|The Nordecke Was Awesome Last Night!|
I would like to think the crowd came to cheer on the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew against the Western Conference leading LA Galaxy. But I do understand that the casual fans who came out wanted to see the Galaxy's Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Robbie Keane. As it turned out, David Beckham flew back to Los Angeles earlier this week as he was being rested, Robbie Keane had a minor injury that kept him out of the 18 for the match, and Landon Donovan didn't start.
But the fans were absolutely treated to a very exciting match that ended with the Galaxy scoring a second-half extra-time goal to give them a 1-0 victory. I hope the fans make it back to more Crew matches!
Crew Coach Robert Warzycha started the match in a 4-5-1 formation, which didn't make a lot of sense to me when the Galaxy's two best midfielders, Donovan and Beckham weren't in the match. Predictably the Crew couldn't produce quality chances in the first half, although they played very well defensively.
It was only when Coach Warzycha brought on Emilio Renteria in the second half, switching to a 4-4-2 formation that the Crew started getting great chances at goal. But ultimately they couldn't finish.
And when the Galaxy's Chad Barrett knocked in a deflected Landon Donovan shot in the 93rd minute (both were second half subs) the Crew were left with a home loss, and find themselves in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference.
Left defender Shaun Francis had a horrible match, giving the ball away on multiple occasions. The Crew also missed the injured Eddie Gaven as a stabilizing force in the midfield.
The Crew are in trouble and may not make the MLS Playoffs. They are currently playing worse than all of the other MLS Clubs based on their last five matches. They have four matches left, with only one of those at home. They will be lucky to get 4 points total out of those matches if they don't play better.
I'm an optimist when it comes to my favorite sports teams (the Columbus Crew, the Cincinnati Reds, Ohio State and Purdue football) but I'm not real confident we are going to see the Crew in the playoffs come the end of the MLS regular season.
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