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Mar 28, 2008 

Crew's Patience Will Be Rewarded...Just Not This Season

Columbus will depend on Argentine midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto to take them to the playoffs


2006 Record: 9-11-10, 37 points (6th in Eastern Conference).
Head Coach: Sigi Schmid.
In: Nicolas Hernandez, Gino Padula, Brian Carroll (SJ), Andy Iro.
Out: Marcos Gonzalez, Kei Kamara (SJ), Jacob Thomas, Andy Herron, Tim Ward, Ned Grabavoy (SJ).

Starting Lineup: Will Hesmer; Frankie Hejduk, Danny O'Rourke, Chad Marshall, Gino Padula; Duncan Oughton, Eddie Gaven, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Robbie Rogers; Alejandro Moreno, Nicolas Hernandez.

Strengths: The Crew midfield could become the league's best really soon. Gaven has been around awhile, but is still only 21, and Robbie Rogers shows glimpse of talent unheard of in this league.

Weaknesses: There really isn't a glaring weakness on this side, but nearly every position other than the midfield is barely average. If something happens to a very serviceable Alejandro Moreno, the Crew's brilliant midfield is going to have problems moving play towards the net.

Outlook: Unlike other situations, the Crew have a plan and Schmid is lucky management has been patient. With Rogers, Gaven and Nicolas Hernandez, things may pay off soon, but not likely this season. Too much is predicated on a few players like Schelotto and Moreno staying healthy and playing well, along with a high amount of flux due to U-23 defections, for Columbus to return to the playoffs.

Prediction: 6th in the Eastern Conference.

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