The Crew resume battle, but several of the team already kicked off weekend action as the Dayton Dutch Lions traveled to Charlotte, NC on Friday night for the club's second road match to start the USL PRO season. What a difference a week makes. With all four of the available players from the Columbus Crew in the starting lineup, the Dutch Lions were able to upend the Eagles 1-0. The boys from Columbus did their part to ensure the victory.
- Aaron Schoenfeld (F) - Started the match at center forward and came off in the 90th minute. He seemed to get a little frustrated at times in the first half, but was able to shake it off like a professional. Schoenfeld was hard for the Eagles' defense to handle, and he proved dangerous around the net with both his head and his feet. One his shot's hit the post, and another strike went just wide. A well-executed header seemed destined to find its mark, but the goalkeeper made a pretty spectacular save.
- Matt Walker (M) - Played for 67 minutes as an attacking mid. It was another solid shift for Walker. Helped the Dutch Lions to control the midfield for long stretches of the match. It was evident by the decisions he made that Walker has good field vision and creativity.
- Ross Friedman (D) - Occupied the right back for 89 minutes. It's likely that his involvement in the attack will be mentioned as much as anything else as throughout the season. Friedman serves a beautiful cross, and it was on display in Charlotte on Friday night. He tallied his first assist as a professional player by delivering a marvelous corner that was redirected by Brock Granger for the game winner.
- Kevan George (D) - Played the full 90' at center back for the Dutch Lions for the second match in a row. George was an integral piece of the defensive unit that posted the shutout. He placed himself in good position and was able to clear several balls that came his way. He was beaten in a 1v1 situation on the flank, but he had the wherewithal to commit the tactical foul to stop an attack that could have lead to the equalizer. Dutch Lions goalkeeper, Matt Williams, described George as a "monster, which is incredible because he's playing out of position."
It's going to be interesting to see how the relationship between the Crew and the Dutch Lions manifests itself as the season progresses. After just two weeks into the USL PRO season, there has been a fair amount of shuffling of players back and forth between Columbus and Dayton.
Schoenfeld and Fifi Baiden joined the original five loanees (Ryan Finley, Walker, Friedman, George, and Brad Stuver) for the Dutch Lions' season-opener to help, in part, with injuries. It was Schoenfeld, though, and not Finley who featured with Dayton on Friday in Charlotte. Stuver didn't make the trip with the Dutch Lions either.
One is left to wonder what mitigating circumstances brought about the change and if the shuffling will continue. In the mean time, Crew supporters can be proud of the work that their boys have done, and Dutch Lions fans can relish the victory.
For additional thoughts and analysis on Dayton Dutch Lions FC, visit at Reckless Challenge, where I and a passionate staff cover all of USL PRO.