for this game

Crew play Red Bulls to scoreless tie in Reyna's debut

Apr 8, 2007 - 5:43 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- For one night, renewed optimism was met with bone-chilling resistance.

The Columbus Crew played the New York Red Bulls to a 0-0 tie in a game played in blustery, below-freezing conditions that included snow in the season opener for both teams.

New York's hopes for this season are built around familiar face Clint Mathis and midfielder Claudio Reyna, who signed with the team after a 12-year career in Europe. Mathis played for the team when they were known as the MetroStars.

Another reason for the Red Bulls' enthusiasm is Bruce Arena, who coached both players on the latest U.S. national team. This will be Arena's first full season as New York's coach.

Andy Herron, who was Chicago's MVP in 2005, is a big part of the reason Columbus believes they will be a better, higher-scoring team this season. Columbus scored a franchise-low 30 goals last season.

Unfortunately, neither team was able to generate many scoring opportunities in the cold.

I think it was just a cold-weather game," Columbus coach Sigi Schmid said. "As long as it is not wet and mushy and the wind is not howling. Just because it's cold doesn't mean we can't play soccer. It's not a good game for the fans but I think the people that came out saw a good soccer game.

"Just because it was 0-0 doesn't mean it wasn't exciting. I thought it was a very exciting game."

Red Bulls forward Josmer Altidore spun around a Crew defender a few yards in front of goal in the 40th minute and got off a right-footed shot that was kicked out of bounds by goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.

Ned Grabavoy nearly stole a victory for Columbus in the 88th minute, but his hard, low strike from 20 yards bounced off a post and back into play, where it was kicked out of bounds by teammate Joseph Ngwenya.

"In the second half, we wanted to get the ball to our forwards quicker and I think we did," Schmid said. "We wanted to get behind their midfield four and make them defend and I think we did that. In the second half, we were clearly the better team and we had more chances. We didn't finish them.

"Obviously, there were a couple of great saves by Ronny (Watterreus). We had a couple of unlucky bounces with Ned (Grabavoy) hitting the post. I thought Andy (Gruenebaum) played well and came up with some big saves."

I thought it was a good game," Arena said. "Each team had some scoring chances, ours came in the first half and they had a couple in the second half. I thought we played well and controlled things pretty well. We would have liked three points but given the conditions and this being the first game of the year, we are happy to get out of here with one point."

Dema Kovalenko was given the game's only yellow card for his hard challenge against Crew midfielder Duncan Oughton near the center circle in the 19th minute.

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