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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Bliss.’

Columbus Crew in a bad streak; playoffs slipping away

New Crew owner Anthony Precourt says he wants to get a good sense of the entire operation before making changes (megasportsnews.com photo)

For years, the Columbus Crew were always one of those teams in Major League Soccer that could be counted on to have a winning overall record, a winning home record, a cinch for the playoffs and a contender for the league championship.

The 2013 season hasn’t been anything near the abovementioned statements.

The Crew are in the midst of one their worst runs on the losing side in team history.

With last weekend’s loss at Houston, Columbus has dropped six of seven games. They are now in unfamiliar territory of eighth-place in the MLS’ Eastern Division. They have fallen 10 points out of the final playoff spot with 12 games left in the season.

The current 1-6 stretch is the worst since a 0-5-2 by the Crew in the disappointing 2006 season.

Recently, the team was sold by the Hunt Sports Corporation to Anthony Precourt.

The new owner told the media at his introductory press conference a few days ago that he will not make any quick decisions on anybody in the organization. He wants to get an overall assessment of the situation.

Head coach Robert Warzycha, who has been on the hot seat all season with the fans, is in the final year of his contract. Precourt did indicate that he would be meeting with general manager Mark McCullers, technical director Brian Bliss and Warzycha to see where they can improve the team.

Goalkeepers shine in 0-0 tie between Crew, Quakes

 

San Jose goalkeeper and Columbus Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer both made several important saves in preserving a 0-0 tie at Crew Stadium on Saturday night.

There was a crowd of 14,109 in attendance for the exciting game.

Busch, a former Crew player, made six saves and the Earthquakes (5-6-8) saw their winless streak stretch to six games, where they are (0-2-4).

Hesmer collected five saves for the Crew (7-5-7), who in their past seven games have four wins, two losses and a tie.

Hesmer earned his second straight shutout and seventh of the season.

With the tie on Saturday night, the Crew with 28 points, tied New York and Philadelphia for first place in the MLS Eastern Conference.

San Jose was shutout for the fifth time in six games.

FROM THE GAMEĀ NOTES:

* The Crew Juniors Super 20 will be making a return trip to the USL Super 20 League finals with a win in their Midwest Division finale, a 4-1 decision over the Dayton Dutch Lions on July 7.

The Super 20s, coached by Crew technical director Brian Bliss, finished the regular season on top of their division with a record of 8-0-1 and 25 points.

The USL super 20 League Finals will take place July 21-24 in Tampa, Florida. The Crew will be looking to repeat as national champions.

* Andres Mendoza recorded his first MLS assist on Wednesday, June 8, against Real Salt Lake. The milestone was also the team’s 750th all-time. The first ever assist was recovered by Brian McBride in the Crew’s inaugural game at Ohio Stadium on April 14, 1996 against DC United.

* Gahanna Lincoln and Crew Soccer Academy standout Chris Davis traveled with the Crew to Montclair, New Jersey for the MLS Reserve Division match against New York on Monday, May 30. Davis came on as a substitute in the 68th minute, replacing recently signed Home Grown Player Aaron Horton, and proceded to score two goals in the 6-1 game.

The two goals brings Davis’ total to three as he had previously scored the game-winner in the 2-1 Toronto FC match.

* The Crew Juniors U19s, who won last year’s McGuire Cup National Championship, the final step of the 2010 US Youth National Championship Series, were unable to get past the 2011 US Youth Region II finals last June 24-25, despite drawing two games and winning one.

The U19s, coached by Crew technical director Brian Bliss, finished second in their group with five points after drawing the St. Croix Devils in Minnesota 1-1 with a goal by KofiĀ  Agyapong, beating Illinois 3-2 with goals from Tyler Ranali, William Walker and Alexander Obbey and drawing the Des Moines Menace 1-1 with a goal from Matthew Walker.

 

Logos courtesy of Major League Soccer

MEGASPORTSNEWS.COM GAME COVERAGE

 

Commentary:Crew wants to be younger team; fans upset Schelotto, Hejduk gone

(courtesy of MLS)

The Columbus Crew said goodbye recently to several players by declining to pick up their options.

That group included Frankie Hejduk, Gino Padula, Duncan Oughton, Leandre Griffit, Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Jason Garey.

As a member of the media, all of these players were fun to be around and talk to. They were always professional and willing to help us get whatever information we needed to do our jobs.

Personally, the Crew really don’t need Jason Garey, Gino Padula and Leandre Griffit. Those three aren’t goal scorers and were basically role players.

As for Schelotto and Hejduk, I diasgree with the Crew on those two players.

The fans in Columbus and Ohio, come to the games to see Schelotto and Hejduk. Schelotto can score on anybody, any team and was most electrifying player and most popular player since Brian McBride, Edson Buddle and Jeff Cunningham.

In Hejduk, he was the team leader, captain and epitomized what the Crew’s term of “hardest working team” meant. He could score goals, but his job was to settle all the young players down.

When the Crew announced that they were severing ties with the teams top two leaders, fan reaction to me when I asked several folks were: “Where’s the goal scoring coming from”; Where’s the leadership coming from”; “the Crew are a cheap organization; “Robert Warzycha didn’t want Schelotto around” and “We won a championship because of those players. Why show them the door.”

General manager Mark McCullers says there are several reasons they have to do this. Salary budget cuts, an aging roster and the desire to play a quicker, more unpredictable style are the main reasons. They want more team speed and better one-on-one defending.

The management did say that they’ll try to re-sign Griffit at a lower salary. He did show promise in limited duty when he joined the team in mid-season.

Head coach Robert Warzycha says that all MLS teams are used to the way the Crew plays now. They have to have more team speed and be more dangerous and not only score off set pieces which the Crew were really good at for several years.

My only question is, where will the scoring come from even if the team gets quicker and plays more uptempo. You still have to have someone who is a threat to score every time down the field. It seems like the Crew will fall back into the ‘having trouble scoring’ mold they suffered when Brian McBride left to play overseas.

Technical director Brian Bliss says the Crew can improve by acquiring players from the international market, MLS SuperDraft and homegrown talent.

Another question. Can they find another goal scorer and a leader like Schelotto and Hejduk? The 2011 season will tell!

compiled from staff & Columbus Crew news