COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Crew accomplished their goals in playing against a pair of college teams Saturday morning in Crew Stadium.
Foremost, no one was hurt to add to a growing injury list. Second, several players who have seen little or no MLS action this season got workouts.
With eight players sidelined going into this second bye weekend of the month, Crew head coach Robert Warzycha opted to change the scrimmage format he used April 2 against Marshall University and Michigan State when the Crew played full matches against them with a mixture of roster players and guests.
It was during the game against Marshall that starting defender Eric Brunner suffered a concussion, which still has him sidelined.
For Saturday’s games the Crew played 45 minutes each against Duquesne and Louisville.
“There’s no reason to bring 10 guest players and mix the teams,” Warzycha said. “The other teams wouldn’t be happy and we wouldn’t be happy. We need to have all our players on the field.”
The Crew beat Duquesne, 5-0, in the first half as forward Jason Garey scored in the 4th and 45th minutes and assisted on a goal by Duncan Oughton in the ninth. Emmanuel Ekpo (33rd) and Kevin Burns (44th) also scored.
Kenny Schoeni started in goal for the Crew. The rest of the lineup included Jed Zayner, Chad Marshall, Andy Iro and Gino Padula in the back; midfielders Emilio Rentería, Ekpo, Burns and Oughton; and Garey paired with Sergio Herrera. Marshall and Iro were the only holdovers from the starting lineup last weekend at FC Dallas.
Louisville scored the lone goal in the second half against the Crew. Andy Gruenebaum was in goal while Oughton, Iro, Burns and Padula were the defenders. Ekpo, Dilly Duka, Othaniel Yanez and French trialist Leandre Griffit were in the midfield. Garey and Herrera were the forwards.
The rookie Yanez was happy to play 45 minutes against his former Louisville teammates. He had dinner with several of them Friday night.
“It’s just another game but it was fun,” he said. “I didn’t expect them to take it easy on me and I didn’t take it easy on them.”
Meanwhile, technical director Brian Bliss said the team and Griffit have agreed on a contract if the club decides to sign him. A decision could come early next week. The Crew would have to release a player to add Griffit to the roster.