Friday, February 15, 2013

Know Your Enemy: Columbus Crew

As the Disney Pro Soccer Classic preseason tournament moves forward (with clubs from all three American professional divisions going at it), one Major League Soccer club riding high at the top of Orlando City’s group is the Columbus Crew. The boys in purple just so happen to be facing them Saturday evening. With any enemy, you must know them closer than your friends. Let us keep them close for the coming match. 

Nine players coming into the Ohio squad in the offseason puts The Crew near the top of the list in 2013 MLS Transactions. There are a few that will have a definite impact on the game and will meet our friendly Lions on the pitch. 

Columbus aren’t lacking any attacking force up top with the Costa Rican Jairo Arrieta and the Argentine Designated Player Federico Higuain combining for 14 goals in 2012. But why not add a few more forwards into the mix for healthy competition? 

ENEMY: Ryan Finley was selected 9th overall in the MLS Superdraft and signed on January 17, 2013. He put one into the back of the net against Philadelphia Union (a 4-0 rout by the boys in yellow) and could be a threat to our Rob Valentino and Kieron Bernard, looking to prove himself to Head Coach Robert Warzycha. The Lumberton, New Jersey native played his first two college season with the Duke Blue Devils, before transferring to Notre Dame for his Junior and Senior to be part of The Fighting Irish. At 6 foot and 180 pounds that might seem large to some people, but not when you’re up against the likes of a pair of Lion center backs. 

ENEMY: The other forward brought into The Crew squad is a little more well known around the MLS parts. In a trade that saw Dilly Duka go to Chicago Fire, the speedy Dominic Oduro was sent across the midwest to Columbus. The Ghanaian international plays a similar style to Orlando City’s Dennis Chin where he tries to beat the back four with his sharp pace and sneaky runs. As long as we don’t play the former Virginia Commonwealth Ram too close and are aware of his movements at all times, the Lions should have him handled. 

Another enemy that Orlando City fans should be thankful isn’t added to the attacking threat just yet is Homegrown signing: midfielder Wil Trapp. After moving through the Crew Academy ranks and playing two years of college soccer at nearby esteemed Akron University, he is now in Mexico with the United States U-20 camp preparing for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship

How well do you know your enemy? Prepared to keep them in mind? Let us know your thoughts in a comment below. 


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