Top Stories

Crew defeats Saprissa 1-0 in Costa Rica, Houston falls in CCL

CONCACAF CL

The Columbus Crew ended MLS and American struggles at Estadio Saprissa last night, becoming the first American team to win at the fabled stadium in San Jose, defeating Saprissa 1-0. An Eddie Gaven goal in just the fifth minute of the match stood up as the difference, as Will Hesmer made some nice saves to keep the clean sheet. It was the first win by an MLS team at Saprissa in seven tries, and boosts the Crew's chances of making the quarterfinals. They sit just a point behind group leaders Cruz Azul, and have a three point lead on Saprissa.

Unfortunately, the Houston Dynamo couldn't break the duck in Mexico, falling to Pachuca 2-0. Houston was trailing 1-0 when Dominic Orduro received his second yellow card, reducing them to ten men. Pachuca battered the Houston net with 12 shots on goal, but back up keeper Tally Hall did well to keep his side in it with a number of solid saves. The result keeps the club in third place in Group A with two home games and one road game left.

What did you think of the performance of MLS clubs on the road this week? Is it a good sign to see a couple teams win? Will either Columbus of Houston make it out of their group? Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. The Massive Club gets a Massive Win, it’s a simple as that. As for the saprissa stadium, the only thing that looked imposing Wednesday night was that nasty astro turf

    @yankiboy

    Thanks for the most backhanded compliment of all time bud.

    Reply
  2. columbus won a classic road contest. they scored early, possessed just enough and played rock-solid defense. Some great play from GK didn’t hurt. However, many match recaps seemed to suggest Hesmer was out of his mind good, saving us 100 times. I wouldn’t go that far. Really, I think we were well organized and better prepared than Saprissa. that was the key.

    Reply
  3. As a Fire supporter it’s hard to say this….but as a football fan (in general) it isn’t: Hey Columbus, way to f’n go in Saprissa! That was impressive. And without many of the starters too…..wow. Looks like we’re in for a royal rumble on (cue the echo effect) SUNDAY sunday sunday!!

    Reply
  4. If you had told me that Columbus would win that game I would have laughed at you! Finally, something to be impressed by from an MLS team in CCL.

    Still, the “let’s reduce the American team to 10 or fewer players” routine continued for Houston. I’m not sure what happened in Saprissa that allowed Columbus to keep all eleven players. Will the referee be punished for that? =)

    Reply
  5. This is why I think Columbus has the best chance to go deep in the tournament out of the 3 MLS teams left. They have the deepest team in the MLS. They played 5 or 6b regulars( not because they didn’t care) its because They have players who don’t start (ekpo, Renteria, garey, lenhart, moffat..etc.) that could start for any other MLS team. Thats crazy depth.

    Reply
  6. The MLS teams don’t use many of their starters because they don’t want to tire/injure them. Especially this late in the MLS playoff race. That being said, most MLS teams are not very deep. And losing to teams from the FMF in Mexico should be expected. Their league is better than ours.

    Reply
  7. “Are they just afraid or intimidated?”

    I’ve wondered that myself, but how often are US based players taken out of their comfort zones playing in another country in college or youth leagues? Also, most teams use a mix of starters and reserves and there is no chemistry. Doesn’t excuse the Crew in Mexico City though, we got spanked with our best team.

    Reply
  8. The coach won that Crew game. Key move was to bring Robbie Rogers in the second half to be dangerous in the upper third. Saprissa was pounding away before that. For a first year coach RW shows a lot of savy.

    Reply
  9. Disenchanted, you’re right. All three MLS teams used their back-up players for whatever reason. But both DC and the Crew came away with a 1-0 score and three points. I certainly wasn’t expecting that but that is soccer for you. You never know what is going to happen. Also, it’s not like any of the players for the Crew hadn’t seen the field before. There is a reason teams have a roster of around 23 players.

    Reply
  10. Why is that when MLS teams play out of their league, they forget everything about soccer, seems like they cant head, pass or stop the ball. They cant even get over the mid-field for most of the time.

    Are they just afraid or intimidated?

    Reply
  11. @Brant: Get your paper and tell em you’ll see ’em when you see ’em but not to even think about sending you any request for an alumni donations–you gave ’em enough already.

    Good luck to your Crew and enjoy the historic win.

    Reply
  12. @ yankiboy, who said –
    “As far as the ‘Shoe goes–Bro, you’d have to pay me $200 and pay my travel expenses to even think about that one. Oh yeah, and arrange my own private bathroom or at least hook a Brutha up with access to one in a suite if you guys have those at your place.”

