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Subside Sports

Crystal Palace and Crew Finish with 2-2 Draw

Content by Graham Ward

Photos by Jeff Gossel/ISNSoccer.com

COLUMBUS, OH - July 23, 2014 - Crystal Palace came into today’s game having only played one preseason game in Austria which ended in a 13-1 rout, but tonight’s game proved to be a much tougher proposition against a Columbus side midway through their season.  The game ended in a 2-2 draw with good things shown by both sides.

Photo Credit: Jeff Gossel/ISNSoccer.comThe Crew started the game much the better side, keeping possession and making the Palace players work hard without the ball. The early dominance nearly lead to the opening goal after a Agustin Viana header hit the post from a free kick on the left side.

The opening goal did come on 15 minutes when Eric Gehrig found himself high up the pitch on the right and delivered a delightful swinging cross that found the head of the 6’7’’ Adam Bedell to apply the finishing touch. This goal would have been exactly what Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter would want from this match, giving Bedell, fresh from his first start for Columbus on Saturday, confidence in front of goal.

As the half went on the Palace players were starting to get up to pace of the game and were enjoying more possession. The equalizer finally came on 36 minutes from a left field cross the found a free Glenn Murray to head home.

The second half began very disjointed after four changes for the Crew at halftime and Palace making 10 changes in the first 15 minutes of the half. The Crew's changes included a pair of fullbacks, Ben Sweat and Ross Friedman with the latter making his professional debut with the Crew after time with USL PRO affiliate Dayton Dutch Lions.

Palace were looking the better side after the substitutions and Jake Gray made it 2-1 on 70 minutes after a Marouane Chamakh header hit the post and Gray beat Tyson Wahl to the loose ball to sweep in the rebound.

The Crew leveled the game 10 minutes later after a floating diagonal ball from Viana was met by the onrushing Daniel Paladini and his deft header floated in at the far post. Palace responded and had their chances to win the game, but were unable to apply the finish with Scott Dann coming the closest, but his header was athletically saved by Matt Lampson between the Crew's posts.

Columbus will take a lot of positives from the match.   First and foremost, they had the opportunity to give some players currently playing in Dayton some minutes tonight with 2nd half substitute Matt Walker impressing in the midfield. He looked very composed on the ball, always looking to receive the ball and had an eye for a pass.  He's definitely a future name to look for. Viana also impressed in the midfield, coming close to scoring on two occasions in addition to setting up the equalizer.  He hopes to be pushing for a start with his last coming over a month ago on June 7th.

For Palace, they continue their stateside tour to prepare for the daunting task of opening the Premier League season away to Arsenal on the 16th of August.

Bedell, our Subside Sports Man of the Match, is having a bit of a hot streak in front of goal at the moment.  The young striker has made the most of his opportunities, going from an untested rookie to a recent fixture in the Crew lineup.  It looks like Berhalter and his technical staff have found a gem in Bedell, who last played for Detroit City FC in the NPSL.

Complete Match Photos Courtesy of Jeff Gossel/ISNSoccer.com

Admiral Sports

Anor Brace Gives Crew Confidence in Win

Content by Graham Ward

Photo Credit: Jeff Gossel/ISNSoccer.com

Photo Credit: Jeff Gossel/ISNSoccer.comCOLUMBUS, OH - July 19, 2014 - The Columbus Crew recorded a victory tonight after going eight games without a win and was cheered on from a sellout crowd helped by the dollar brats and drafts on offer. The 2-1 victory was thanks to a spectacular brace from Bernardo Anor, his first goals since the home opener back in March.

With Wil Trapp missing from suspension, Kevan George got his first start of the season in midfield.  Adam Bedell received his first-ever MLS start and was given the chance to solve the Crews recent drought in front of goal.

The opening exchanges belonged to Columbus as they were dominating possession.  However, there was a general lack of confidence throughout the team causing many stray passes in the final third. The usually reliable Federico Higuain was struggling to find a killer pass and poorly finished two good chances in the first 10 minutes.

On 35 minutes Montreal took the lead thanks to a misplaced pass from Parkhurst, who had earlier learned he would be playing in the MLS All-Star game this year. The ball fell to Justin Mapp, who fed Marco Di Vaio and he turned Giancarlo Gonzalez and shot beyond Steve Clark in the bottom corner.

As the second half started the winless streak was talking its toll on Columbus and Montreal had good chances to finish the game off. Their best opportunity fell to Jack McInerney after Mapp was given too much freedom to run with the ball and slipped in McInerney down the right whose shot was inches wide.

Finally something positive happened for Columbus in the 56th minute, Anor received the ball on the edge of the area from Tony Tchani and with the Montreal defense slow to close him down he let loose with a fierce drive that beat Ohio native Evan Bush to his left.

The goal seem to breathe life into Columbus and was spurring them on to find the winner. This however opened up gaps at the back and over a 10 minute period Clark had to pull off four world-class saves to keep the score level, the best from Romero’s powerful shot that was destined for the top corner.

With confidence returning to the Crew, and in particular, Anor the winning goal came in the 75 minute. Anor collected a knock down from Aaron Schoenfeld and ran at the Montreal defense and let fly a 30 yard shot that flew into the left hand of the goal giving Bush no chance again.

Complete Match Photos from Jeff Gossel/ISNSoccer.com

Late Goal Dooms Crew at Home

Content by Matt Shisler

Photos by Kevin Cross/ISNSoccer.com

Crew lose a heartbreaker in the waning moments of the match

COLUMBUS, OH - July 16, 2014 - With seconds to spare in tonight’s match, the Columbus Crew let in a late goal, sending the team to their second consecutive loss. Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber’s long distance strike in the 93rd minute was the difference maker, giving Sporting Kansas City a 2-1 victory.

Photo Credit: Kevin Cross/ISNSoccer.comIn a match of few opportunities the Crew were not able to convert key scoring chances. Early on, the Crew were able to push the ball up the wings and at one point held a staggering advantage in possession. An early corner for the home team in the 3rd minute was put well out of play, and multiple crosses from the outside were not able to find a partner on the other end.

One of the best scoring chance the Crew had throughout the first half was a set piece in the 17th minute. Ethan Finlay came crashing down the pitch on the right side, getting fouled inches from the 18-yard box. Federico Higuain took the free kick, with a quick pass to Wil Trapp on top of the box, Trapp blasted a shot into a wall of defenders. A subsequent header by Tony Tchani in the 25th minute of play went just wide left of the post, in what was the closest shot on goal the Crew had in the first half.

