Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - The Columbus Crew returns home from a two-game
West Coast swing to welcome the San Jose Earthquakes to Crew Stadium on
Columbus began its campaign with successive road matches, earning a 3-0
victory at Chivas USA before coming up short at Vancouver in a 2-1 defeat.
The Crew saw very little threat from Chivas in the opener, but could have
conceded a few more goals against the Whitecaps, something that was not lost
on head coach Robert Warzycha.
"I think we made a few mistakes along the road that probably cost us the
game," Warzycha said of the Vancouver contest. "Also in the first half I think
they had a couple opportunities to score but we were fortunate not to give up
the goal. The second half I thought we controlled the game; we made mistakes
and then paid for it. It's a tough place to play on the road and we're going
Columbus will be pleased to return to familiar surroundings for the first time
this season, but the club might be doing so without a constant in the lineup.
Midfielder Eddie Gaven has started every home opener for the Crew since 2006,
but his streak could be in jeopardy as he faces a race to be fit for
Saturday's game while battling an ankle problem.
Forward Jairo Arrieta has been a bright spot for Columbus so far this season,
netting a goal and an assist in the first two games to follow up on a strong
first season in MLS in which he found the net nine times in 18 matches.
San Jose found itself in familiar territory last weekend as the club entered
the final 10 minutes against Red Bull New York down 1-0.
But like they did so many times last season en route to winning the
Supporters' Shield, the Earthquakes mustered up some late heroics to win 2-1.
Adam Jahn netted the equalizer in the 83rd minute and Chris Wondolowski scored
in stoppage time to earn his side all three points.
"I wasn't sure how we would play with the guys we had out, but overall, I
thought we did enough to get something out of the game," said 'Quakes head
coach Frank Yallop. "We created a number of good chances and we moved the
ball, especially in the first 60 minutes. It was a frustrating night, but
there were some positives we can take out of it moving ahead to next week."
Last season San Jose won or tied eight games with a goal in second-half
stoppage time, so last weekend's result was nothing new.
San Jose has certainly not resembled the side that dominated the regular
season last year, but a big reason for that is the many injuries the club is
The attack has suffered without forwards Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart, while
Mike Fucito could also miss Saturday's game. Top defender Steven Beitashour
has been out as he continues to recover from sports hernia surgery, leaving
the team with a big void to fill in the back.
The Sports Network