Neither would be accurate, although forward Steven Lenhart was seeing the medical staff Thursday to have his head examined in the aftermath of a broken nose. His brother-in-law, midfielder Adam Moffat, sported a butterfly bandage for a small cut on his forehead.
The pair did not get into a fight but were aiming for the same goal, literally. They went to head a ball in front of the Kansas City net on Wednesday in a futile attempt to tie the match in stoppage time.
Lenhart and Moffat, who collaborated on Moffat’s goal at FC Dallas on April 10, collided and both went to the ground for an extended period. Lenhart had to sit the final minutes and Moffat had a wrap around his head as the Crew were unable to get the equalizer.
“Steve definitely got the worst end of that,” Moffat said. “It’s quite bad for him.”
Moffat will likely be available Saturday when the Crew host New York, but Lenhart is expected not to play.
“I didn’t see him,” Moffat said. “He saw me, but he came in from a different angle because the ball was straight above me, so I went in for it and Steve came in from the side. His nose caught my forehead. He didn’t know if I was going to get enough power on it, so he decided to help me.”
To make matters worse, Lenhart’s sister and Moffat’s wife of eight months, Jennifer, was in Crew Stadium to witness the accident, as were Lenhart’s mother, grandmother and aunt.
“They’re not talking to me,” Moffat joked. “It will be good for me down the line, 20 years from now, telling his kids I broke their dad’s nose—'That scar on his nose, that was me.'"
Moffat was also involved in another jagged midair collision with KC’s Teal Bunbury in the seventh minute and went to the ground in a heap, but he suffered only bruises on his left side.
“I’m lucky it wasn’t my head because he came in pretty hard,” Moffat said. “I saw him coming, and I thought he was going to stop because obviously I was going to get to the ball first. He got me pretty good.”
OUT-THINKING HIMSELF: Coach Robert Warzycha defended his decision to start the same lineup that tied Houston in 90-degree conditions last Saturday. He felt the group gave him the best chance to win, despite them looking weary.
“The team we had on the field was almost the  championship team,” he said.
Moffat, defender Andy Iro and forward Jason Garey were the only deviations from the First XI that beat New York 3-1 in the MLS Cup final two years ago.
Still, Warzycha’s forte over the past two seasons has been to routinely mix and match lineups. After practice Thursday, Warzycha playfully (sort of) took a jab at his critics.
“I was thinking of you [media] guys by keeping the lineup the same,” he said. “That’s what you’re asking me all the time, ‘Why are you changing the lineup?’ Now that I didn’t change it, you ask me why I’m not changing.”
He said there will be changes Saturday.
SOME FRIENDS: After being victimized by a Frankie Hejduk own-goal on July 3, it took a sterling save by William Hesmer to stop a strong redirect from another of his defenders, Gino Padula, on Wednesday.
“I was a little bit more conscious of this last one as opposed to the first one,” Hesmer said. “I was kind of set and ready for it. Luckily it was within my body range. That’s the best ball I’ve ever seen Gino hit with his left foot, to be honest.”
QUOTABLE: Warzycha on New York’s signing of Thierry Henry and whether the Crew can still compete with big-city clubs such as the Red Bulls and Los Angeles, who aren’t afraid to use their deep pockets:
“We may be a small market, but I don’t think we are a small team,” he said. “We’re one of the [best] teams in the last three years. We’re still looking for players, but we have the players who can win the Supporters’ Shield, no question.”