Just as half was about to be called, Kansas City was able to get on the board. Off a corner kick by Benny Fielhaber, C.J. Sapong leaped over several Crew defenders heading the ball into the back of the net. In what could not have been a pleasing sight for Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter, no Crew defenders made a play on the ball except right back Chad Barson, who ran in from several yards away. The goal by Sapong was a great confidence booster for the KC man, as it was his first goal of the 2014 campaign.

Early in the second half, the Crew were given a great opportunity as Sporting player Aurelien Collin was sent off after placing a forearm into the face of Crew forward Adam Bedell. After several minutes of lying on the ground, Bedell was taken off the pitch with what looked to be a bloody nose, but was able to come on a few minutes later. The red card was given quite late, almost four minutes after the initial blow was placed.

After gaining a little confidence of their own, the Crew were able to get back into the game, just not from one of their own players. With a man advantage the Crew pushed up the field with a sense of urgency, knowing how important a point could be. In the 69th minute, the Crew put a ball into the box looking for a man in yellow, however Sporting KC's Igor Juliao put a shoulder into the ball, running into the back of the net with the ball. Had Juliao not been there, Federico Higuain was in prime scoring position.

In the 89th minute Crew center midfielder Wil Trapp was sent off for his second yellow card. A quick throw in by teammate Bernardo Anor led to an immediate turnover to Kansas City. As Trapp turned around to find the play to be right on top of him, he stuck out a leg, clipping a SKC player. He knew almost immediately he would be getting booked as he begged for leniency. It did not make a difference, as tonight’s referee was quick to pull out the second yellow.
Just as the Crew thought they would be able to pull out a stop and come out of tonight’s match with a point, former U.S. national team player Benny Fielhaber was able to connect off a pass and just managed to get the ball into the net. Shooting from 20 yards out, Fielhaber hit the top crossbar, sending the ball straight into the ground, where it took a lucky bounce and back into the top netting.

Following the game head coach Gregg Berhalter had this to say about his team’s performance:

“We’re not victims in this one. The way we performed, we didn’t deserve to win that game. It wasn’t a pretty soccer game. The whole thing wasn’t pretty. Our job is to come out here for the fans and play entertaining soccer, and we didn’t do that. We didn’t live up to our end of the bargain tonight. It was hesitancy, guys not moving, guys not wanting the ball. Its too bad, I think especially as they got the red card, we could have gotten more out of that and we didn’t.”

Your Subside Sports Man of the Match was Michael Parkhurst for the Columbus Crew. Even as the team failed to produce a result, Parkhurst was a force on defense. On multiple occasions with Sporting KC players coming in quick, he was able to make great clearances, as well as tight passes to teammates up the pitch. Without Parkhurt’s presence, Sporting KC could have had many more scoring opportunities then they did.

The next week will be extremely important for the Crew as they play bottom team Montreal Impact on Saturday, followed by an international friendly with English side Crystal Palace on Wednesday, July 23rd. Getting three points against Montreal will be key if the Crew want to grab a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Match Photos Courtesy of Kevin Cross/ISNSoccer.com

Bedell Scores First MLS Goal in Crew Loss to NYRB

HARRISON, NJ - July 13, 2014 - The Columbus Crew (4-6-8, 20 points) fell on the road to the New York Red Bulls (5-5-8, 23 points) at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night by a final score of 4-1.

"It is a tough result but, you know, I thought, going forward, we did create some really good chances," Crew forward Adam Bedell stated. "Just couldn’t capitalize. Back to the drawing board. Get back to training on Monday [and] work towards Wednesday. You put this one out of your head and work towards the next one."
 
New York opened the scoring through MLS Golden Boot leader Bradley Wright-Phillips, who finished a Red Bull passing sequence in the 17th minute. After an injury to Jairo Arrieta, Bedell came on and recorded his first career MLS goal, scoring in the 39th minute to level the match.
 
New York's Thierry Henry put his side ahead 2-1 just before halftime after finishing a rebound following a Steve Clark save off the line. In the second half, Lloyd Sam made it 3-1 for the Red Bulls, again assisted by Henry. After Bernardo Anor was sent off in the 85th minute of play, Henry provided his third assist of the night on an Alexander goal to make it 4-1 in stoppage-time.
 
The Crew next plays on Wednesday, July 16 when it returns home to face defending MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City at Crew Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).

Subside Sports

Crew Draw Rapids on July 4th

COMMERCE CITY, CO - July 4, 2014 - The Columbus Crew (4-5-8, 20 points) earned a key road point in a 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids (7-5-5, 26 points) at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Friday. The draw extends the Crew’s unbeaten run to four matches dating back to June 4 against Real Salt Lake.

After a scoreless first half, the Rapids got on the board first in the 59th minute when Eric Gehrig inadvertently knocked a cross by Marvell Wynne behind goalkeeper Steve Clark.

The Crew leveled the match in the 76th minute thanks to Ethan Finlay, who returned post-appendectomy to find his fourth tally in his last six League matches. The goal would hold up as enough to secure a point for the Crew on Independence Day.

The Black & Gold return to action with a road test against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Saturday, July 12 (7:00 p.m. ET/Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).

Crew and FC Dallas Draw in Rescheduled Match

Photo Credit: Jeff Gossel/ISNSoccer.comCOLUMBUS, OH - June 29, 2014 - The Columbus Crew (4-5-7, 19 points) fought through humid conditions to earn a point at home in a scoreless draw with FC Dallas (6-7-5, 23 points) on Sunday afternoon at Columbus Crew Stadium.

"We are not happy," Crew midfielder Justin Meram stated. "We definitely could have got three points. We did not create enough, including myself. The first half I thought we were pretty good. The second half, I am not sure what happened, but we need create more chances."

Following Major League Soccer’s postponement of the match from the previous evening, goalkeeper Steve Clark was able to hold FC Dallas scoreless to earn his fourth shutout of 2014 overall. It was also Clark's second consecutive shutout after duplicating the feat in the Black & Gold's previous League match, June 7 at D.C. United before the 2014 FIFA World Cup break.