    Dude, I go *nowhere* near the ‘Shoe. Can’t stand the Buckeyes, and after getting screwed by the university there over the past 5 years, I can’t wait to wrap up my degree and get them out of my life completely.

    Reply
  13. @ Disenchanted, who said –
    “But, I’m tired of how MLS teams don’t take the competitions seriously. Field your best teams, for crying out loud”

    The Crew took the guys that were healthy. Padula had been in the ER with family the night before their game with Houston and still has folks laid up sick. Frankie’s still recovering and playing him 2 games in a row wouldn’t be smart. Marshall & Brunner both nursing nicks from Houston’s hack-machines. They took the guys that could play and seemed to do just fine. 🙂

    Reply
  14. @Brant: I cut you guys slack. Lots of it. Even when I had some hardhats trying really hard to provoke a reaction. I would just respond “hey, we are a good second division team–you guys are reigning MLS Champs and you are at the top of MLS this season for a reason–you got a great team”…

    Hopefully we beat your boys by two down in Bayamon.

    As far as the ‘Shoe goes–Bro, you’d have to pay me $200 and pay my travel expenses to even think about that one. Oh yeah, and arrange my own private bathroom or at least hook a Brutha up with access to one in a suite if you guys have those at your place.

    Finally glad I made it out to Crew Stadium after all these years–great venue.

    Reply
  15. Blah, blah, blah… same old garbage MLS performances. Crew did well to get the points, they deserve credit.

    But, I’m tired of how MLS teams don’t take the competitions seriously. Field your best teams, for crying out loud. And, regardless of the results, if you watched the games, MLS teams aren’t really playing very well and are deeply susceptible to goals and it’s often luck that they aren’t down by more goals.

    Reply
  16. @ yankiboy, who said
    “Some of their fans talk way too much smack and are annoying as hell ”

    Hey look – we suffered through the 05-07 seasons as one of the suckin’est teams in the league. The ’06 Crew couldn’t beat their kids. It’s not often that Crew fans have been able to enjoy some success from their squad, so cut us some slack.

    Now if you want *really* obnoxious fans in Columbus, hang out at the ‘Shoe on a Saturday.

    Reply
  17. @ Steve, who said
    “Maybe the USMNT had the wrong strategy to try and get a win at Estadio Saprissa. We should have just ssnt the US eleigible Metros/Red Bulls…….”

    Don’t forget the guys that played for RSL at the ping-pong table called Rice-Eccles before Rio Tinto Park opened.

    Reply
  18. Houston will still go though with full points from the two home games left (and I’m betting the rematch v Arabe Unido should be a fun one). Considering they were missing three suspended starters (two of them internationals), their DP, and Clark (didn’t make the trip for personal reasons), last night wasn’t a bad result.

    Props to the Crew for the W at Saprissa.

    Reply
  19. Congratulations to the Crew!!!

    Some of their fans talk way too much smack and are annoying as hell (I learned that firsthand when I went to support Puerto Rico in the CCL opener there last month)–but ya gotta give the devil it’s due:

    They got it done and they should be proud–

    the only bad part is now I gotta listen to more smack from the most obnoxious ones–oh well, it’s like they say “to the victors go the spoils”.

    Hardhats, I salute you!!!

    Reply
  20. Houston played well before Oduro’s madness turned the game, and without Holden & Clark. With two home games and the easiest roadie left, I still think they can qualify.

    The Crew got an early goal and held on, despite not having any of their regular starters on D (Hejduk, Marshall, Brunner, Padula). Instead Hesmer and the makeshift backline of Duncan Oughton (first time playing D since 2004), Andy Iro, Jed Zayner, and jack of all trades Danny O’Rourke got the job done.

    Barring Puerto Rico winning out, if the Crew defeat Saprissa at home (no easy task), they are through the QF’s no matter what they do in the other two games.

    Reply
  21. Looks like all those years toiling on the Meadowlands turf finally paid off for Eddie Gaven.

    Maybe the USMNT had the wrong strategy to try and get a win at Estadio Saprissa. We should have just ssnt the US eleigible Metros/Red Bulls…….

    …….nah.

    Reply
  22. I think Houston has a good chance with both home games against Pachuca and Arabe Unido, smaller field at Robertson and hopefully more friendly confines. The away game is against Isidro which can at least get a point, most likely a win. Houston will most likely need to beat Arabe to qualify for sure.

    Impressive dispay by the Crew especially at Saprissa. Crew have a tougher schedule even with home matches against Saprissa and Cruz Azul. Away at Puerto Rico will be difficult as well. Keeping the fingers crossed for good MLS representation in the elimination games after the group stages.

    Reply

Leave a Comment