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Back to Work: Crew Can Close the Deal

October 20, 2009

Tonight’s game against Puerto Rico is the first of two games where the Crew controls it’s own destiny this week. A win or a tie will put Columbus through to the knockout stages of the Champions League. They can rely on Cruz Azul to beat or tie Saprissa, but why not close out the 2nd spot in the group on their own.

I have to think Warzycha is thinking the same thing. Padula, Carroll, Moreno, and Ekpo didn’t play at DC. Carroll and Moreno didn’t even travel. I expect to see a very strong lineup, probably without Schelotto, in the hopes of getting a goal and at least earning a tie. In addition to the non starters of the weekend, Rogers is fairly fresh as well. A goal is probably

It’s also the perfect time to head to Puerto Rico. Bayamon has been a tough place to play. Puerto Rico rarely loses at home. Both Saprissa and Cruz Azul managed ties on their trips. However, they were knocked out of the USL1 playoffs over two weeks ago and they have little to play for. With the turmoil in the USL, It wouldn’t be a surprise that some of these players are playing their last game on the Island.

There still is some talent on this team, but there is a significant gulf in class. Columbus controlled the game on Match Day 1 with a 2-0 win that could have been worse. I don’t expect the Islanders to bunker and that will make it easier on the Crew. Columbus is on an offensive dry spell. It would not surprise me that the team continues to struggle until they get the first goal tonight. A single goal could open the floodgates.

I am expecting Columbus to do what they need to do and get at least a point on the road. After fumbling chances to close out the 2nd spot in the group and the Supporters Shield, this is when they have to start playing with that playoff mentality. These games are starting to count a whole lot more.

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