Jairo Arrieta notched three shots to pace Columbus in the match, while also nearly scoring in the 84th minute on a chance in front of Dallas’ goal that found the side netting. New acquisition Alvaro Rey made his team debut as well, coming on as a second-half substitute for Justin Meram.

The Crew is now set to hit the road on consecutive weekends, beginning with an Independence Day encounter against Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Friday, July 4 (9:30 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).

Match Photos from Jeff Gossel/ISNSoccer.com

Crew Ousted by Fire in Fifth Round of U.S. Open Cup

BRIDGEVIEW, IL - June 26, 2014 -The Columbus Crew was eliminated from the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in the Fifth Round by the Chicago Fire after a thrilling 4-2 match that required 120 minutes of action on Wednesday evening at Toyota Park.

The Fire went ahead 1-0 in the first half through a Patrick Ianni goal, who scored off of a free kick from Harry Shipp. After halftime, the Crew subbed Jairo Arrieta into the match, who leveled the contest with a stunning bicycle kick in the 55th minute. 15 minutes later, Bernardo Anor put the Crew ahead 2-1, but Chicago leveled once more in the 83rd minute through Juan Luis Anangono.

With the match deadlocked at 2-2 after 90 minutes, extra-time was required. Chicago found a pair of goals in the 92nd and 108th minutes to seal the victory. In the 92nd minute, Quincy Amarikwa scored after a series of crosses by Chicago, a tally that would hold-up as the match-winner. Anangono added an insurance goal in the 108th minute to seal the victory for the home side. 

The Crew resumes Major League Soccer action when the team hosts FC Dallas for Red, White and Crew on Saturday, June 28 at Crew Stadium (8:00 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).

Admiral Sports

Crew Top Indy Eleven 2-1 in Marathon Match

AKRON, OH - June 17, 2014 - Saying that tonight’s fourth round match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup was crazy is a bit of an understatement. In a game with lots of missed opportunities for both teams, the Columbus Crew fought hard even after falling down to nine men to advance to the Fifth Round of the tournament.

The night got started with a bang thanks to a Bernando Anor goal in the fourth minute. Ben Speas delivered in a perfect cross from the left corner, finding Anor, who headed the ball into the back of the net. In front of a crowd of just under 2,000 people, the early goal got almost everyone to their feet. The goal temporarily silenced the Indy supporters group who made the long trip to Akron.

Even with the early goal, the Crew missed some great opportunities due to poor possession play, and heavy touches in the early minutes of the game. Roughly 15 minutes into the game, Columbus finally seemed to have found their legs. The Crew dominated the flow of the game, sending runners down both flanks, disrupting the Indy defense. Anor and Speas both had too much speed for Indy to defend all night. The game plan changed not to long afterwards as the Crew dropped down to 10 men.

In the 34th minute of play, Columbus Crew rookie Adam Bedell was sent off after receiving a straight red. It was an extremely bizarre play, as Bedell was initially rewarded a yellow for a rough tackle on an Indy player. Just as play was about to begin again, the referee waved his hands, withdrawing his yellow. Immediately, the official pulled out his red card to send Bedell back to the locker room. Columbus captain Michael Parkhurst tried to plead for some mercy from the official to no avail.

Photo Credit: Brent Durken/ISNSoccer.comDown to 10 men the Crew had to drastically change their plan of attack. The Black and Gold went into a more defensive shell, in an attempt to prevent a goal. Still on the attack Columbus was deadly sending in multiple shots that had to be saved by the Indy defense. At the half, Columbus seemed to have control of the match.

The second half was a different story for the Crew. Indy made it clear they were here to win. Through pressure defense and an attack-minded formation, Indy Eleven slowly pulled themselves back into the game. It was in the 62nd minute when Indy’s Blake Smith smashed a ball into the left hand side of the goal. The Crew certainly lost a ton of momentum at this point and it showed on the pitch.

As regular time expired, both teams were beginning to experience tired legs and cramps. Multiple players had to grab water, and stretch out during the break. Things did not get much better for the Crew during extra time. In the 110th minute of play, Daniel Paladini was sent off after seemingly punching an Indy player while arguing a call. Whether intentional or not, the Crew were in a difficult position with only nine men.

After the game former University of Akron player Chad Barson spoke of his team’s resiliency and his coach’s message to his team.

“No one gives up, we’re battling for each other, and even when we are down one man, then two, that we would still win this game.”

That moment came in the 114th minute for the Crew. While running into the box, Ethan Finlay was taken down by an Indy defender drawing a penalty kick. With the home crowd awaiting anxiously Jario Arrieta stepped up and nailed home what would be the winning goal.

Your Subside Sports Man of the Match is Bernardo Anor. With his early goal and tantalizing runs up the left side of the pitch, Anor left the Indy defense a mess. All game long, his speed and agility caused nightmares along that side of the pitch.

For the Crew, they will face the winner of Wednesday’s match between the Chicago Fire and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. For the Crew, they will hope that they can get back some players from injury and continue their success in the hunt for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

ISN Open Cup Event Photos from Brent Durken/ISNSoccer.com

Match Photos from Brent Durken/ISNSoccer.com

Clark Saves PK and Point for Crew against D.C.

LANDOVER, MD - June 7, 2014 - The Columbus Crew (4-5-6, 18 points) benefited from goalkeeper Steve Clark’s penalty save on striker Fabian Espindola to complete a 0-0 draw with D.C. United (6-4-4, 22 points) at FedExField on Saturday night. With the draw, Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter’s side enters the 2014 FIFA World Cup break in the Eastern Conference’s fifth and final MLS Cup Playoffs position.

Clark held firm to his line as Espindola attempted a chipped penalty, making the save and preserving the scoreless draw for the Black & Gold. Clark recorded his third clean sheet of 2014 in the effort, which was the Crew’s first scoreless draw since June 16, 2012 at New England.

"He (Clark) is a big-time player, he’s a gamer," Crew defender Eric Gehrig said. "You know, it takes a lot of guts to just stand there on a PK. He believed in himself and he made the save. It’s big for us."

The Crew nearly took the lead moments earlier when a blast by Adam Bedell was saved by United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who also recorded a shutout, his fourth in 2014 and 24th in MLS.

Columbus now has a three-week break from League play for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group Stage, but next plays in the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, June 17 at Akron’s FirstEnergy Stadium against NASL side Indy Eleven.

Finlay and Anor Shine in Crew Draw

By Daniel Rogers

COLUMBUS, OH - June 4, 2014 - Ethan Finlay just cannot stop scoring.

