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Preview: Crew vs. Joe Public

The Basics

2010 CONCACAF Champions League, Group B, Match Day 3

Columbus Crew (MLS; 1-1-0, 3 points in Champions League) vs. Joe Public (Trinidad and Tobago Pro League; 0-1-1, 1 point in Champions League) at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

This is the first meeting between the two clubs.

TV Info

8 p.m. ET; Fox Soccer Channel

Game Intro

Joe Public opened the round with a 5-2 home loss to Santos Laguna of Mexico on Aug. 18 but rebounded eight days later for a 1-1 tie at Municipal of Guatemala. Second-half substitute Micah Lewis scored off a header three minutes into second-half injury time despite playing down a man since the 81st minute.

The loss and the draw have Joe Public tied at one point with Municipal in the group table, but goal differential puts the Eastern Lions in last place.

Columbus are coming off a 1-0 loss at Santos on Aug. 24 after beating visiting Municipal by the same score six days earlier on a goal by Emmanuel Ekpo in the 14th minute.

The Crew are second in the group table, behind unbeaten Santos.

Joe Public

The Eastern Lions will travel to Columbus with a depleted squad of just 16 members because of visa problems and suspensions, including that of defender Jevon Morris, who was ejected from the Municipal match for an elbow to the face of Juan José Castillo.

Nevertheless, head coach Derek King, who led his team to five domestic titles last season, thinks his squad can still walk out of Crew Stadium with a victory.

In four games (two preliminary matches and two CCL group games), seven Joe Public players have gotten on the scoresheet. Lewis, a forward, and midfielder Kerry Baptiste have two apiece, and former Harrisburg City Islander Yu Hoshide scored in his team's loss to Santos.

Columbus Crew

The Crew were thoroughly outplayed Saturday in a 3-1 loss to Los Angeles, but midfielder Eddie Gaven said that game has been put in the past.

“We have to concentrate on the next game,” he said. “We still have a lot of soccer to be played.”

Peruvian forward Andrés Mendoza, who joined the team Sept. 4 and scored his first MLS goal vs. the Galaxy, will be eligible. Forward Emilio Renteria, however, is suspended after controversially picking up his second caution against Santos. He was booked by the referee for entering the field without authorization just before setting up a goal that was disallowed.

Heroes & Villains

Crew defense vs. Joe Public attackers: It’s always hard to predict what the lineups will look like, but Joe Public have firepower with the likes of Lewis and Hoshide. The Crew looked downright unsteady at times in the back against Los Angeles and changes to the back line are possible.

Stat that makes you go “Hmm...”

The Eastern Lions have allowed six goals in two CCL games; the Crew, just one.