COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a bye week off from MLS play last weekend, the Crew returns to the field this Saturday (April 24) when it hosts defending MLS Cup-champion Real Salt Lake, in a showdown between the last two MLS Cup champs at Crew Stadium and rematch of the clubs’ 2009 playoff series.
Saturday’s match, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET, will be televised live regionally on ONN-TV, with Dwight Burgess and Bill McDermott calling all the action. The game can also be heard in English on News/Talk 610 WTVN with Neil Sika and John Bluem behind the microphone and on-line at TheCrew.com and MLSsoccer.com, as well as in Spanish on La Mega 103.1-FM, featuring Carlos Cordova and Benny Pietrangelo on the call. It will mark the first time the teams have met since RSL upset the Supporters’ Shield-winning Crew in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on its way to the MLS Cup title last fall.
Real Salt Lake, which currently sits in sixth place in the Western Conference with a 1-2-1 record (4 pts.), enters the match after falling to the LA Galaxy, 2-1, last Saturday (April 17) at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Midfielder Kyler Beckerman notched the lone tally for RSL in the match, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a two-goal effort from red-hot LA forward Edson Buddle. The Royals have been paced to date by midfielder Javier Morales, who leads the team with three goals, and forward Robbie Findley, whose two assists lead the club in that category.
The Crew, which sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 1-0-1 record (4 pts.), enters Saturday’s match after enjoying a bye from MLS play last weekend. The Crew instead hosted a pair of college squads for two scrimmage periods at Crew Stadium last Saturday (April 17). The Black & Gold earned a 5-0 win over Duquesne in the first 45-minute session, with Jason Garey scoring two goals and Duncan Oughton, Emmanuel Ekpo and Kevin Burns each tallying one strike apiece. A second 45-minute session followed against Louisville, with the Crew falling 1-0.
In its last MLS match at FC Dallas on April 10, the Crew traveled to Pizza Hut Park and came away with a 2-2. FCD’s Jeff Cunningham opened the scoring in the match with a penalty kick in the 29th minute. Adam Moffat’s first goal of the year drew things level in the 52nd minute. Steven Lenhart received a fine ball from Frankie Hejduk down the right side and sent a great pass to Moffat, who one-timed his shot into the left side of the net to tie the game. Guillermo Barros Schelotto put the Crew ahead in the 82nd minute with his second goal of 2010.
After the Crew was awarded a penalty kick try, Schelotto stepped to the spot, but was stopped on the try by Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. However, Schelotto quickly pounced on the rebound and headed it into the back of the net. FC Dallas would find the match equalizer on the match’s last kick after David Ferreira was denied near post by Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer. The ball popped back into the midfield and appeared to strike Eric Avila’s hand, but no call was made. Avila then found the ball at his feet as he struck a low shot that caromed off the far post and into the net to even the match in the final moments.
COLUMBUS CREW vs. Real Salt Lake
Saturday, April 24 – 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Crew Stadium
National Television: N/A; Regional Television: ONN-TV
Crew Radio: News/Talk 610 WTVN (English); La Mega 103.1-FM (Spanish)
Crew Webcasts: TheCrew.com and MLSsoccer.com (English)