After failing to score in his first two seasons with the Columbus Crew, the young midfielder has been the leader of the Crew’s resurgence as an offensive team.

Scoring three times, and adding an assist, over the last four matches, Finlay has helped to cover some of the gaps that have been left with midfielder Federico Higuain’s time away from the squad.

His most recent goal might be his most important. After allowing a second half goal in a midweek matchup against Real Salt Lake, the Crew struggled to find a breakthrough that would have prevented a second consecutive loss.

Enter Finlay. Subbed on in the 77th minute for Hector Jimenez, Finlay’s speed was again the thing that earned the Crew at least a point.

In the 88th minute, midfielder Ben Speas slipped the ball to a streaking Finlay, who chipped the ball perfectly over the keeper for the equalizer. The 1-1 draw was enough to push the Crew into the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern conference on 17 points.

“You end up being really proud of them, the way they fought back, and the way they were determined to get something out of the game,” Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said following the draw. “But the other side is, we’re disappointed we were in that place to begin with. We’re on the sideline celebrating a tying goal when we should have been in a different position.”

The chip came on the heels of a phenomenal performance by Salt Lake’s backup keeper Jeff Attinella, who made save after save to prevent the Crew from scoring their first of the match.

“He was good. I kind of like it when their goalie is the Man of the Match because it means we’re doing a lot offensively,” Berhalter said.

Defender Bernardo Anor played his first-ever match at left back, and was praised by Berhalter, who called him one of the best players on the pitch.

“Bernie was close to my Man of the Match in terms of what he did at left back, having never played there before,” Berhalter added. “He just kept going, and we were telling him just keep going … And he did.”

The Crew had a chance to go up early on when Higuain was given a chance to hit a penalty, but the team’s leading scorer sent it sky high. He was later taken off for Speas because of a hamstring injury in the 44th minute of the match.

“He (Higuain) made a through run and came up limp, holding his hamstring and we had to take him out,” Berhalter said.

Next up Columbus will travel to FedEx Field to take on D.C. United Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Berhalter added he does not expect to have Higuain back for the match.

Subside Sports Man of the Match: Bernardo Anor

Although he was only close to being Berhalter’s Man of the Match, Bernardo Anor was the clear standout from the Crew on the night. Despite the poor performance by the team in the first half, Anor rarely allowed a run down the left for Real, and was a consistent presence crossing the ball in the second half.

Crew Fall to TFC in First Leg of Trillium Cup

TORONTO, ON - May 31, 2014 - The Columbus Crew (4-5-4, 16 points) fell 3-2 on the road to Toronto FC at BMO Field on Saturday night (5-4-1, 16 points) after Doneil Henry scored late in stoppage time to give the home side the victory.

"I think that we put ourselves in a position to get a result tonight and we didn’t do it," Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter stated.  "At the end of the day it’s disappointing."

The Crew took the lead in the 18th minute through Justin Meram but Jermain Defoe equalized from the spot for Toronto FC three minutes later. In the 65th, Agustin Viana broke the deadlock for the Crew with his first MLS goal but Defoe struck again in the 81st before Henry won it in the 92nd for the Reds. With the victory, Toronto secures the 2014 Trillium Cup, presented by Scotts.

The Crew returns home to face Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, June 4 (7:30 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).

Crew Extinguish Fire on Holiday Weekend

Content by Daniel Rogers/ISNSoccer.com

Photos by Brent Durken/ISNSoccer.com

COLUMBUS, OH - May 24, 2014 - In 2007 when Major League Soccer introduced the Designated Player rule, it probably had in mind the kind of run Columbus Crew midfielder Federico Higuain is currently on.

Photo Credit: Brent Durken/ISNSoccer.comSigned in 2012, the Argentinian midfielder has been arguably the Crew’s best player since, and in recent weeks has revitalized a team, and an offense, that had been stagnating.

With two more assists as part of a 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire Saturday, Higuain now has assisted or scored each of the last five goals for the Crew over the stretch of two matches, including last weekend’s 3-3 draw against Portland.

This moves Higuain’s season total to six goals and five assists, meaning he has created 11 of the teams 15 goals this season.

He again starred against the Fire, setting up midfielder Ethan Finlay in the 10th minute and forward Jairo Arrieta in the 25th to help earn the Crew their first win since March 29.

After the match, Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said it was good to finally get a win after so long.

“It’s always better to win than it to lose or draw,” Berhalter said. “So we’re happy, we’ve been frustrated that we’ve been playing well and not getting the results. We’re still trying to focus on the product we’re creating, we’re still trying to focus on how we play but it’s nice when you get results.”

With a new lineup on the field, including Finlay starting his first match of the season and wide midfielder Hector Jimenez starting in the back four, the Crew dominated proceedings early on.

Higuain slipped a long pass through to a streaking Finlay, who used his speed to constantly pester the Fire defense, who one-touched the ball around the keeper and scored on a tight angle for the first goal.

The 10th minute strike was the earliest this season for Columbus. It was also the second goal in as many matches for Finlay, who had never scored before in his Crew career.

“He was player of the game,” Berhalter said of Finlay. “He was excellent, this game isn’t something that comes out of the blue. If we look at some of the stuff he’s been over these last couple weeks its been leading towards a performance like this.”

Arrieta’s goal was of a similar style, with a long ball played to the forward who used a burst of speed to get around the Fire defense and put it in past the keeper.

The match also saw the return of defender Michael Parkhurst, who was greeted with a standing ovation, following him being left off the U.S. Men’s National Team’s final 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

With the win Columbus moves back into fifth place in the Eastern Conference on 16 points heading into a two match road stretch.

Although Higuain has been playing well of late, the team will have to do without him when they travel to take on Toronto FC next Saturday because of yellow card accumulation.

The match is scheduled for 5 p.m. at BMO Field in Toronto.

Subside Sports Man of the Match: Federico Higuain

Although Ethan Finlay deserves a shoutout for his speedy runs behind the Fire defense, if it weren’t for Higuain neither of the goals would have happened. His precise passing made the difference throughout the match, and he almost found a goal of his own but couldn’t place the chip where he wanted it and the ball sailed over. It is clear from this performance that Higuain is the best player the Crew have, and they are going to miss him greatly next week against Toronto.

