Crew Knocks Off 1st Place Impact

Oduro leads charge in Crew’s biggest win of the season
by Al DiFranco   |   Monday, June 17, 2013

Labor Strike – column on Columbus Crew & the Columbus, Ohio soccer scene.

On paper, the Montreal Impact came in as big favorites over the Columbus Crew on Saturday night.

Not only were the Impact sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference, but the Crew were coming off a weather-delayed U.S. Open Cup match loss against the Chicago Fire on Thursday that saw a number of their starters play significant minutes with just one full day of rest before the Impact arrived in town.

One of the beautiful things about sports is that you often expect the unexpected, and on this night the Crew delivered one of its best efforts of the season to knock off the Impact, 2-0.

The Man of the Match was Dominic Oduro, who assisted on the 1st goal of the match and scored the second in front of a season-high 18,320 at Crew Stadium.

Matias Sanchez put the Crew on the board early, scoring from the top of the box on a deflected shot in the 6th minute. In the 22nd minute, Oduro forced a turnover in Impact territory, juked and smoothly tucked the ball into the lower right corner of the net for his team-leading 7th goal of the season.

The Crew are battling through an injury-plagued season. The latest loss was of solid defender Glauber, who tore his ACL in the loss to the Fire and will miss the remainder of the season.

Thankfully for the Black and Gold, 2-time MLS Defender of the Year Chad Marshall returned to the lineup on Saturday after missing time due to post-concussion symptoms and a hamstring injury in recent weeks. Fellow defenseman Josh Williams also returned to the lineup, and midfielder Bernardo Anor made his first start in nearly a year after tearing his ACL. Williams and Marshall were solid in the back, while Anor provided a nice spark in the middle of the pitch.

Crew manager Robert Warzycha was pleased with his team’s performance. “I think we were very aware tactically. Everybody did their job.”

The Crew (5-5-5, 20 points) now sit in 7th place in the East and 2 points out of the playoffs at the moment. The Crew next take on its biggest rival, hosting the struggling Chicago Fire (3-7-3, 12 points) on Saturday. The Crew will have revenge on their minds after the Fire knocked them out of the U.S. Open Cup last week.

NEXT UP: June 22 – Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio, 8:00 p.m. EDT, FOX Sports Ohio, MLS Live.

Al DIFRANCO

Nationality:
USA
College:
Ohio State
Club Domestic:
Columbus Crew
Club Foreign:
AC Milan, Everton
Passionate fan of the USMNT, Al is a member of the Cleveland Chapter of the American Outlaws. He also loves to follow and discuss Premier League and Serie A. Named his daughter Mia after a certain soccer legend.
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