for this game

Defending champion Crew still looking for first win

Apr 4, 2009 - 10:38 PM By Nicolino DiBenedetto Stats Writer

Columbus (0-1-2) at Chivas (2-0-0), 8:00 p.m. EDT

CARSON, California (AP) -- Just five months after winning their first MLS Cup, the Columbus Crew are still searching for their first win of 2009 and coming off a stunning defeat.

The Crew hope Frankie Hejduk's expected return can help them halt their winless streak when they visit unbeaten CD Chivas USA on Sunday night.

Columbus (0-1-2) began last season by winning six of its first seven games en route to a 3-1 victory over New York in the MLS Cup on November 23. However, the team hasn't won since.

The Crew started 2009 with a pair of ties before losing 4-1 at Real Salt Lake on Thursday in a game marred by errors and a hat trick by Robbie Findley.

"I think we have to forget as soon as possible that we were the champions last year," coach Robert Warzycha said. "We need to forget about it, start to work hard and get some results."

The Crew haven't opened a season winless in four games since going 0-3-2 to start 2004. However, that season Columbus ended up winning the Supporters' Shield for the best record in the regular season before being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

Warzycha could have Hejduk back in the lineup. The captain hasn't played since a season-opening 1-1 tie at Houston on March 21. He left the Crew after being called up for the United States national team for a pair of World Cup qualifiers.

In one of those games, Hejduk scored a goal and added an assist in the final 13 minutes to help the U.S. rally to a 2-2 tie at El Salvador on March 28.

The Crew split two meetings with Chivas USA (2-0-0) last season with each team winning at home. The Crew fell 2-0 at The Home Depot Center on May 31.

Chivas is looking to extend its winning streak to three after beating FC Dallas 2-0 on the road last Sunday. This is the first time Chivas has started a season with consecutive wins.

Eduardo Lillingston, who was signed from Mexican club Tecos last month, hopes to show some consistency after scoring a goal against Dallas. The forward was ineffective in a 2-1 win over Colorado on March 21 and was substituted at halftime.

"It's better, I think the whole team played better (last Sunday)," coach Preki said. "When the whole team plays better we're hoping that he plays better.

"We knew that he had experience in Mexico and he's played quite a few games and we're hoping that he can come here and help us be better."

Preki is also looking for some production from Sacha Kljestan, who is expected to return to the lineup after playing with Hejduk for the U.S. The midfield playmaker was held to two shots March 21 after scoring five goals with a team-high seven assists in 22 games last year.

Kljestan has a goal and an assist in six games against Columbus.






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    Crew SC 1, Chivas USA 2  FinalApr 6 12:46 AM


  • MLS
    COLUMBUS 1
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    Apr 5 10:09 PM


  • MLS CORRECTION
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    CHIVAS 2
    COLUMBUS SUBSTITUTION: Jed Zayner for Chad Marshall
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    Apr 5 10:06 PM


  • MLS
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    CHIVAS 2 FINAL

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  • MLS UPDATE
    COLUMBUS 1
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    CHIVAS GOAL: Eduardo Lillingston in the 50th minute

    Crew SC 1, Chivas USA 2  2nd - 50'Apr 5 9:14 PM


  • MLS
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    Apr 5 8:53 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    COLUMBUS 1
    CHIVAS 1
    COLUMBUS GOAL: Andy Iro in the 37th minute

    Crew SC 1, Chivas USA 1  1st - 37'Apr 5 8:44 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    COLUMBUS 0
    CHIVAS 1
    CHIVAS GOAL: Atiba Harris in the 25th minute

    Crew SC 0, Chivas USA 1  1st - 25'Apr 5 8:32 PM