Match Photos

Higuain the Hero in Draw with Timbers

PORTLAND, OR - May 17, 2014 - The Columbus Crew (3-4-4, 13 points) earned a road point against the Portland Timbers (1-3-7, 10 points) in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Providence Park on Saturday evening. 

Maximiliano Urruti scored the match’s first goal for Portland in the fifth minute of play before Federico Higuain leveled the score with a signature chip goal in the 14th minute. After Alvas Powell was shown a red card for a harsh challenge on Chad Barson, Columbus took a 2-1 lead before halftime courtesy of an Higuain penalty.

In the second half, Portland evened the score in the 80th minute through Will Johnson, but substitute Ethan Finlay gave Columbus the lead just one minute later after his shot deflected off the back of Futty Danso into Portland’s goal. However, the Timbers leveled the match once more in the 85th minute thanks to a Gaston Fernandez strike. It would prove to be the final goal of the match, which ended with a scoreline of 3-3. 

The Crew returns to action with a home battle against the Chicago Fire in the Black & Gold’s Military Appreciation Night on Saturday, May 24 (7:30 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel). 

Crew Lose Third in Seven Days

Content by Gary L. Moody Jr.

Photos by Joe Foughty/ISNSoccer.com

COLUMBUS, OH - May 10, 2014 - The Columbus Crew took a tough loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-0 on Saturday night. Fatigue was certainly a factor as the Crew finished a span of three games in seven days.

Photo Credit: Joe Foughty/ISNSoccer.comColumbus was not one to make excuses for the recent slide, knowing that the best is yet to come.

“I’m not going to make excuses,” Crew defender Josh Williams stated. “That is the way the schedule came out. We have to be mentally tougher. It is ‘man up’ time right now. We have to look each other in the eye and look at ourselves in the mirror.”

Erik Hurtado, our Subside Sports Man of the Match, literally had the game of his life as he replaced Jamaican speedster Darren Mattocks in the Whitecaps FC lineup. He pestered the Crew defense all night long, which was surprising considering he had just three assists in 21 career MLS appearances. Hurtado’s goal in the 37th minute was the difference in the match.

All was not lost for the Crew as several players had solid performances.

Striker Jairo Arrieta was certainly improved in the attack, coming up with several opportunities throughout the match. Keeper Steve Clark was on his game, making a number of highlight reel-worthy saves, putting on a first-class show as expected.

The Whitecaps were just a step ahead of Columbus, putting up a ridiculous number of shots, not surprising as they were second in the league coming into tonight’s matchup. Vancouver took 12 shots in the first half alone. The visitors simply had more attempts and therefore, more scoring chances.

They took advantage of a tired Crew lineup, something Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter took responsibility for, noting he could have brought in some fresh legs.

“In one way, I’m disappointed but the other way, the guys gave it everything they had and unfortunately that wasn’t enough today. If I’m critical of anything, it’s my team selection, not rotating more guys and getting some fresh legs in there because to me that was clearly the difference."

The Crew now turn their attention to rest and recovery and then a road match with Caleb Porter’s Portland Timbers next week.

Match Photos

Crew Falls 1-0 to Houston in Midweek Clash

HOUSTON, TX - May 8, 2014 - The Columbus Crew (3-3-3, 12 points) fell by a score of 1-0 to the Houston Dynamo (4-4-2, 14 points) on Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. A Will Bruin goal in the 50th minute of play was the difference between the two sides.

After a scoreless first half, Houston notched the match’s only strike on a set piece, as Bruin headed home following service from Brad Davis during a Dynamo free kick. Columbus sustained stretches of possession in response to the Bruin goal, but could not find an equalizer, as Tally Hall earned the shutout for Houston.

The Black & Gold continue a stretch of three matches in seven days with a return to Columbus Crew Stadium to face Vancouver on Saturday, May 10 (7:30 p.m. ET/Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).

Crew Falls to SKC

KANSAS CITY, KS - May 4, 2014 - The Columbus Crew (3-2-3, 12 points) dropped a narrowly contested road match on Sunday by a final score of 2-0 against defending MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City (4-2-2, 14 points).

The match’s opening strike came in the 10th minute of play, when forward Jacob Peterson scored his first goal of 2014 following a series of deflections inside the Crew’s area. His side-footed half-volley beat a diving Steve Clark and held-up as the match-winning goal. 

In the second half, the Crew gave Sporting a stern test, pressuring the home side throughout the final 45 minutes, but the home side held firm to secure three points. Midfielder Wil Trapp was sent off for a second yellow card in the 80th minute and Claudio Bieler added a late insurance goal to seal a 2-0 win for Sporting. The loss was Columbus’ first road defeat of 2014.

The Crew continues a stretch of three matches in seven days with a test at the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, May 7 (8:00 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel) before returning home to face Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, May 10 (7:30 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).

Crew Battle Red Bulls to 1-1 Draw

Content by Daniel Rogers

Photos by Jeff Gossel/ISNSoccer.com

COLUMBUS, OH - April 27, 2014 - Jairo Arrieta scored once for the Columbus Crew, and, on two separate chances, almost doubled the team’s advantage.

Almost.

Although the Costa Rican forward converted his first-ever penalty attempt for the Crew in the 39th minute to give Columbus the lead, his two missed chances would prove costly late on.

Photo Credit: Brent Durken/ISNSoccer.comA 66th minute half-volley from Red Bull forward Bradley Wright-Phillips found its way past Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark, bounced off the far post and into the back of the net, with the game finishing in a 1-1 draw.

“It was a half chance. It was a cheap goal, a deflection and off the post,” Clark said of the goal after the match. “Those happen from time to time, but I thought we defended well enough to get a zero, but we didn’t get it.”

The goal was assisted by midfielder Lloyd Sam, and was the fifth of the season for Wright-Phillips.

“They (the Crew) were disappointed that we didn’t win the game, and I like that,” Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said after the match. “I like the fact that they were disappointed. It shows that we have high expectations for themselves.”

Earlier in the second half Arrieta twice found himself with openings that should have been finished, to put the Crew out of reach. In the 55th minute he found himself with an open shot against the Red Bull goalkeeper Luis Robles, but his shot cannoned off the near post and harmlessly out of play.

The 64th minute though is the one that will be regretted, as the forward was behind the defense with the ball and just needed to chip the keeper to score, but stumbled over his own feet and couldn’t get the final touch that was needed.

