Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
After a three week break in Major League Soccer action, both FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew showed that they still need some more time before they hit fifth gear.
On a hot and muggy afternoon at Crew Stadium, neither side could find a goal as the match finished in a scoreless draw. The match was moved to Sunday at 2 p.m. after being postponed due to a fan being injured during an inclement weather delay just prior to the original kickoff time at 8 p.m. on Saturday evening.
Despite the conditions, the game was not devoid of chances. However, glaring errors on both sides kept the ball from going in, as well as strong performances from FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges, Crew defender Eric Gehrig, and Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark.
Both teams were missing key players for the match, though FC Dallas may have felt the recent loss of Fabian Castillo and Blas Perez to suspension more than the injury issues through midfield.
Rookie forward Tesho Akindele had two chances that were begging to be put home, but somehow couldn’t finish either of them. Teammate Andres Escobar drove down the left side of the box in the 52nd minute and found a space between Gehrig and Crew centerback Michael Parkhurst to play a ball to Akindele. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Akindele somehow pushed his shot wide.
Five minutes later, Akindele again had a chance in front of goal after a great ball was played in from the right by Je-Vaughn Watson but the rookie somehow fired his shot over the bar.
Crew forward Jairo Arrieta, who worked hard all day to hold the ball up for his teammates, was equally poor in front of goal. His worst miss came in the 84th minute, when winger Alvaro Rey sent a ball in to Arrieta and after his first attempt was blocked, Arrieta’s second attempt was slammed into the side netting, despite only needing to just lift it above the goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
When the final whistle blew, both head coaches – Gregg Berhalter of the Crew and Oscar Pareja of FC Dallas – shook their heads and went to shake hands halfway down the sideline, knowing that the outcome was two points dropped for their squads.