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Pregame 14: Crew @ FC Dallas

June 20, 2009

A red hot Crew head to just plain hot Dallas to take on ice cold FC Dallas. Columbus is well positioned to get it’s first road win against a team that has one of the weakest home support in recent MLS history. 

Crew on Offense: Schelotto. Leading the league in goals with 10, Guille is carrying the scoring load. He is in the right place at the right time. He has a knack for creating space between himself and the defender. Instead of the perfect pass, this year he is honing the scoring touch. Some of this stems from Schelotto playing higher up the field than last year, but he also has had to shoulder more of the goal scoring responsibilities.

The rest of the team is happy that they are winning, but the pressure to step up and share the scoring load is mounting. Moreno, Rogers, and Gaven have not had the same presence in front of goal this year. Rogers has only recently returned to full fitness and hopefully his form will sharpen. He is very dangerous when he is fit. Moreno has worked to set up the offense but has not really had many great chances to get back to scoring goal, held back by his lack of pace. This is a team that has the firepower to score goals, coupled with Schelotto’s deadly form they are primed for a breakout.

Crew on Defense: The Crew defense hasn’t been as sharp as the offense. This is a unit that has had to shuffle around with suspensions, call ups, or injuries. Chad Marshall has been in good form, but has paired up with Andy Iro, Danny ‘O’Rourke, and Eric Brunner this year. That is a recipe for uneven play. It also hasn’t helped that Frankie Hejduk has been injured for most of the year.

While the defense has not been as stout as last year’s model, it has had the benefit of sharpening the bench players. Jed Zayner is showing great improvement from the beginning of the year. He may not be an offensive threat, but he has really sharpened his one on one defending. Eric Brunner has developed into a standout defender. His emergence has allowed for O’Rourke to shift to just about every position in the defense, including covering for Brian Carroll.

Final Thoughts: I had a dream last night about the game, well the result. In this dream, the Crew were able to handle the dangerous Dallas offense and Columbus scored a hat trick of goals. I don’t see a reason to doubt this vision

Crew 3 – FC Dallas 1

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