Crew v. NE: Cramming for Primetime (Picks)

Sorry for the very, very late entry, but I've got to put down my marker for tonight's league game between the Columbus Crew and the New England Revolution, which will play in Columbus.

There's always the official preview, those stats-laden beasts that say so much while sounding as much like an accountant's ledger as anything. Someone, please, slip some hallucinogens into the coffee at Major Leauge Soccer (MLS) HQ...

ESPN, for their part, carried MLS's water as promised and posted a nicely-written hit of hype by the ever-sharp Jeff Carlisle; plenty of good stuff in there from players to watch to tactical business. Carlisle also had the tact (or professional motivation) to gloss over the likelihood that this could be a snoozer; whichever it was, it didn't apply to's Ian Plenderleith, who takes a somewhat more hopeful tack in looking at tonight's action:

"This week, I just don't think it feasible for a team to play a third successive 0-0 game. Please. Remember, there are people out there watching."

Too right, Ian, but don't hold your breath. At least that's what I've come up with for my two contributions to the previewing game. In my capacity as a Columbus Crew beat writer for The Offside I turned in a somewhat sprawling and justifiably Crew-focused preview; it contains my thoughts on what the Ohio team needs to do to break their duck. I may be wrong - hell, I probably am wrong - but I think the enthusiasm is evident at the least. Still, I don't think the Crew will score tonight, a charge I repeated in a general preview of Week 3's action for Write On Sports.

Seeing as I finagled time off to watch this game, I sincerely hope I'm wrong. I don't so much care who wins, so long as someone does something to make the time off and money I plan on drinking worthwhile.

The fact that I blew the call on last night's game - I picked KC (dammit) - takes my predictions record to an increasingly feeble 6-8. In the hopes of improving on that, I'm making what Plenderleith dubbed "a coward's forecast" and calling this one a scoreless draw.

Prove me wrong, you assholes.


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