Emmanual Ekpo set to take on RSL on Feb 22
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Crew News & Notes - February 22

The Columbus Crew plays host to Real Salt Lake on Tuesday night (Feb. 22) in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series, at Crew Stadium at 8 p.m. The match will be televised live nationally on FOX Soccer Channel and streamed simultaneously at concacaf.com. A live audio stream will also be available at TheCrew.com, with the “Voice of the Crew,” Dwight Burgess and Duncan Oughton calling all the action.

The second match of the two-game, home-and-home total-goals series will be played at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, on March 1. The winner of the series will become the first MLS club to advance to the Champions League Semifinals, where it will face the winner of the Olimpia (Honduras) vs. Saprissa (Costa Rica) series the weeks of March 14 and April 4.

The Crew reached the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year by finishing second in Group B with 12 points, one behind Santos Laguna of Mexico, while Real Salt Lake topped Group A with 13 points.

While this is first time the Crew and Real Salt Lake meet in this competition, both teams have battled numerous times in regular season, playoffs and U.S. Open Cup. The Crew holds the advantage with an overall record of 8-6-1 in all competitions. In 2010 the teams split the regular season 1-1-0 with the teams winning on their home turf.

The CONCACAF Champions League is the confederation’s annual club championship which features 24 teams from CONCACAF’s three sub-regions: North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The top two teams from each group qualified for the Championship Round. The Final Round, to be held in late April 2011, will also be two-legged, home-and-away.

The eventual champion will qualify for the prestigious seven-team FIFA Club World Cup – which annually pits each continental confederation’s champion against the others – in December 2011.

COLUMBUS CREW vs. Real Salt Lake
CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals, First Leg
Tuesday, Feb. 22 – 8 p.m. at Crew Stadium
National Television: FOX Soccer Channel
Video Stream: concacaf.com; Audio Stream: CLICK HERE

NSCAA Youth Player of the Year and Crew Soccer Academy standout Andrew Souders continued to shine as the captain of the U-17 National Team at the U-17 CONCACAF tournament in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Souders played the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 win over Panama that allowed the team to capture Group B and advance to the quarterfinals. The United States now face El Salvador on Tuesday afternoon in a match that will determine who will qualify for the U-17 FIFA World Cup in Mexico later this year.

Single-game tickets for all 17 regular-season matches will go on sale to the general public this Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 10 a.m., at the Crew Stadium Box Office, all central Ohio Ticketmaster retail locations, via Ticketmaster phone at 1-800-745-3000 and on-line at TheCrew.com, following the completion of an exclusive pre-sale opportunity being extended to Crew Soccer Nation members. For complete promotional schedule, please visit: http://www.thecrew.com/tickets/2011-promotional-schedule.

The current cycle of the Crew Soccer Foundation Referee Scholarship Program concludes this Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Sawyer Recreation Center (1056 Atcheson St., 43203), with a record 22 referee scholars pursuing their certification in classes underwritten by CSF and conducted by the Columbus Area Soccer Officials Association (CASOA). Upon successful completion of the course, CSF will also provide a referee kit that consists of a yellow shirt, black shorts, black socks, whistles, book, yellow/red cards, two flags and a sports watch. After finishing the training and receiving certification, each scholarship recipient will be assigned to recreational and/or competitive youth matches by CASOA, which will also serve as a resource for questions. All scholarship winners will also be invited to attend a selected Crew game during the regular season to observe an officiating crew in action.

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