for this game

Crew extend home streak to MLS-record 19

Jul 26, 2009 - 2:42 AM By BOB STEIN STATS MLS Correspondent

COLUMBUS, Ohio (STATS) - Columbus Crew coach Robert Warzycha may soon find himself with the rare luxury of having too many goal-scorers and too few starting spots.

Jason Garey and Steven Lenhart, who have seen their playing time increase in recent weeks due to teammates' injuries and national team call-ups, each scored in the second half and the Columbus Crew set an MLS record by extending their home unbeaten streak to 19 matches with a 3-2 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday night.

The Crew overcame a 2-1 deficit to improve to 13-0-6 at Crew Stadium since a 2-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on June 7, 2008. The Earthquakes held the previous mark of 18, spanning the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

Garey took a pass from Crew captain Frankie Hejduk and headed the ball past Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei nearly two minutes into stoppage time for his fourth goal of the year.

"He put it right on my head," Garey said of Hejduk. "I'm just glad I got it on goal."

Toronto FC coach Chris Cummins was not pleased to see his squad surrender the late goal to Garey.

"I'm disappointed. I'm angry. I'm fuming," Cummins said. "We've thrown the game away, it's as simple as that. They didn't beat us.... Are we going to learn from it? We better start learning."

Columbus took the lead in the 32nd minute, when Danny O'Rourke dribbled around two Toronto defenders to find space in the penalty area. O'Rourke fed the ball to Eddie Gaven, whose shot deflected off Frei's foot and into the back of the net for his third goal of the year.

Three minutes later, Toronto's leading goal scorer Dwayne De Rosario made it 1-all with his seventh tally.

Toronto FC took the lead early in the second half when forwards Chad Barrett and Ali Gerba broke into the Crew penalty area on a fast break that left the Columbus defenders flat-footed. Barrett passed to Gerba, who took the ball near the penalty spot and had time to settle the ball before shooting it past Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer.

Warzycha made two offensive-minded substitutions after Toronto took the lead, inserting scoring threats Emmanuel Ekpo and Adam Moffat.

However, seconds after Moffat took the field in the 73rd minute, Toronto midfielder Pablo Vitti hit a blistering 35-yard shot that caromed off the right goalpost, nearly giving the Canadians a two-goal lead.

But the subs paid off for the Crew as Columbus forward Lenhart netted his second goal of the year in the 76th minute to tie the game at 2.

"In the end we pushed for the win, and we got rewarded," Warzycha said. "The guys played a very good game against a very good team."

Garey and Lenhart each have scored goals in the Crew's last two games, although the pair normally fight for playing time behind league MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto and veteran Alejandro Moreno, both of whom are recovering from injuries.

"It's so much fun to play with (Lenhart)," Garey said. "His goal was so big. It got us back in the game."

Warzycha also has been without the services of Chad Marshall and Robbie Rogers, who are playing with the U.S. national team in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, yet the Crew have six goals in its last two games.

"I think right now we're making the coach's job very difficult," Garey said. "Who is he going to pick? It's a better situation than knowing who he's going to start every game."

The Crew was awarded the Trillium Cup, given to the winner of the season series between Columbus and Toronto.