Columbus moves to 4-1-0 on the preseason with another win.
The goals came quickly this afternoon in Orlando as the Crew scored four goals in a comprehensive defeat of Philadelphia in the second of the three scheduled matches at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic. First Round draft pick Ryan Finley opened the scoring, with Ethan Finlay bagging a brace, and Aaron Schoenfeld rounding out the scoresheet.
With three games in eight days, Robert Warzycha chose to start with the reserve team against the Union. Only Finley and Tony Tchani had played with the first team in Florida were on the field to start the game. The Crew started wobbly with the Union getting an early chance, but soon started playing a possession game and testing the inexperienced Philly back line.
Finley would get his goal in the 28th minute off of a Justin Meram feed through to him. Finley cooly rounded the goalkeeper and slotted the ball home. Finlay would redirect a Konrad Warzycha cross into the back of the net in the 39th minute to give the Crew a 2-0 advantage heading into halftime.
The reserve team, bolstered by the addition of Eddie Gaven, would again press the attack. Finlay would collect goal number two on the day off of a Gaven pass just five minutes after halftime. Finlay would add an assist to his brace when he put a cross right on the head of Schoenfeld in the 53rd minute to finish the scoring.
The Crew would make 10 changes in the 61st minute. The full compliment of starters, joining Gaven, entered to close out the rout. This also provided the first look at the possible 2013 starting lineup. Jairo Arrieta and Federico Higuain took their usual spots up front. Dominic Oduro came in on the right with Gaven moving to the left. Agustin Viana and Matias Sanchez provided stability in center midfield. The back line saw Tyson Wahl and Josh Williams play the outside back positions with Glauber and Chad Marshall in central defense in front of Andy Gruenebaum.
The team that closed out the game is likely the staff's first choice lineup. Left back and defensive midfield may not be entirely settled as Viana can play at either spot, but the more interesting shift took place in midfield as the hole at left midfield may be filled by Gaven with Oduro filling in on the right. This is an interesting tactical wrinkle as Gaven, naturally a right footed player, likely would cut inside. This would give Higuain space to drift left, much like he did last season. This could be the extension of what was a budding understanding between the two cerebral players.
Results aren't supposed to matter in preseason, but a 4-0 win will brighten the optimistic outlook of Crew followers. No one was injured, that will please the coaching staff, and everyone got a little more game fitness with opening day two and a half weeks away.