If the Netherlands' relentless series of brutal blows in the World Cup final weren't enough to convince skeptics that soccer is a contact sport, certainly the bell-ringing Eddie Gaven received Saturday in Los Angeles should convince the haters that soccer is a sport where pansies need not apply.

If the Netherlands' relentless series of brutal blows in the World Cup final weren't enough to convince skeptics that soccer is a contact sport, certainly the bell-ringing Eddie Gaven received Saturday in Los Angeles should convince the haters that soccer is a sport where pansies need not apply.

Gaven was diving to get his head on the end of a Guillermo Barros Schelotto cross but instead collided with Chivas U.S.A. goalkeeper Dan Kennedy's knee. Gaven's noggin rattled back and forth like a violently shaken bobble-head doll. The Crew midfielder lay motionless for several minutes after the crash.

"My initial reaction was that we were going to have a real problem on our hands just because of the collision itself and how ugly that was, and also because the way that he landed was a little more awkward than most," head athletic trainer Dave Lagow said.

Lagow rushed out to tend to Gaven, who was unavailable for an interview at press time.

"I got out there and kind of got him focused and he knew who I was, he knew where he was, and he knew a fair amount of what was going on, so that was definitely a positive sign from my end," Lagow said.

Although team physicians have ruled Gaven's injury a Grade 2 concussion, Lagow said the severity of the injury will be dictated more by how quickly Gaven recovers. So far, the recovery has been surprisingly quick given the nature of the injury, one of the three nastiest collisions Lagow remembers in his training career.

"He seems pretty much like Eddie Gaven, so that's always a good thing," Lagow said. "He's sleeping. He's eating. He's got a few lingering symptoms, but those are not unexpected at this point."

Best case scenario: Gaven returns to full action in two weeks.

New faces:

The Crew brought Peruvian forward Andres Mendoza as a trialist. Mendoza, 32, has played in Mexico, Belgium and Turkey and was banned from his national team for partying too much during World Cup qualifying.

The New York Red Bulls announced the signing of Mexican national team captain Rafael Marquez, the team's third Designated Player. Marquez joins former Barcelona teammate Thierry Henry, completing a Miami Heat-like coup for the Red Bulls.