Crew comes back to salvage a point at home against Union
Dominic Oduro's 72nd minute equalizer from a tight angle salvaged a draw for the Crew against the Philadelphia Union in front of its home fans on Saturday night. Known for his speed, Oduro slipped through the Union backline to receive a ball from Eddie Gaven nearly at the endline to beat 'keeper Zac MacMath to near post for the leveler.
"Danny [O'Rourke] played me a really good ball and I just took a good touch and I saw Dom making a really good run on the right side of the box and he did all the rest," Gaven recalled after the match.
Added Oduro: "I saw Eddie, we made eye contact, I made the movement and he made the right pass. I was just praying for glory, hitting the ball from that angle. I was hoping that it would go off somebody to tuck it in. I'm glad it went in."
The tally was Oduro's second for the Black & Gold this season after joining the team from the Chicago Fire in January as Gaven picked up his second assist of 2013.
SECOND HALF BOOST
Lacking energy for much of the first half, Jack McInerney's 34th minute tap-in to put the Union ahead 1-0 was all the Crew needed to wake up and fight back. Head Coach Robert Warzycha's halftime message inspired his team to play the way it had to pick up two road wins against Chivas USA and D.C. United last month.
"[The message] was to wake up, really," defender Tyson Wahl explained. "It was a message that was deserved. Myself and a bunch of other guys, we were a little bit lethargic. Everyone needed to wake up. Unfortunately the slap in the face was the goal and I think that was what it took. You can't really afford to start a game that way."
"It wasn't a fun place to be in [the locker room at halftime]," Gaven echoed. "We didn't play very well in that first half and we all knew it. There were some things that we needed to change and I think we did. We played much better during the second half."
Pleased with his side's second half, Warzycha wants to make sure his players don't become content with their playing time.
"The second half, we changed the formation a little bit," the Head Coach said. "More than anything, we had more energy. We started to play, we started to chase the guys, we started to win 50-50s. We had a little bit more of an idea of how we play.
"I think in the first half, some of the guys got too comfortable playing a full game-- some of them-- and they're thinking they're going to be on the field all of the time. That is not the case."
The Crew travels north of the border next week to face the Eastern Conference leading Montreal Impact.
In the 58th minute of Saturday's match, defender Chad Marshall became the 46th player in MLS history to play 20,000 minutes and just the 12th to reach the plateau with one club. The veteran became the only player in Crew player in history to reach the milestone in Black & Gold.
"It feels like I'm getting old," the 28-year-old joked after the match. "These records and stuff only come to old people. It means a lot. I've been here a long time, since I was a teenager, so it's cool to get these accolades."
Drafted by the Crew second overall in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft, Marshall has helped the club to three MLS Supporters' Shields and the 2008 MLS Cup. The Riverside, Calif. native is also only one of three players to win the MLS Defender of the Year award twice, joining Carlos Bocanegra and former Crew teammate Robin Fraser.
"Chad is a staple in this organization," President and General Manager Mark McCullers said. "To reach 20,000 minutes is remarkable. The emotion I feel is pride. I'm proud of him. I'm proud to have him as part of this club, he means a lot to us. I think it's pretty cool and I'm looking forward to the next 20,000."