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Pregame 28: Crew @ Fire

October 12, 2008

It is odd to think that the Columbus Crew is the hottest team in soccer. The team has not lost since Houston, over two months ago. Sooner or later, the Crew is going to lose. Today, however, I think the Crew are going to come out strong on the road, in front of nearly 200 traveling supporters, to win the Supporters Shield. OK, that last sentence is very weird for a Crew fan, traveling fans, Supporters Shield, this is truly a year unlike any in Crew history.

Crew on Offense: The offense has only scored two goals in the last two weeks. I am not concerned yet because New England was a tough venue and the team looked good against L.A. after looking tense in the first few minutes. I would like to see the team come out attacking and pin the Fire back. Chicago has the best defense in MLS, and will pose another road challenge for the Crew. Luckily, Schelotto should be a step closer to being game sharp, after looking rusty last week. With Guille leading the offense, the Crew certainly has the weapons to score several goal, even without Moreno.

Crew on Defense: The back line adjusted well to the suspension of Frankie Hejduk last week against the top offense in the league, I have a feeling they will continue to adjust against the sputtering Fire offense. The Fire does have Blanco (looking old) and Brian McBride (also looking a little old), but their offensive woes have continued. Marshall and Iro will have to step up against the threat McBride poses in the air. Both are equipped to neutralize strong forwards. The centerbacks and Brian Carroll will have to make sure that Blanco does not find space in between the defense and midfield. This would choke off the service to the forwards and go a long way towards another clean sheet.

Final Thoughts: The Crew are within reach of the supporter shield. I expect a spirited performance out of the team as players like Schelotto look to regain their form and Noonan, Ekpo, and Iro try to impress the coaches and stay in the rotation.

Crew 2 – Chicago 1

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