Looking at 2010: Columbus Crew

Looking at 2010: Columbus Crew

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On February 3, 2010
  • 4 Comments
  • Adam Moffat, Andy Iro, Brian Carroll, Bright Dike, Chad Marshall, Dilly Duka, Eddie Gavin, Emmanuel Ekpo, Eric Brunner, Frankie Hejduk, Gino Padula, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Jason Garey, Jed Zayner, Robbie Rogers, Steven Lenhart

The 2010 Crew look a lot like the 2009 Crew, does that mean another Supporter's Shield is on the way? (Getty Images)

I had hoped to get this post out of the way earlier in the day but some issues on the back end of my site kept me busy all day (some PHP bug!). But I felt like it was still alright to move on with out look at each Major League Soccer club and how they are doing this offseason.

Today we go back east and look at the two time defending Supporter’s Shield champion Columbus Crew.

The offseason hasn’t been too busy for the Crew but they were able to make some big noise at the SuperDraft with a couple of their selections.

Keepers:

Who they have: William Hesmer, Andy Gruenebaum, and Kenny Schoeni

Notes: This area is still fine for the Crew. I had heard whispers that Gruenebaum was not on the roster for the training camp but I haven’t seen anything out there about it yet (Crew fans can help me out on that one). If he is in camp then he is a fine backup to Hesmer, if not then they may be in trouble.

For the most part I’d say if they are looking to add anything here it will be with one of the league’s pool keepers that travel around. Hesmer is one of the more underrated keepers in the league in my opinion. The Crew should be fine here as long as Hesmer stays healthy this season.

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Defense:

Who they have: Frankie Hejduk, Gino Padula, Andy Iro, Chad Marshall, Eric Brunner, Jed Zayner, Shaun Francis, and Kwaku Nyamekye.

Notes: When healthy this group is as good as it gets. But like we saw late in the year when they aren’t 100% things get a little dicy. Hejduk has shown his age and sometimes Padula isn’t all there. Let’s not forget that Marshall will probably be missed some point this summer if he ends up going to South Africa. I do however like the youth with this group in Iro, Zayner and Brunner.

Too bad they probably won’t get anything out of Nyamekye, one of their forth round picks. Apparently he is headed to play in Europe.

I think if Robert Warzycha can get a couple more quality center backs and maybe one more wing back in here this group will be set for the long run. With the amount of extra games again this year on the menu you gotta think depth will come into question with the Crew yet again.

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Midfield:

Who they have: Alex Grendi, Danny O’Rourke, Dilly Duka, Duncan Oughton, Eddie Gavin, Kevin Burns, Brian Carroll, Emmanuel Ekpo, Robbie Rogers, Adam Moffat, and Cory Elenio.

Notes:  Just like the defensive group if they are healthy they are one of the best in the league but if they aren’t it gets interesting. They have a good solid core of players here and I’m very curious to see Duka plays into their system here as well.

I would like to see them go after another attacking midfielder though for depth. Should Schelotto go down they will need some sort of back up in place. Adding more depth in the defensive side of the midfield wouldn’t be a bad thing as well.

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Forwards:

Who they have: Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Jason Garey, Bright Dike, Emilio Rentería, and Steven Lenhart

Notes: Schelotto makes this a very solid group but I kind of still see him as an attacking midfielder more than a forward at this point. Some folks list him as a forward others list him as a midfielder.

I like Renteria and Lenhart – and Garey isn’t too bad either. Biggest question will be around Dike and whether or not the Crew really did gamble on picking him so early. Most like me agree they could have gotten him in the forth round with one of their three picks then.

I’d still like to see them go after another striker before the season starts if they can, or definitely one during the summer transfer window. Right now they’ll have to rely too much on Schelotto to score for them and I can see that doing well early on but leading to some trouble late if no one else steps up.

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Overall:

One still has to figure the Crew will be in the discussion for the Supporter’s Shield yet again this season. They’ve barely lost anything from a year ago and I have to think that playoff loss to RSL really stung this group. I think as long as Rogers and Ekpo step up in the midfield, Schelotto and Renteria do their part up top and the defense stays healthy they’ll be another tough team to beat in 2010.

Still saying that they do have some work left to do to get the depth issues taken care of.

  • With the new signing of Sergio Herrera the Crew's offense looks to be shored up after the falling off at the end of last season. I agree with your assessment of the MF. They need a CM badly….real bad!

  • Patrick

    Andy Gruenebaum has had Hip Surgery.

  • With the new signing of Sergio Herrera the Crew's offense looks to be shored up after the falling off at the end of last season. I agree with your assessment of the MF. They need a CM badly….real bad!

  • Patrick

    Andy Gruenebaum has had Hip Surgery.