Columbus Crew SC exploded for six first-half goals in a 7-0 victory over London United in the opening match of the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic. The contest was held at IMG Academy Field 1 in Bradenton, Florida on Wednesday, February 18.
It was a steady supply of goals for the Black & Gold in the match's opening 45 minutes. Crew SC got off to a quick start with Kei Kamara scoring his first goal of the preseason in the third minute, assisted by Designated Player Federico Higuain, who was wearing the captain's armband for the opening half. The Black & Gold extended their lead to 3-0 with goals by Ethan Finlay in the 19th minute and Hernan Grana in the 21st minute.
Kamara and Grana completed their braces in the 31st and 36th minutes, respectively. Just before halftime, Chris Klute scored with Grana providing the assist to make it 6-0 Crew SC at the whistle.
In the final 45 minutes, Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter again made full-squad substitutions, including bringing on Wil Trapp as the second-half captain as well as the preseason debut of unsigned MLS SuperDraft selection Sagi Lev-Ari, who notched the seventh tally for Crew SC in the 84th minute. The match ended with that scoreline, giving the Black & Gold a victory in their opening contest at the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic.
Crew SC next plays on Saturday, February 21 at 5:00 p.m. ET when the club meets the Costa Rican Under-23 side. The match is set to be streamed on the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic website.
POSTMATCH AUDIO - BERHALTER AND KAMARA: Listen
Columbus Crew SC 7 – Austin Aztex 0
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Venue: IMG Academy Field 1, Bradenton, Florida
Weather: 55 degrees, sunny and windy
CLB – Kei Kamara (Federico Higuain) 3'
CLB – Ethan Finlay (Tony Tchani) 19'
CLB – Hernan Grana (Ethan Finlay) 21'
CLB – Kei Kamara (Federico Higuain, Hernan Grana) 31'
CLB – Hernan Grana (unassisted) 36'
CLB – Chris Klute (Hernan Grana) 45'
CLB – Sagi Lev-Ari (unassisted) 84'
Columbus Crew SC – First Half: Brad Stuver; Hernan Grana, Sergio Campbell**, Emanuel Pogatetz, Chris Klute; Tony Tchani, Kevan George; Ethan Finlay, Federico Higuain ©, Justin Meram; Kei Kamara
Columbus Crew SC – Second Half: Matt Lampson; Hernan Grana (Chad Barson 57'), Kalen Ryden**, Tyson Wahl, Waylon Francis; Wil Trapp ©, Mohammed Saeid; Ben Speas, Hector Jimenez, Sagi Lev-Ari**; Aaron Schoenfeld
**denotes unsigned SuperDraft selection
London United: Hafed Aldroubi, Matthew Bemba, Tshilumba Junior Bushiri, Elhadji Momar Drame, Patrick Kanyuka, Romaric Logon, Bruno Luz, Jack Santos, Malcolm Sawyers, Olanrewaju Vigo, Mohammed Yusuf