Things looking up?

Things looking up?

Thanks to Friday's 2-0 win over F.C. Dallas, the Crew is now 1-1-1 and no longer in the Major League Soccer cellar. They also finally got their first goal from the run of play when Eddie Gaven scored in second-half stoppage time. William Hesmer logged his second straight shutout.

Don't book your flight to MLS Cup just yet, but the newfangled Crew is showing some signs of life.

Rog er s announces Europe plans

Crew fans have long butted heads over perennially frustrating/perennially frustrated winger Robbie Rogers. Rogers played a big role in the Crew's 2008 title run but has seen a precipitous drop in production since then, inspiring endless debates among fans.

All that arguing will likely come to an end now that Rogers announced plans to leave for Europe once his Crew contract ends following this season. He told Dispatch reporter Shawn Mitchell he would be OK with being traded or sticking with the Crew, but either way he'll be crossing the Atlantic by the end of the year.

Newcastle returns

The Crew will host the English Premier League's Newcastle United in an exhibition July 26 at Crew Stadium. Season ticket holders should use their "Special Game A" ticket for entry; everyone else can buy tickets starting April 20. Prices start at $24.

This will be Newcastle's second trip to Columbus, following a 2-2 draw with the Crew in 2000.

Newcastle was relegated to the second-tier Championship League after the 2008-09 season but earned promotion back to the Premiership after the 2009-10 campaign. They're ninth out of 20 teams in the current Premier League standings.

Reserve league resurrected

In conjunction with expanding rosters from 24 to 30 players, MLS has reinstated its reserve league this season. That means the Crew's benchwarmers will be notching some competitive minutes and hopefully shoring up the team's depth.

The 18 MLS clubs have been divided into three six-team divisions. The Crew reserves will face each divisional opponent twice for a 10-game reserve season plus an eight-team reserve playoff. They're also adding some extra reserve matches, such as last Saturday's 2-0 win versus St. Louis University.