TheCrew.com continues with its Match of the Year nominees this week with July 28's 2-1 win in Kansas City.
The Black & Gold were undaunted heading into Kansas City's LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in late July, finding the net twice against the League's stingiest defense. The Crew was put on its heels early as former Columbus forward Kei Kamara headed Graham Zusi's free kick past Andy Gruenebaum to open the scoring in the eighth minute and give Sporting an early advantage. But nine minutes later, Josh Williams slotted a perfectly-weighted ball into the feet of Jairo Arrieta, who beat Sporting KC 'keeper Jimmy Nielsen with his left foot to draw level. Arrieta followed-up his first strike as a member of the Black & Gold in the 34th minute, when he intercepted a Zusi pass and fired into the top left corner of Nielsen's goal to give the Crew a 2-1 lead from long-range. Gruenebaum, a Kansas City native, helped secure the three points by making five saves on the evening, including two Teal Bunbury one-on-one opportunities and a Zusi blast from the top of the box. The Crew weathered Sporting's pressure in an extended five minutes of added time that saw Columbus drop to 10 men after Cole Grossman was shown two yellow cards in a 60-second span. The win proved to be Columbus' first victory in Sporting Kansas City's new home.
Was the Crew's first win at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, your Match of the Year? Stay tuned to TheCrew.com for more nominees and voting coming soon!
Match of the Year candidates:
Nominee #1 - May 23, 2012 - Seattle Sounders 0 - Columbus Crew 2 RECAP
Nominee #2 - June 30, 2012 - Columbus Crew 2 - Real Salt Lake 0 RECAP
Nominee #3 - July 24, 2012 - Columbus Crew 2 - Stoke City FC 1 RECAP
Nominee #4 - July 28, 2012 - Sporting Kansas City 1 - Columbus Crew 2 RECAP
Nominee #5 - Released December 3
Nominee #6 - Released December 10
Voting takes place December 12-16. The winning match will be announced on Monday, December 17.