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Wednesday Kickoff: Crew tops Joe Public, Valencia out for season and more



The Columbus Crew hardly showed any ill effects from the weekend's league loss at Los Angeles, coming back with a less-than-full-strength squad and soundly defeating Joe Public FC, 3-0, in CONCACAF Champions League play Tuesday night.

Leandre Griffit, Jason Garey and Steven Lenhart each scored after halftime, as the Crew impressively wrapped up three points without the services of Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Will Hesmer or Eddie Gaven. You can see highlights from the match here.

With the victory, the Crew are 2-1-0 in Group B play, a point behind first-place Santos and four points clear of third-place Municipal. The Crew face Santos next Tuesday in a critical game with potential quarterfinal implications.

Here are a few more stories to get you through your Wednesday:


Manchester United's Antonio Valencia suffered a horrific season-ending injury during Tuesday's UEFA Champions League draw Rangers FC.

Valencia got his leg trapped underneath him after a challenge by Rangers' Kirk Broadfoot in the second half of the match. The Ecuadorian winger had his ankle distorted, and players around him immediately called for medics to rush on the field given the severity of the situation.

Sir Alex Ferguson told the BBC that "It looks like a dislocation and a fracture. We're talking the rest of the season."


The list of MLS veterans who are retiring at season's end grew even more with the announcement that New York Red Bulls midfielder Seth Stammler will hang up his cleats after the 2010 campaign.

Stammler, who turns 29 at the end of the month, will pursue in advanced degree at the University of Chicago. He has played his entire professional career with New York, scoring six goals in his seven seasons with the club. 

Stammler joins Mike Petke, Eddie Lewis, Jaime Moreno and Brian McBride as players who are retiring at the end of the season.


After a few-week trial period, D.C. United has come to terms with midfielder Carlos Varela.

Varela, who was born in Spain and turns 33 on Wednesday, has spent his whole professional career in Switzerland, most recently playing for Neuchatel Xamax.

Varela has played in the UEFA Champions League, making eight appearances with FC Basel back in 2002-2003. Varela will help provide depth to a D.C. team that has been hit hard with the injury bug.


The Chicago Fire added another player to their roster, signing Serbian midfielder Bratislav Ristic.

Ristic, 30, most recently played for FC Rad Belgrade in Serbia but has also played for teams in Spain, Belgium, Russia, Bulgaria and Ukraine.


Gerard Houllier will make his debut as Aston Villa manager next week after getting clearance to officially leave his position with the French Football Federation.

Houllier's first match on the bench will come in Carling Cup play against Blackburn. Interim manager Kevin MacDonald, who has guided the team through its first four league matches, will be on the bench for the final time this weekend against Bolton.


Impressed by the Crew's performance? What were your thoughts when you saw Valencia's injury? Sad that Stammler is retiring? Think Varela and Ristic can make an impact with their new teams?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Just to let you know Valencia isn’t out for the entire season. He is set to be out for 5-6 months. 4-5 of those are of recovery and the other for match fitness. According to a few articles on his operation was a success and the good news was that the inkury wasn’t as serious as expected. None of his ligaments were damaged. I as an Ecuadorian am saddened by this injury, but see bright spots as well. 1. It will give an opportunity to other young wingers of Ecuador to step up in his stead. and 2. London specialist say he will be back to pre-injury form before the end of the Premier League season to showcase the skill that he is still the best Ecuadorian of today. 🙂 Here are the articles on Valencia:
    P.S. With Valencia back in the fold by June I think Ecuador will have a good chance at making the final four of the Copa America. Que Viva Ecuador!!!!!

  2. I wonder why so few Crew fans turned out for the game. I know it’s not league play, and it was less than a full strength Crew squad, but still, there had to be maybe 2000 people at that game…

  3. Agreed, Gonzalez probably lost his cool. He must have known he’d be sent off. The ball was on the ground and he kicked out like an NFL punter while running at the opposing player. And it was right in front of the fourth official. It’s not like the team of referees is gonna miss that call. Just stupid.

  4. Great for the Crew. Not so great for the sounders…their Costa Rican defender (is his name Leo González?) was a disgrace. The Sounders were in control of that game until his ridiculous red card.

  5. Eddie Lewis is another MLS player retiring at the end of the season. He deserves at least some mention on this list (especially given his big play with the USMNT over the years).

  6. ALSO-

    as much as i hate Lenhart when he dons that hideous yellow and black kit, i really hope he gets a call up for some up coming friendlies with the USMN. His goal last night was quality

  7. dont know too much of Ristic outside of what his YT highlights show, but i hope the fire have acquired someone who will contribute. Our picks have been so-so so far this season. Perhaps we’ll see a quality team emerge just in time to take a 5 month break and prepare for next season.

  8. Crew reserves’ performance last night was such a great thing to see. MLS needs to find a way to keep depth in their teams, depth that can step up. Well done to the crew, i hope you flame out in USOC, the SS run and the playoffs 😛

  9. Excellent, we pick up another over 30 squad player who can pick up his wages on the medical table. Depth doesn’t come from aged players who barely play!!

  10. what kind of advanced degree is stammler pursuing? i hope he continues his great philanthropic work — he was always one of the best guys in that area, and i bet he could do great things as he moves to the next stage of his life.


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