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Early Wednesday kickaround

*As first seen on the Insider's Twitter feed, the Chicago Fire and trialist Collins John have been unable to reach agreement on a contract, and the 24-year-old Liberian-Dutch forward is planning to return to Europe to seek other opportunities.

John, Brian McBride's teammate at Fulham before the American forward returned to MLS to play for the Fire, had shown well in training camp. The sticking point, I'm told, was not salary, which leads me to believe it was the number of guaranteed years in the offer. Could a deal still be reached? I suppose, but at the moment, it doesn't look good.

*The Colorado Rapids have added goalkeeper Ian Joyce, 24, who played at Seton Hall University and was with Southend in England's League One the past two years.

*All things considered -- no Schelotto, Hejduk or Marshall, preseason form, and a small crowd -- it was not a terrible outcome for the Columbus Crew in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals with Toluca. The Crew responded from two goals down in the second half to draw the Mexican side, 2-2, on a pair of strikes by Steven Lenhart. Attendance was 4,402. The return leg is next Wednesday in Mexico, with Toluca's away goals looming large. (Yes, away goals are the first tiebreaker.)

The second and third goals were high quality:

By Steve Goff  |  March 10, 2010; 1:11 AM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF Champions League , MLS , Mexico  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Americans abroad, Tuesday edition
Next: With season near, RFK in need of spring cleaning


its really worth watching the columbus video til the very end, cutecheerleaderalert.

also, It makes me really really depressed that Dynamo didn't get to this stage this time around. but I am hoping Crew do their best, lord knows MLS needs it.

Posted by: crocken | March 10, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

No crock, crocken. La senorita esta muy deliciosa!

Oh God. Me espanol....muy malo.

Que golaso, la primera de Sideshow Bob. Beddy niiiice.

Posted by: EssEff | March 10, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Donde esta la biblioteca?

Donde esta el bano?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 10, 2010 2:20 AM | Report abuse

Yes Goff! Late-night blog posts from you is what I live for. I've been missing it, keep em' coming!!

Posted by: redskinsux | March 10, 2010 2:33 AM | Report abuse

I must confess I stopped watching at the end of the first half. It wasn't that the game was terrible. I was actually enjoying it. I just had other things to do and felt I should spend my time doing them instead of watching a second half that was already decided. Boy was I wrong.

What a terrible elbow. Possible suspension? I would support it.

Posted by: grubbsbl | March 10, 2010 2:41 AM | Report abuse

I also really liked the quick combination play between Sinha, Nava, and Brizuela on the opening goal. Three one-touch passes, and Columbus was ripped apart. That's how the game should be played.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 10, 2010 4:59 AM | Report abuse

Nice job Crew! The cheerleaders are embarrassing and weird. This is soccer people come on!

Posted by: pmk000 | March 10, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Crew played the type of physical and cheap game that I would have expected to see from a Mexican side. Some of the hits, diving, and physical play was extremely unusual for an MLS team. I was surprised.

Posted by: dsheon1 | March 10, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Lovely goals, lovely cheerleader!

Posted by: Kev29 | March 10, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

The cheerleaders are embarrassing and weird. This is soccer people come on!

Posted by: pmk000
I'm not sure what they do or where, but I fully support attractive women at soccer games. By the way, Benfica in Portugal has cheerleaders.

Posted by: troy6 | March 10, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I don't think I need to remind many regulars, but (if you're not in the office) go ahead and Google "Boca Juniors Cheerleaders"

Posted by: Kev29 | March 10, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Lenhart is the real deal. I don't think he will be around MLS after this season. Eye for the goal, strong, very good technique and finisher. He will replace Ching/Connor/Cooper after this cycle. Why don't we trade for him ?

Posted by: Charisma_Man | March 10, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Goodness knows there was plenty of time to entice people to come to the match last night.

What's the sticking point? And this isn't just aimed at Columbus or MLS sides in this tournament. Other games in the CCL have been seen by a large number of seats as well.

Is it growing pains for a tournament? Lack of any sort of broader relevance? Lack of overall importance to any of the clubs involved?

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 10, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

nice goals.

looked to me like a gratuitous cheap shot from Padula. did he even receive a yellow?

Posted by: hungrypug | March 10, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Have you actually seen a group of the Crewzers in person? The camera adds about 7 points on the 1-10 scale.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | March 10, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

VBB, I wonder how much tickets were. It didn't look very warm, either.

