Crew vs. Fire
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Crew News & Notes

The first-place Columbus Crew continues play with a busy week of matches this week at Crew Stadium as it first welcomes the Rochester Rhinos (D-2) tonight (June 29) for a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match, before hosting Eastern Conference rival Chicago Fire this Saturday (July 3) in a MLS regular season match-up that will be followed by a “Red, White & Crew” postgame fireworks show.

Tonight’s match, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m., will be webcast live by Sportsradio 950AM ESPN with Rhinos play-by-play man Joe Giuliano calling all the action (direct link to web player available here). The Rhinos advanced to tonight’s third round match-up with the Crew after earning a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on June 22, thanks to two goals by Tyler Rosenlund and a strike from Aaron Pitchkolan.

Tonight’s match marks the second consecutive season that the Crew and Rhinos will meet in U.S. Open Cup play. On June 30, 2009, the Crew traveled to Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester and fell to the Rhinos on penalty kicks 5-3, after the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Ty Harden tallied for the Rhinos in regulation, while Duncan Oughton registered the Crew’s lone strike with a bicycle kick.

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which is recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. This year’s tournament quarterfinals will be played July 6-7, the semifinals will be played Aug. 31-Sept. 1, and the final will be played Oct. 5. The tournament has crowned a champion for 95 consecutive years dating back to 1914. It is the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor long-time soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt, the Crew’s founder. The Crew enters the 2010 U.S. Open Cup looking for its second Open Cup title in club history. The first came in 2002 at Crew Stadium when Freddy Garcia provided the match’s lone goal in the 30th minute to defeat the 2002 MLS Cup Champion L.A. Galaxy.

Saturday’s MLS match, which kicks off at 8 p.m., will be televised live nationally on Fox Soccer Channel. The game can also be heard in English on News/Talk 610 WTVN, with Neil Sika and John Bluem behind the microphone, as well as in Spanish on La Mega 103.1-FM, featuring Carlos Cordova and Benny Pietrangelo on the call.

Chicago, which currently sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 4-3-5 record (17 pts.) enters Saturday’s match after defeating the New England Revolution, 1-0, on Sunday (June 27) at Gillette Stadium, thanks to a strike by Marco Pappa in the 30th minute. The Fire is led this season by the aforementioned Pappa, who leads the club with six goals to his credit, while Patrick Nyarko leads the team with six assists so far this season.

Prior to traveling to Columbus Saturday, Chicago will also participate in U.S. Open Cup action tonight (June 29), when it hosts the Charleston Battery (USL-2) at TOYOTA Park. Should the Crew and Fire both advance in their respective Open Cup matches tonight, the two rivals will face off next Tuesday (July 6) at Shea Stadium in Peoria, Ill., on the campus of Bradley University. Should the Crew and Charleston each advance after tonight’s round of matches, the Black & Gold would host the Battery next Tuesday (July 6) at Crew Stadium.

The Crew, which currently sits tied for first place (with N.Y.) in the Eastern Conference with a 7-2-3 record (24 pts.), enters its slate of matches this week after defeating D.C. United, 2-0, last Saturday (June 26) at Crew Stadium, thanks to a pair of second half goals. The Crew registered its first tally of the night in the 57th minute when Jason Garey passed down the right flank to Emilio Renteria, who attacked the D.C. defense and sent a chipped shot which caromed off the left goal post. Guillermo Barros Schelotto pounced on the loose ball and converted the easy rebound for his team-leading fifth goal of the season. The Crew then put the game away in the 87th minute when Schelotto’s corner kick found the head of Steven Lenhart, whose glancing header found an unmarked Eric Brunner at the back post for the easy tap-in.

COLUMBUS CREW vs. Rochester Rhinos (D-2)
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16
Tuesday, June 29 – 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Crew Stadium
Webcast: Rochester Sportsradio 950AM ESPN (English)

COLUMBUS CREW vs. Chicago Fire
Saturday, July 3 – 8 p.m. (ET) at Crew Stadium
National Television: Fox Soccer Channel; Regional Television: N/A
Crew Radio: News/Talk 610 WTVN (English); La Mega 103.1 (Spanish)

The Crew announced today that it has released Colombian forward Sergio Herrera. Originally signed by the Crew on Feb. 5, 2010, Herrera made one appearance as a member of the Black & Gold, coming on as a substitute in the Crew’s 3-2 win over the New England Revolution on May 8, 2010.

