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Game 11 – Quakes @ Crew Preview

June 7, 2008

The Crew are going to go through some changes tonight as they face off against the San Jose Earthquakes. Frankie Hejduk, Adam Moffat, Gino Padula, and Danny O’Rourke are out for a variety of reasons. The Crew is forced to shuffling the lineup. The Dispatch preview also notes that Eddie Gaven may find a place on the bench to start the game. This is also the second week in a row the Crew will close out a season series against a Western Conference team. The came back the first time against San Jose on the road. They hope to earn another three points tonight as sweep the season series.

Crew on Offense: This is a team badly in need of goals. San Jose was the last team the Crew has scored against in league play. The Crew are carrying a few injuries, but Robbie Rogers is getting over his minor knee injury, Schelotto should be well rested, and it appears that Emmanuel Ekpo might get a start tonight. It is important that Schelotto gets involved in the game early and that someone else takes up some of the offensive slack from Rogers. Evans looks to start in midfield and he will need to do much better linking up with Schelotto and Moreno. Ekpo must be a threat on the wings if he does play. If not, Gaven needs to step up and play a much better game on the offensive end. Lastly, the defense and William Hesmer must play from the back. I am tired of the direct play that does nothing to maintain possession.

Crew on Defense: The Crew form a makeshift back line with Danny O’Rourke out with red card suspension, Gino Padula still out injured, and Frankie Hejduk called in for the national team (however the Dispatch and MLSnet.com list him in the starting lineup). It will be interesting to see how the Crew lineup. Chad Marshall will be relied upon to lead the defense. Ezra Hendrickson will probably start in the middle. I expect to see Jed Zayner in the lineup as well. Ryan Junge had a good game in the Open Cup and is tipped by the dispatch to start. You can expect both Zayner and Junge to start if Hejduk is in New York ahead of tomorrow’s National Team game against Argentina. San Jose added Jovan Kirovski since the Crew last played them. Ronnie O’Brien and Ned Grabavoy provide threats from the midfield. I am not sure what to expect from the defense. Both Zayner and Junge have looked good against reserve and Open Cup competion, but league games are different things entirely. I hope they have the patience to build possession from the back.

Final Thoughts: The Crew should pull this game out. San Jose has picked up a couple wins, but are traveling cross country away from the friendly confines of Buck Shaw stadium. They have had a tough time on the road only winning in Colorado. The Crew still have enough skill and depth to pull out the game and get back to their winning ways.

Quakes 1 – Crew 2

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