MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, April 14, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Columbus (2-2-0) at Philadelphia (0-3-1), 3:30 p.m.
Chester, PA (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Union would like to start a
new season beginning on Saturday when the club hosts the Columbus Crew at PPL
The Union lost its first three games of the campaign before a 0-0 draw with
Vancouver Whitecaps FC handed Peter Nowak's side its first point two weeks
But with a week off goalkeeper Zac MacMath is hoping his side returns to
action with a new focus and a determination to get the season back on track.
"That's the plan," MacMath told MLSsoccer.com when asked about the time off.
"That's what we all hope for. Hopefully, we can take this extended break and
refocus and try to start this as a new season."
With just two goals in its first four games Philadelphia will be hoping to
return from its break in better goalscoring form, particularly forward Lionard
Pajoy, who has big shoes to fill with the departure of forward Sebastien Le
Toux this offseason.
Nowak will also be hoping that the return of defender Danny Califf to the back
line yields similar results to the scoreless draw with the Whitecaps as the
Union didn't allow the Canadian side to record a shot on goal.
Columbus might be wishing it had last weekend off as well as the Crew
sustained a heavy 4-1 home defeat against Red Bull York, snapping a two-game
winning streak for the club.
"It was obviously a very, very disappointing game for us playing here at home
in front of a great crowd," said Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven. "Playing the way
that we did, there's not too much we can say. We just have to work this week
and try to make it better. That's pretty much the only thing we can do at this
point. We can't pout. We can't hang our heads. We have to keep working to make
Columbus fell behind early and was never able to recover as New York jumped
out to a 3-0 lead at halftime on its way to a comfortable win.
"We didn't come out with any energy. We just came out flat," said defender
Chad Marshall. "We didn't match their intensity. We didn't get pressure on
them at all. They could do whatever they wanted to and we had nothing going
offensively. It was the perfect storm of things against us."
There was more bad news for the Crew on Friday as it was revealed that the
club will be without goalkeeper Will Hesmer and forward Tommy Heinemann for an
extended period of time.
Both players have undergone microfracture surgery with Hesmer expected to miss
six months with a hip injury while Heinemann had the procedure performed on
his knee and will require 9-12 months out.
04/13 12:18:16 ET