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Spare Parts – The Crew Forwards

March 29, 2008

The Crew have a long history of prolific forwards. Players like Brian McBride, Stern John, Dante Washington, and Jeff Cunningham were prolific scorers during their time in Columbus, but the team has not had a top forward since Jeff Cunningham was traded at the beginning of the 2005 season. Since I am a little behind on my preview, this post will be a little more slapdash, much like the Crew’s collection of forwards.

The current crop of forwards do not look like they will end the drought of top class attacking talent. Alejandro Moreno came in a trade with Houston at midseason and preceded to settle in as the top striker on the team. He had a solid season, scoring 7 goals and creating numerous opportunities. Unfortunately, he is not a clinical finisher and missed great many of the chances he created. It is frustrating to see shots go wide or directly at the goalkeeper. For the Crew to be successful Moreno will have to hit double digits in goals. That my be too great of a task for Moreno.

If Coach Schmid plays with two strikers, there are a couple of new options this year. Nico Hernandez, acquired form Tim Ward from Colorado, has been in the league for several years now and will be expected to chip in a half dozen goals. More is always a plus. New signing, Brazilian Guillerme So, showed great ball skills versus Metapan. He was an instant spark of creativity when he came into the game. His positioning was a little weak, but if that improves, he will be a surprise this season.

Beyond the top three, there is youth and possibly talent. Jason Garey remains. The third year pro has shown a few sparks of talent so farm, but it appears that the professional game is to fast for him. Draftee George Josten scored 3 goals in the preseason, and fellow draftee Steve Lenhart was a surprise according to the coaching staff. It is still a fairly weak squad.

I am not sure where the goals are going to come from. Perhaps Moreno can score in double digits, Hernandez can chip in several, and So reminds the fans of the top strikers of old. A great deal has to go right for the Crew to score the goals that translate into wins. I guess I am the least hopeful of this group. I want to believe.

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