“It was very important for me to play well today,” Arrieta said through a translator following the match. “I was in the starting 11. I wanted to be there. I wanted to make chances. The chances I did have were stopped by the goalie; he played great. The chances I had, I tried to equalize, and then get the second goal, but I couldn’t because the goalie played great.”

In the first half the Red Bulls dominated proceedings early, with chances for midfielder Eric Alexander and Wright-Phillips that would have found the back of the net were it not for the heroics of Clark.

“It was our build-up play in the first 15 minutes, we couldn’t get it going and they have a lot of individual quality,” Berhalter said. “If you look at their attacking group, it’s a very, very strong group for this league. As we lost the ball in our half, they took advantage of that and they had good movement off the ball, tried to create some chances and they did.”

After evening the game out for the next half an hour, midfielder Justin Meram was brought down in the box by Red Bull defender Kosuke Kimura to earn the penalty.

Instead of the usual penalty taker, midfielder Federico Higuain, Arrieta stepped up to the spot to try and give the home team the lead. His shot rocketed off the crossbar, but at a low enough angle that the ball bounced down and across the line to give the Crew the advantage.

It was the second goal of the season for Arrieta, and improved the team’s record from the spot to 3-3 on the season.

“It was a great goal,” Arrieta added. “I would also like to thank Pipa (Higuain) for allowing me to take it. He is the reason I took it.”

The 1-1 draw was the third straight for the Crew and the second consecutive at home.

After starting the season off with three straight wins in March, the Crew finished April with one loss and three draws, but still moved into first place in the Eastern Conference, a point ahead of four teams.

“We want to just keep developing our play,” Berhalter said. “We want to win the games, of course. We have expectations of ourselves to win the game, but we want to develop our style and keep working on that. We’re going to go on the road and give teams tough games. We’re going to try to control the games and be aggressive, and that’s what we do. We’re going to keep trying.”

Next up the Crew will battle head to Kansas City to take on the defending MLS champions Sporting KC, May 4 at 4 p.m.

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Crew Rally for Draw at Home

Content by Daniel Rogers

Photos by Jeff Gossel/ISNSoccer.com

COLUMBUS, OH - April 19, 2014 - Down to 10 men, down a goal, and having failed to score in almost 225 minutes at home, the Columbus Crew seemed to have run out of magic from their early season run.

Photo Credit: Jeff Gossel/ISNSoccer.comThat was until midfielders Wil Trapp and Hector Jimenez decided to give a spark to what had been a hapless Crew attack at home so far this season.

In the 90th minute, Jimenez collected the ball from midfielder Wil Trapp on the left side of the 16-yard box, moved just inside of a defender and curled it beyond the keeper’s far post.

“We were down a man at that point; Wil was able to play a great ball to me,” Jimenez said following the match. “I was able to take a good touch inside and I saw a little gap in there. I was able to bend it in there and get it past the goalie.”

Trapp’s play leading up was just as impressive as the curling goal, as the young midfielder tracked back to his own 16-yard box, won the ball, and laid a deep ball right at the feet of Jimenez from the center circle.

“We gave the ball away in a bad spot … I just kind of guessed right on (Fabian) Espindola cutting back and I saw Hector open and he just did the rest,” Trapp said after the game. “I think anyone would have done the same, stepping up in a situation like that. It’s always great to come away with a point, especially late in a game.”

It was the second time this season the Crew have scored late on to win back points, with midfielder Justin Meram scoring in the 94th minute against Seattle March 29.

D.C. forward Fabian Espindola tallied the lone United goal of the night in the 31st minute. The Crew’s Federico Higuain lost the ball at the center circle and it was collected by United midfielder Nick DeLeon. The young midfielder kept possession into the box, and laid it off to Espindola, who beat goalkeeper Steve Clark in the far corner.

It was Espindola’s second goal of the season, and the sixth the Crew have allowed all season.

In the second half things got interesting as Columbus fought back for an equalizer, and committed more and more men forward.

In the 71st minute United forward Eddie Johnson burst forward and found his way around defender Giancarlo Gonzalez, who brought down the U.S. international. Although it appeared Gonzalez was the last defender, the official only produced a yellow card.

While the discussion over which card to give to Gonzalez was being had, Bernardo Anor, Higuain and Espindola entered a shoving match in the Crew goal, although no cards were produced as a result of the fight.

After the scrum, Columbus proceeded to push for a goal, but received a huge blow as Anor was shown a straight red card for a studs-up tackle of United midfielder Perry Kitchen.

Even though the Crew gained a late point at home, the record at Crew Stadium has been disappointing so far this season. One win, one draw, and one loss so far at home this season, compared to two wins and a draw on the road by Columbus.

The Crew need to quickly fix their home woes, as the New York Red Bulls are scheduled to come to town April 26, with first kick set for 7:30 p.m.

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The Crew Remain Unbeaten on the Road

SANTA CLARA, CA - April 13, 2014 - The Columbus Crew (3-1-1, 10 points) secured a road point with a 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes (0-2-2, 2 points) on Sunday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium. Behind a 44th-minute goal from Federico Higuain, the Crew remains unbeaten on the road in 2014 (2-0-1) following today’s draw. 

Higuain put the Crew on the board first, capitalizing on a Waylon Francis cross that was initiated by Hector Jimenez. The goal – Higuain’s fourth of the season and his 20th career MLS tally – gave the visitors a 1-0 lead headed into halftime. Six minutes into the second half, the Quakes responded with a Chris Wondolowski goal as the forward headed home a Shea Salinas corner kick in the 51st minute. Goalkeeper Steve Clark made four saves in his Barbasol Man of the Match performance.

"Moving forward, it’s a point on the road, but we look to continue to get better," Clark remarked. "We will continue to do the little things right. We will work on just getting better as a team and we want to defend better on our set pieces and not give those up.”

The Crew returns to action next weekend on Saturday, April 19 when the Black & Gold host D.C. United at Crew Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET/Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).

Eight World Cups

Crew Falls 2-0 to Upstart TFC

Content by Graham Ward

Photos by Jeff Gossel/ISNSoccer.com

Photo Credit: Jeff Gossel/ISNSoccer.comCOLUMBUS, OH - April 5, 2014 - They were calling it "Marvelous March" with the Columbus Crew starting the season a perfect 3-0 for the first time in their history. It wasn't long before Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter's honeymoon was abruptly ended by a 2-0 loss to Toronto FC, a team that finished last season with the third-worst record in MLS. That was certainly before some big-name signings came to Ontario during the offseason, bringing along an expectation that the team would be reaching the playoffs this year.  This was clearly a different TFC than the Crew have faced before.

