ORLANDO - The Columbus Crew resumed preseason play on Saturday afternoon, as the Black & Gold defeated Trillium Cup rival Toronto FC 1-0 to open the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The victory gives Robert Warzycha's men a 3-1-0 record against MLS opposition during the 2013 preseason.
Warzycha's side was bolstered by several new additions on Saturday, as three fresh signings made their debuts for the club. Newly acquired Brazilian centerback Gláuber made his presence felt immediately, as he connected with a Federico Higuaín corner kick in the 30th minute to score the game's only goal. Gláuber's header hit the upper right corner of Stefan Frei's goal, leaving the Toronto FC netminder unable to stop the attempt.
"I was happy to score the goal, but what's important is that it helped the team win," said Gláuber following the match. "I'm really happy, it was a great [debut] with my new club and we are working hard together."
Also making their first appearances in Black & Gold were former Chicago forward Dominic Oduro, along with the club's most recent signing, Argentine midfielder Matías Sánchez. Both men impressed the technical staff, with Oduro patrolling the right flank and Sanchez partnering with Agustín Viana in central midfield.
"It was a good performance by the entire team and the new guys especially," said Crew boss Robert Warzycha. "I think we found out today that Gláuber and Sanchez are very good players, and overall we're happy with today's performance."
Saturday's match marked the third and fourth consecutive preseason starts, respectively, for fellow newcomers Viana and Tyson Wahl. Rookie striker Ryan Finley got the nod up front, with the remainder of Warzycha's first team composed of returning Crew players from 2012, bolstered by Designated Player Federico Higuaín, captain Chad Marshall and veterans Andy Gruenebaum, Josh Williams and Ben Speas.
Homegrown goalkeeper Matt Lampson replaced Gruenebaum at halftime, with Danny O'Rourke relieving Gláuber. Viana slid back into the left side of defense with that change, as O'Rourke took over defensive midfield duties. Tyson Wahl partnered Marshall in central defense until Warzycha instituted wholesales changes with 25 minutes to play (see lineup below).
The Crew continues play in the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic on Wednesday, February 13 against the Philadelphia Union (1:00 p.m. ET). The match will be streamed live via MLSsoccer.com and TheCrew.com/Preseason.
CLB - Gláuber (Higuaín) 30'
CLB - Viana (Caution) 20'
CLB - Wahl (Caution) 23'
CLB - Finley (Caution) 45'
CREW: Andy Gruenebaum (Matt Lampson, 46); Josh Williams (Drew Beckie*, 65), Chad Marshall (Kevan George, 65), Gláuber (Danny O'Rourke, 46), Tyson Wahl (Chad Barson, 65); Dominic Oduro (Ethan Finlay, 65), Agustín Viana (Eric Gehrig, 65), Matías Sánchez (Tony Tchani, 58), Ben Speas (Justin Meram, 65); Federico Higuaín (Konrad Warzycha**, 65), Ryan Finley (Aaron Schoenfeld, 65)
TORONTO FC: Stefan Frei (Joe Bendik, 45); Richard Eckersley (Matt Stinson, 70), Gale Agbossoumonde (Doneil Henry, 70), Darren O'Dea (Daniel Fabrizi^, 70), Ashtone Morgan (Derrick Bassi^, 71); Reggie Lambe (Asthon Bennett*, 64), Jonathan Osorio^(Julio Cesar, 46; Terry Dunfield, 71), Jeremy Hall (Torsten Frings, 64), Emery Welshman (Nicolas Cabrera**, 46); Luis Silva (Kyle Bekker, 64), Justin Braun (Taylor Morgan*, 64)
*Unsigned draft pick **Trialist ^Academy player