COLUMBUS -- The Crew got the work it needed to shake off the rust from the World Cup break as it defeated the Dayton Dutch Lions of the USL Premier Development League 3-0 on Saturday.
Steven Lenhart scored in the first half, Eddie Gaven tallied in the 55th minute and Jason Garey in the 84th in a match played in 90-degree heat at Baujan Sports Field on the campus of the University of Dayton.
“It’s good for all the guys to get some minutes,” said head coach Robert Warzycha, who employed 22 players. “For the guys who play a lot, because of the break, it gives them some minutes they need. For the guys who haven’t played much it gives them a chance to show what they can do.”
Lenhart’s goal came via a header from 6 yards in the 14th minute as he took a cross off the foot of Leandre Griffit and beat goalkeeper Oscar Moens, who couldn’t hold onto the shot.
Griffit, the French midfielder signed May 13 after being released in the preseason by the Houston Dynamo, also sent an entry to Sergio Herrera for an 18-yard strike that Moens knocked away in the 38th minute.
The starting 11 for the Crew featured a bevy of players with limited or no playing time in MLS this season. Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum was inactive the first six games while recovering from hip surgery and, along with rookie defenders Othaniel Yanez and Shaun Francis has yet to see league action.
Other players who saw action were Herrera and unsigned draft pick Kwaku Nyamekye. Herrera had only one minute to his credit this season, while Nyamekye was allowed to finish school at Harvard before coming to Columbus this month.
For the second half, Warzycha inserted a whole new lineup, using some of the big guns as well as 2010 MLS Superdraft pick Dilly Duka, who has yet to make an appearance in MLS. The young midfielder was given a chance to align with normal starters Robbie Rogers, Danny O’Rourke and Eddie Gaven in the middle of the field and helped set up Garey’s goal.
Frankie Hejduk and O’Rourke also played in the complementary period, testing injuries that had kept them out of several matches heading into the break. Hejduk assisted on Gaven’s goal with a streak down the right side and O’Rourke, who has never scored since entering MLS in 2005, was denied once by Moens and had another shot go wide.
The Crew returns to MLS play June 26 when it hosts D.C. United.
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