Toronto started the game brightly with U.S. international Michael Bradley the star of the first half, following up on an impressive midweek performance against Mexico. He put Toronto ahead on 11 minutes after Bernardo Anor was unable to track his run, finishing with a powerful shot from a tight angle through the legs of Steve Clark. The runs from Toronto’s midfield trio of Jackson, Alvaro Rey, and Bradley supporting the strikers were the key of the first half with the Crew's midfield and defense struggling to keep pace.

"We had a horrendous start to the game," Berhalter remarked. "It was sloppy in every sense of the word. I attribute this loss to two things: a bad start to the game and a very well-organized Toronto FC."

The second half started well for Columbus as they started to control possession and assert pressure on the Toronto goal and finally tested Julio Cesar on 49 minutes when a low drive from Anor was punched away. This was the best of Anor today with him struggling for consistent passing through tonight’s game, though all attacking players were struggling to complete the crisps passes which has been a trademark to their hot start of the season.

The Crew's attack was also a little one-dimensional tonight with a pattern of getting the ball out wide and crosses being comfortable repelled from a well- marshaled Toronto defense. You could see the influence of head coach Ryan Nelsen, who stood out as one of the best defenders in the EPL during his eight seasons there.

Berhalter brought on both Justin Meram and Jairo Arrieta during the second half in an attempt to find the equalizer. It nearly worked on 83 minutes after a left field cross caused confusion in Toronto’s box and Meram's goalbound shot was well-blocked. Almost immediately after Toronto put the game to bed after a left field cross found the onrushing Issey Nakajima-Farran to toe the ball past Clark, who will be disappointed he did not do better to save the shot.

"I think we have to come out of the gate ready to go," Clark concluded. "That’s been our game all year. When you don’t do that, sometimes you get punished and obviously the first goal was a soft one by me. We will move on." 

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Meram Stoppage-Time Goal Gives Crew Best Start in Club History

SEATTLE, WA - March 29, 2013 - A Justin Meram stoppage-time goal secured a 2-1 victory for the Columbus Crew (3-0-0, 9 points) in the Pacific Northwest on Saturday night, as the Black & Gold battled from behind to earn three points against Seattle Sounders FC (2-2-0, 6 points) at CenturyLink Field. The win gives the Black & Gold three consecutive victories to begin their 2014 campaign under new Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter – the best start to a season in the Crew’s 19-year history. The win moves the surging Crew to the top of Major League Soccer’s early-season Eastern Conference standings, two points above second-place Sporting Kansas City.  

“We were able to create our own luck because of comprehensive passing," Crew forward Federico Higuain commented. "We were a complete team tonight, in the sense of being able to put passes together and because of that, we were able to win.”

After watching the home side take a first-half lead through a Kenny Cooper strike in the 22nd minute of play, the Black & Gold came storming back in the second-half behind a Higuain penalty kick goal. Forward Dominic Oduro – making his first Crew start of 2014 – drew the penalty in the 58th minute, as Seattle defender Djimi Traore fouled Oduro inside the 18-yard-box. Traore was sent off for his efforts, allowing the Crew to play with a man-advantage for the remainder of the contest. Higuain converted from the spot in the 59th minute, with the score level at 1-1 until Meram broke the deadlock in the 94th minute, having only entered the match five minutes earlier. Receiving a short corner from Higuain, Meram turned to face Seattle’s goal from the top of the area, curling a perfectly placed shot past goalkeeper Stefan Frei to secure the win. 

“It was a tough first half," Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark stated. "It’s nice to make saves. For me, that’s all I really care about, keeping the guys in the game. Obviously to win like that, it’s a fantastic win for us as a young team, and it was a great atmosphere.”

The Crew returns to action at Crew Stadium on Saturday, April 5 against Trillium Cup rival Toronto FC in the first of three 2014 matches presented by Scotts (6:00 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel). 

Anor Brace Leads Crew to Victory in Home Opener

Content by Graham Ward

Photos by Kevin Cross/ISNSoccer.com

COLUMBUS, OH - March 22, 2014 - The Columbus Crew opened their home schedule tonight with a 2-1 win over Philadelphia Union, marking a perfect start for new head coach Gregg Berhalter's and the 17,517 in attendance. Tonight’s win also made history for Columbus, starting the season 2-0 for the first time.

Photo Credit: Kevin Cross/ISNSoccer.comFrom the offset you could see the change in style that Berhalter has brought to the team. The Crew were trying to keep more possession and build attacks from the defense, a big shift from the more direct approach from the last couple of seasons.

After a frantic opening 24 minutes with both teams having good chances to take the lead, Bernardo Anor opened the scoring for Columbus. Federico Higuain delivered an outswinging corner and Anor drifted past his marker to place a low header through a crowded goalmouth.

The impressive thing from the Crew in the first half was their play without the ball. The midfield and attack would not let Philadelphia settle on the ball and pressed high up the pitch to recover possession. This pressing led to their second goal on 44 minutes. After winning the ball back, Wil Trapp’s infield pass found a free Anor, who let rip with a blistering 30 yard shot that beat Zac MacMath to his right.

The Crew started the second half in a confident mood, dominating possession and creating a host of chances to finish the game off. These best fell to Anor giving him the chance to complete the hat-trick, but he could only manage to turn his shot around the post.

The worrying theme for Columbus throughout the game was the chances that the defense were serving up for Philadelphia. With three new defenders this season, there appeared to be a lack of understanding throughout the back line with Giancarlo Gonzales continuing to follow runners while the others were holding the line.

On 62 minutes Columbus were to pay for their defensive frailties as a poor header by Gonzalez fell to Sebastien Le Toux, whose first time cross found Leonardo Fernandes and duly he applied the finish. The Union were now dominating the game, but were unable to find a way past an inspired Steve Clark on his home debut.

"The fans tonight were awesome," Trapp remarked. "Winning games for them, it will only get better. That was great to see we battled for them and they responded well to seeing us working hard and grinding out a tough game."

The Crew returns to action on Saturday, March 29 in Seattle, when the Black & Gold take on Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field.

