Sports: Crew’s quest for firepower

By Columbus Alive
From the May 3, 2012 edition

Even though the Crew lost 1-0 at home to the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend, the guys in yellow seemed to be getting it together on the pitch. They played like a real professional soccer team, with toughness and beauty and everything you’d want from a soccer team.

Except goals. They didn’t score any goals.

Call it their Achilles heel, the monkey on their back, the millstone around their neck or even the cliche around their ankle. If the Crew can’t score, they’re not going to win.

Thankfully, there were a lot of signs this week that Columbus is in the business of rectifying that. Here’s the good news about the Crew’s budding offensive clout and the bad news that stomped it out. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll storm the gates this Saturday at Portland.

Good news: The Crew had arguably legitimate goals from defender Josh Williams and midfielder Eddie Gaven disallowed in the first six minutes of Saturday’s match.

Bad news: Neither of those goals was scored by a forward.

Good news: Williams and Gaven both nearly scored again — Williams on a bicycle kick, Gaven on a header.

Bad news: People make a big deal about hitting the crossbar, but a miss is a miss. And again, we’re still waiting for similar fireworks from the strikers.

Good news: The Crew started rookie Aaron Schoenfeld, who contributed a sick assist as a sub the week before, in place of Emilio Renteria, who seems to have lost his swag this season.

Bad news: Schoenfeld’s poised physical presence was more effective than Renteria’s bull-in-a-china-shop routine, but zero is still zero.

Good news: The Crew roster also includes potential-laden forwards Ben Speas and Aaron Horton.

Bad news: Speas is injured, and Horton has been loaned to the minor-league Dayton Dutch Lions.

Good news: Columbus acquired forward Jairo Arrieta, who scored 45 goals in the past five seasons for Saprissa in his native Costa Rica.

Bad news: Arrieta can’t suit up for Columbus until FIFA’s international transfer window opens on June 27.