The first game, on Monday, March 12th, was against the University of Notre Dame. The game ended in a 2-2 tie. Forward Olman Vargas scored both goals for Columbus (26th and 63rd minutes) and gave them a 2-0 lead. However, the Fighting Irish were able to come back and tie the game in the last few minutes, with goals in the 80th minute and 84th minute.
Columbus’ off week concluded on Saturday, March 17th, with two scrimmages: the first against Michigan State University and the second against West Virginia University. The Crew dominated MSU, with the first goal coming only in the 4th minute from a long-distance blast from Milovan Mirosevic.
Columbus doubled the lead in the 33rd minute after Shaun Francis’ cross found Olman Vargas’ head. Vargas’ finish was world class, as he ran toward the ball and redirected it past MSU’s goalie. Mirosevic scored his second of the game with a beautiful free kick in the 54 minute. He also scored off of a free kick in the first half, but it was disallowed because the referee had called an indirect free kick.
The Crew’s domination continued with a back-heeled goal by Vargas in the 63rd and a laser from Kirk Urso just a minute later. With a 5-0 deficit, MSU finally pulled one back in the 85th minute, as Adam Montague bent his right-footed shot around Crew goalie William Hesmer, making his first return to action this year after an ankle injury.
Here is Mirosevic’s free kick that wasn’t allowed:
In the second game, Columbus came away with a 1-0 victory. Forward Aaron Horton scored the lone goal after running on to a nice through ball by Tony Tchani. This game featured more reserves than the first, and I was especially impressed by the play of Josh Williams (center defender), Aubrey Perry (right back), and Aaron Horton (left winger/forward).
In other Crew news, SuperDraft pick Kevan George has signed a contract with the team. The defensive midfielder from the University of Central Florida is currently with the U-23 Trinidad and Tobago national team.