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The Berhalter Era Begins with a Bang

COLUMBUS, OH - March 8, 2014 - The Columbus Crew (1-0-0, 3 points) opened its 19th season in Major League Soccer with a commanding 3-0 victory over D.C. United (0-0-0, 0 points) on Saturday night at RFK Stadium. Behind a tally from Jairo Arrieta and a pair of strikes from Federico Higuain, the Black & Gold helped give Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter his first win in his inaugural match as Crew boss.

“It was a great way to get started,” Berhalter stated. “The emphasis was on starting and playing our game from minute one. I think we did that. We went out there and we were brave and wanted to play.”

Arrieta opened the Crew’s scoring account for 2014 in the 18th minute with his one-time strike inside the box after a cross from Josh Williams after Hector Jimenez got the scoring sequence started near midfield. Less than 10 minutes later, the Crew earned a chance to double its lead after captain Michael Parkhurst was taken down inside the box leading to a penalty kick for the Designated Player Federico Higuain. It was Higuain – who set a club record for penalty kick goals in a single season in 2013 with six – who buried into the upper-right-hand corner of the net for his first goal of the night. Higuain would put the finishing touches on the match with his second goal of the night – his fifth career brace since 2012 – following a cross from Justin Meram that landed for the Argentine near the top of the six-yard-box.

After a bye weekend, the Black & Gold return to action in the Crew’s opening match at Crew Stadium when the Philadelphia Union comes to town on Saturday, March 22 (6:00 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).

UA Men's Soccer Season Ends In Overtime At Marquette

MILWAUKEE, WI - November 24, 2013 - The University of Akron men's soccer team saw its NCAA Tournament run come to an end in the second round with a 1-0 defeat to No. 9-seed Marquette in freezing temperatures and a rock-hard playing surface at Valley Fields Sunday night.

After a scoreless regulation, the Golden Eagles (13-5-2) bagged the Golden Goal in the first overtime period with just 23 seconds left. Coco Navarro, who got free when an Akron defender slipped and fell to the ground, finished a long cross from Adam Lysak to give Marquette its first NCAA Tournament win in program history.

"It was disappointing for two teams who like to play soccer to have their game decided by the conditions of the field," said UA head coach Jared Embick. "But give Marquette credit. They found a way to make a play."

"Both teams had to hit long balls in the channels to decide the game. It's not what you want. Both teams had to adapt through it and unfortunately, a slip on the field hurt us in the moment, and (Marquette) capitalized."

It was a startling conclusion for the Zips (17-4-1), who nearly won the match in regulation when Zac Portillos banged a liner off the right post in the 76th minute. Then, just five minutes into overtime, Akron thought it had won a penalty kick opportunity when Reinaldo Brenes appeared to be tackled from behind in the box but no call came.

With temperatures that hovered in the low 20s and wind that made it feel much colder, players on both sides struggled to get solid footing on the frozen pitch and the pace of play suffered as a result.

After being out-shot 10-5 in the first half, UA settled in after the break and had the better of play but couldn't cash in. Third-year sophomore Jake Fenlason turned in another commendable performance with nine saves – the most by an Akron goalkeeper all season – in a losing effort.

Much of the action took place in the middle third of the field in the first half.

The Zips had their best chance of the half in the 34th minute when Eric Stevenson chipped a ball over a Marquette defender for Brenes, who was streaking down the left side of the field. Brenes took a quick touch to avoid the MU goalkeeper, who had come off his line, but couldn't quite get control of it as his shot hit the side netting.

Fenlason had to make three saves in the opening period as the Zips dealt with a number of dangerous crosses by the Golden Eagles. MU's best look came in the 27th minute when a cross found C. Nortey with space in the midde of the box but hooked it wide of the left post.

In all, the Golden Eagles, who captured their first Big East Tournament Championship last weekend, out-shot the Zips 19-15. With the win, Marquette advances to play at No. 8-seed Virginia in the third round of the NCAA Tournament next Sunday (Dec. 1).

Columbus Crew Welcome Their New Man

Photos/Content by Robert Ivory

COLUMBUS, OH - November 12, 2013 - On Tuesday, the Columbus Crew welcomed their newest member as former USMNT defender Gregg Berhalter became the Crew's seventh head coach and the first-ever Sporting Director in club history.

"The vision I have for Columbus is a club about community and a club about togetherness," Berhalter said at the reveal Tuesday. "Our goal is to have a team that is successful. I am looking at the roster now and I am pleased with what I see. It's a good group of guys. It's a team that driven, a team that's hungry."

"Columbus is a young, progressive city and I think it's a great fit for a young, progressive coach," Crew President Mark McCullers said of his new coach.

Photo Credit: Rob Ivory/ISNSoccer.comBerhalter joins the Crew after a playing career that spanned nearly 20 years and included playing in Holland, Germany, and finishing his career in MLS at the LA Galaxy. After spending time with the Galaxy, Berhalter managed Hammarby, a Swedish Second Division club.

"My ideas about soccer are attacking-minded. I'm looking for a dynamic team that can get quickly forward and move the ball quickly. I believe in a possession-based game," Berhalter said.

As a defender in his career, the defensive side of the game will be one in which Berhalter will look to perfect quickly. "I want an organized defense. However, I want the team to play nice, attractive football. The game revolves around holding the ball in my eyes."

The humble Berhalter also becomes the club's first-ever Sporting Director and will become an intricate part of the franchise, rather than just managing the team.

"I feel that having the title helps streamline decisions and bring efficiency across the staff," Berhalter said of his role. "I think it will prepare the team in the best way possible. I am excited about the position and it will give me room to operate."

A big selling point that Berhalter had for him was his relationship with former USMNT manager and current Galaxy head coach Bruce Arenas.

"There's a lot to learn from Bruce," Berhalter explained. "He has a great way of managing his players and a way of getting the best out of them. He also manages personalities very well and gets everybody to buy into their role."

Also when asked about coaches Berhalter will look for, Columbus favorite Frankie Hejduk was suggested and Berhalter agreed that Hejduk would be a great fit to wherever he would end up in the organization.

"He has a short-term vision for getting the club back to its winning ways, but has an intermediate and long-term goal for the team. He believes in the market of Ohio and hopes to continue with the success of homegrown talent of Ohio," Crew Investor-Operator and Chairman Anthony Precourt said of the newest coach of the Crew.

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