After winning the Disney Pro Soccer Classic’s group A, the Columbus Crew faced off against the group B winners Montreal Impact on Saturday night in the tournament’s championship game. Unlike previous games, this one was only streamed on ESPN3.com; therefore, I was unable to watch it. Luckily for me, I did not miss much.
The game ended in a 1-0 loss for Columbus. Montreal’s lone goal came in the 54th minute after Justin Mapp’s shot skipped off the post and past Crew goalie Andy Gruenebaum.
Less than 24 hours later, the team rejoined those who had already traveled to North Carolina for the Kirk Urso Memorial Match between Urso’s collegiate team, the North Carolina Tar Heels, and his only professional team, the Crew. While the game ended in a 1-0 win for Columbus after a Konrad Warzycha goal in the 79th minute, the real result was off the field. All the proceeds from the match went toward the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund which helps to fund congenital heart research, the unknown condition that took Urso’s life away much too soon.
The win against the Tar Heels brought the Crew’s final preseason record to an impressive 7-2-0. For more on the Kirk Urso Memorial Match, I highly recommended looking at Steve Sirk’s Twitter profile. Sirk was at the game, and he snapped plenty of pictures of the day’s events.
The Crew open the MLS season this Saturday on the road against Chivas USA (10:30). Based on his preseason lineups, this is the starting XI that most expect Robert Warzycha will put on the field:
In terms of offensive substitutes, wingers/forwards Ethan Finlay and Ben Speas are two young players who could be dangerous near the end of games. Danny O’Rourke’s versatility lends him to being the first defensive substitute off the bench, as he can play six positions in the lineup posted above.
With this possibly being my last summer in Ohio, I want to sit back, be more of a fan, and thoroughly enjoy the Crew this year. I may still write here whenever I see fit, or I may not.
Let’s hope 2013 brings some major hardware back to Columbus.