At 7-2-3 (24 pts.), the 2010 Columbus Crew is off to the best start in club history through 12 games. In 1998, the club began 7-5, with two losses in shootouts (translating to 7-3-2, 23 pts.), and in the club’s MLS Cup Championship season of 2008, the team went 7-4-1 record (22 pts.) in its first 12 matches. The 1999 squad started 7-5, but three of those wins and one of its losses were in shootouts (translating to 4-4-4, 16 pts.).

The unbeaten Crew Juniors Super-20s continued play in the USL’s Super-20 League recently as they played a pair of matches against Kings Soccer Academy (KSA). The CJ Super-20s first took on KSA on June 19 at Town and Country Sports Complex in Ocean City, N.J., and came away with a 3-0 win, thanks to two goals by Eric Stevenson and a strike by Kofi Agyapong. The CJ Super-20 squad then welcomed KSA to the Crew Training Center at Obetz on June 23 and came away with a stirring 9-0 victory, thanks to two goals apiece from Brian Rogers and Travis Walls and strikes from Agyapong, Joseph Haught, Tyler Pollock, Brandon Silva and John Wargo. Coached by Crew Technical Director Brian Bliss, the CJ Super-20s currently sit tied for first place (Chicago Fire) in the Midwest division at 6-0-0 (18 pts.).

The Crew Soccer Academy (CSA) squads recently saw their seasons come to a close at the 2010 Development Academy Playoffs. Unfortunately, neither team finished at the top of its respective group in order to advance to the 2010 Development Academy Finals being held at The Home Depot Center from July 10-17. The 15/16s finished the playoffs with a 2-1-0 record, good for second place in Group E. The 15/16s began play on Friday (6/25) with a 2-0 loss to CASL Chelsea FC Academy (NC). The squad then followed with a 4-3 win over FC Dallas on Saturday (June 26), thanks to goals by Dominc Aracri, Chris Davis, Brett Elder and Chris Pearson. The 15/16 team completed play on Monday (June 28) with a 3-0 win over Weston FC (Fla.), thanks to a Weston FC own goal and strikes from Elder and Ryan Rausch. The 17/18 squad kicked off its weekend on Saturday (June 26) with a 1-1 draw with Crossfire Premier (Wash.), thanks to a goal by Ross Friedman. The squad continued play on Sunday (June 27) with a 1-0 loss to LAFC Chelsea (Calif.). The 17/18 team wraps up play today (June 29) when it takes on the Dallas Texans, but it can finish no higher than second place in Group B and has thus been eliminated from contention for the Development Academy Finals.

World Cup Viewing Parties continue at Crew Stadium as the knockout stage wittles down the remaining teams alive in the FIFA World Cup tournament. Thousands of fans have already visited Cup Headquarters and games will continue to be shown in high definition on Panasonic HD televisions provided by Best Buy in the Stadium Club tent, located just west of the stadium. Parking and admission to Cup Headquarters is free, and complimentary snacks and Pepsi products are available to fans in attendance, as is a cash bar and $1 Sugardale hot dogs throughout the tournament. Wireless internet access is available in the Time Warner Cable Business Center for those who wish to bring their work to Crew Stadium while they watch the games, and elements of the Crew Soccer Tour will be set up just north of the Stadium Club tent. State Farm Insurance, Claddagh Irish Pub and Montgomery Inn are also supporting the events and will be on-site at each of the 64 games. Fans can also enter into daily drawings for the chance to win prizes from the Viewing Parties’ various sponsors. By entering into the daily drawing, fans also enter themselves into a pair of Grand Prize drawings, to be held at halftime of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final on July 11. The two Grand Prizes are for a 42-inch flat-screen HD television, courtesy of Best Buy, and one year of Bundled Home Services including digital cable, internet and home phone service, courtesy of Time Warner Cable.

This week on CrewXtra, the Crew’s weekly show on ONN-TV, host Beau Bishop will be joined by midfielder Robbie Rogers and Crew TV analyst Dante Washington at 8 and 11 p.m. CrewXtra is broadcast every Wednesday and provides viewers with in-depth coverage and access to the team every week, including game recaps, breakdowns and previews of the upcoming matches, while interspersing other news, interviews, discussion and features.

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