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Game 12 – Crew @ Wizards Pregame

June 14, 2008

The Crew head to Kansas City with three games without a win, four games without a goal, and the injury list getting longer by the day. This is shaping up to be a very tough game against an opponent that is heading home for the first time in 6 games. Below is a guess at the new look lineup for this week.

—————-Hesmer————–

O’Rourke–Iro–Marshall—Junge

——-Carroll—Oughton———–

–Ekpo———————-Rogers-

————-Schelotto—————

————–Moreno—————-

Crew on Offense: The offense has lacked finishing and has had trouble pressuring the opposing defense by building possession from the back. Additionally, the Crew set pieces have been poor as Guillermo Barros Schelotto has been weak on corners and free kicks.  It will be important that the young defense and the central midfield, especially Brian Carroll remain calm and patient to help build the attack from the back. The Crew also need to see more from wingers Robbie Rogers and Emmanuel Ekpo. Ekpo looked good against San Jose and Rogers has the skill to change the game unless he gets hacked down like the past couple of weeks. Moreno will provide his tireless effort, but will remain a solo target at forward. The how well the Crew attack does ultimately hinges on which Schelotto shows up. If it is the one from the beginning of the season, then the Crew will score, but if it is the uninvolved version on the last several games, I see another sputtering performance from the offense.

Crew on Defense: Injuries and a national team callup is wreaking havoc on the backline. Ezra Hendrickson joins Gino Padula on the injured list and Frankie Hejduk is in LA to watch the U.S. National Team hammer Barbados. The defense will be left to rookie Andy Iro and second year player Ryan Junge to fill in. The Kansas City attack has been weak, but their midfield is getting much healthier and has considerable talent and Claudio Lopez has the skill to make inexperienced defenders pay. Carroll will probably have a little more help in the midfield as Duncan Oughton will probably sit in a more defensive position to stifle the midfield.

Final Thoughts: The Crew need to start scoring goals and getting points again. This will be very difficult task with the considerable amount of injuries and defensive style of the team. Schelotto needs to play a better game and Ekpo needs to provide an option on the wing in hopes of grabbing some of the attention away from Rogers. Unfortunately, I don’t see the result coming for the Crew.

Crew 1 – Wizards 2

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