Dallas Burn prove too hot to handle for injury-plagued Crew

John Tonjes
Date Published: 
OSU Lantern

The Dallas Burn came to Columbus Saturday and continued their domination over the Crew by beating the them 2-1 in front a season-high crowd of 15,626.

Dallas has now burned the Crew in six of their last eight meetings.

The loss drops the injury riddled Crew, now 9-10, to four points behind The New York / New Jersey MetroStars in the Eastern Conference. The third place Crew maintained a nine point lead over the 6-16 Tampa Bay Mutiny, who also lost yesterday, even though they have played three fewer games than the Mutiny.

Crew trainer Amy Armstrong may be the busiest person on the Crew staff. They fielded a team that was missing five starters due to injuries.

"We`ve had more than our fair share of injuries, but when we get some players back we`ll make a run for it," Crew coach Tom Fitzgerald said.

Two other starters, Ansil Elcock and Stern John, were playing with the Trinidad National Team.

Ten minutes into the match Dallas forward Mickey Trotman put the Burn up 1-0 after bouncing a shot of off Crew Keeper Juergen Sommer, recovering the rebound and poking a shot into an open net.

Crew midfielder Todd Yeagley scored an equalizer in the 41st minute by sending a left footed low-rider past the Burn`s keeper, Mark Dodd. The goal was Todd`s second of the year.

After the goal the Crew turned up the heat and sent a flurry of shots on goal, but Dodd held strong and came up with some spectacular saves.

The Burn did not squander their chances and went up 2-1 after Jorge Rodriguez sent a shot off the right post which bounced to the left post and finally to the back of the net. The goal, which came with just over five minutes to play would prove to be the game winner for the Burn.

"Getting beat by a garbage goal like that really hurts," Yeagley said. "We`d rather get scored on by a great shot than to give up garbage like that."

Brian McBride had an opportunity to tie the match with 30 seconds left when he lined up a header from 15 feet. But the cross bar made an impressive save and deflected the shot over the net.

"Normally Brian puts them on goal," Fitzgerald said. "He`ll have other chances and he`ll make them when it counts."

The Crew had other prime opportunities to score as well. Thomas Dooley sent two headers from close range over the goal and Jeff Cunningham fired a shot from point blank range that was nabbed by a charging Dodd.

"When you play a team like that you can`t allow them to be in the game that long," Cunningham said. "We should have finished our scoring chances when we had them."
Fitzgerald was optimistic that his team will bounce back upon the return of his seven missing starters, but was disappointed that the gap between the Crew and the MetroStars had grown to four games.

"When you win the whole team celebrates, and when you lose the whole team suffers the consequences," Fitzgerald said.

The Crew`s next match is July 29 against the Miami Fusion in Lockhart Stadium. The Crew are in desperate need of a hot streak if they want a chance at getting back into second place.

Armstrong said that Crew midfielders Robert Warzycha and Jason Farrell, who have been out with injuries, should be back and ready to suit up.