for this game

Crew extend home unbeaten streak to 18 games

Jul 19, 2009 - 3:20 AM By BOB STEIN STATS MLS Correspondent

COLUMBUS, Ohio (STATS) - While matching a league record is quite an accomplishment, Columbus Crew coach Robert Warzycha doesn't want his team to be consumed by it either.

The Crew extended their home unbeaten streak to an MLS-record tying 18 games as Jason Garey scored twice in a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.

Steven Lenhart also found the back of the net for Columbus (6-3-9), which improved to 12-0-6 during its run at Crew Stadium. The streak matches San Jose's MLS mark, set in 2004 and '05.

Warzycha said the run is not something his team is focused on.

"We try to win every game ... we don't think about records," he said. "But it's something that (when) you finish the season ... it's nice to read about."

Raphael Cox scored his first career goal for Real Salt Lake (5-7-5), which had its five-game unbeaten streak snapped.

Columbus was without reigning league MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto and 2008 defender of the year Chad Marshall. Schelotto is recovering from a hamstring injury and Marshall is with the U.S National Team in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Schelotto leads MLS with 10 goals this season and was named an All-Star starter along with Marshall earlier this week.

"You can win the starting spot when someone gets injured, and that's what happened this time," Warzycha said of Garey and Lenhart. "That was an opportunity for those guys to step up and show what they can do. Knowing that, the next game, I know that both of them can step on the field and be very successful."

Lenhart's second goal of the year came in the 23rd minute and followed passes from Frankie Hejduk and Duncan Oughton, who was making his first start of the season for the Crew.

Garey extended Columbus' lead in the 31st minute, finishing from close range after Real Salt Lake failed to clear Lenhart's header from inside the penalty area. Garey padded the score with a pretty goal in the 53rd minute, combining on a give-and-go with Lenhart before beating RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

"It was a heck of a lot of fun," said Garey, who has three goals this season. "I love playing with Steven. I think this is the first time we've played together in an actual MLS game. I thought we did pretty well. We were a handful the whole night."

Speedy Salt Lake forwards Yura Movsisyan and Robbie Findley had one-on-one scoring opportunities stopped by Columbus goalkeeper William Hesmer, now 2-0-2 after returning from knee and back injuries that sidelined him for nine games.

"We created the right number of chances, no doubt about it," said Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis. "Some pretty clear-cut chances as well. ... It was a difficult, difficult night for us."

Cox scored in the 76th minute.

Salt Lake was without forward Fabian Espindola due to a suspension for earning a red card in a 1-all draw with San Jose on July 3.

RSL's Tony Beltran, Robbie Russell and Ned Grabavoy were shown yellow cards by referee Abiodun Okulaja. The Crew's Danny O'Rourke was booked in the 72nd minute.