Too bad more people didn't go -- international soccer with four goals scored, looked like a good match.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | March 10, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Man, she WAS cute.

What was better looking though - her, or Lenheart's 1st goal? I missed that one during the telecast, and it was a beauty.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | March 10, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse



I realize that CONCACAF is not commanding significant television rights for this particular tournament which affects the pay-out/incentive for teams.

However, I also feel that CONCACAF is not doing enough to help promote and build its product. And that would involve some work with the individual federations and leagues that comprise CONCACAF. There are so many tournaments, leagues, events - MLS Regular Season, US Open Cup, MLS Cup Playoffs, MLS Cup, SuperLiga, Champions League, Aperturas, Clausuras, International Club Friendlies, Copa Libertadores, Interligas, etc.

It just seems to need some manner of broader organization to streamline the timing of certain events to help put the proper focus on events.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 10, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

If you don't like cheerleaders, don't look at them.

Is Leinhart American? I've never seen an American do what he did on his first goal. The Internet says he's American, but you can't believe what you read on the internet.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 10, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Lenhart, 7 goals in 37 games last year as a rookie. Not bad for a Southern California Seahorse.

Pick your battles -- you are going to be Eurosnob about -that- cheerleader????

Posted by: Reignking | March 10, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse


Hold on to your breakfast, but they say this guy is also a Yank:

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | March 10, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

see all (well, most) of them here

Posted by: Section107 | March 10, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Re: the cheerleader. That's Emily, who was on this past season of "The Bachelor." By far the cream of the crop when it comes to the Crewzers.

Re: Ticket prices. The cheapest tickets (other than those sold by the Columbus Supporters Groups) were $25. The prices only went up from there. The Nordecke had them for $17.

Posted by: HardHatMike | March 10, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I could only watch the 1st half. Gavin's diving and Lenhart's constant cheap shots soured me on the game. The two Mexican goals were text book. As much as it pains me to say it.

Posted by: OWNTF | March 10, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Lenhart's goals were very nice. He was also all over the field -- fantastic work rate.

And he's also a certifiable goofball and should wear a clown nose.

Overall, I thought the Crew looked clumsy and raw (granted, pre-season) and were lucky to come up with a draw. Not a great showcase for MLS. I hope they are able to tighten things up before heading south...

Posted by: -rke- | March 10, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Awesome. A quick use of the google machine tells me that she was The Bachelor this year.

Posted by: Reignking | March 10, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Interestingly, the Spanish language announcers in the highlight reel refer to the Crew as "La Tripulacion", which translates as the crew of a ship. In other words, they are changing the name of the team into Spanish. I've heard Spanish language sportscasters do this in other sports like MLB and NBA, and I don't like it. The name of the team is not "Tripulacion", it's "Crew".

Also, I could be wrong, but I feel they've got the meaning of Crew wrong. I always thought Columbus Crew implies posse or gang, not workers on a ship. Am I wrong?

Posted by: WorldCup | March 10, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Aren't you familiar with the bustling Columbus Seaport,a major port of entry for maritime traffic in los Estados Unidos?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 10, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@WorldCup: Yeah, judging from the badge, they're supposed to be a construction crew (hard hat, anyone?).

I thought the Crew looked pretty decent, if a little physical, overall last night. That first Toluca goal took a lot of wind out of the Crew's sails, and I thought it might be too much for the Crew to overcome after that second strike, from outside the area. I'm glad I was wrong though!

Both teams were a little chippy; there were more than a few occasions where the Crew literally shoved a Toluca guy off the ball for a turnover. Also a little scrum in the second half not long before Lenhart's first goal.

Next week's gonna be real tough for the Crew, even with GBS and Hey-dude back in the lineup (they were out with yellow card accumulations). But, you never know; after all, they did claim a win last year at the Monster's Cave...I just hope for some entertaining soccer.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | March 10, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't that read, "as first (erroneously) reported on the Insider's twitter feed, Collins Johns ..."

Posted by: pjdemko | March 10, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The UEFA stands for the Union of European Football Associations, and it is the association that represents European football.
The association was founded in June of 1954. In 1958 the men’s national team began its main competition. Today there are nine clubs,
seven national teams, and one semi-professional,If your like me and your thirst was not quenched after that little bit of knowledge,check out this article I found
on the subject,sure you'll find it most informative!

Posted by: david3737 | March 10, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

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