MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, March 24, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Montreal (0-1-1) at Columbus (0-1-0), 4 p.m.
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - The Columbus Crew returns to action after one
week off as the club welcomes the Montreal Impact to Crew Stadium for its home
opener on Saturday.
Columbus will be eager to get back to action after a 2-0 defeat against the
Colorado Rapids to start the campaign, while Montreal collected its first MLS
point last weekend in a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire.
Impact captain Davy Arnaud scored the first goal in the club's MLS history,
and Josh Gardner nearly snatched a dramatic last-second win for the home side
when his long-range effort struck the post at the final whistle.
The game was played before a record crowd of over 58,000, and on the day,
Montreal was certainly good enough to have come away with all three points.
"There were a lot of good individual performances, but as a team, we had a
good night," said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. "We got the lead. It would
have been good to try and hold on to it a little longer and test them to try
and get the second. Aside from the goal, the Fire really didn't have too much
offensively, and that's a little frustrating, but it's a step in the right
The Crew will try to move in the right direction with a good result on
Saturday, and the club may be able to welcome back starting goalkeeper Will
Hesmer, who has been out since suffering an ankle injury in preseason.
Columbus played a pair of exhibition matches against college competition
during its week off, and Hesmer was able to play the full 90 minutes in one of
those contests, opening up the possibility that he can return between the
posts for Saturday's match.
Crew head coach Robert Warzycha was frustrated by his team's effort against
the Rapids and he will be hoping for a better game on Saturday with his
players having more time to get acquainted over the past week.
"Too many guys had bad games," Warzycha told MLSsoccer.com after the loss to
Colorado. "We have a good combination of veterans and young players but at
some point the players have got to click and they've got to get better."
One thing that went wrong against the Rapids was a hamstring injury sustained
by midfielder Dilly Duka, who had to come off in the opening minutes and who
will miss Saturday's match.
03/23 16:09:14 ET