Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Crew has picked a good time to
be in its best form of the season as the club puts its three-match winning
streak on the line against Sporting Kansas City at Crew Stadium on Saturday.
Having struggled to string together a good run of results for much of the
season, the Crew has won its last three games to move to within one point of a
The team's 4-2 win over FC Dallas last time out continued the good run of
results the club has achieved under interim head coach Brian Bliss, who saw
his record improve to 4-1-0 since taking over for Robert Warzycha.
Columbus has scored 11 goals in the five matches under Bliss, and the boss
knows that despite his side's recent surge, the wins must continue.
"The ball's in our court a little bit. We're putting some pressure on the
teams ahead of us," Bliss said after the win over FCD. "Our guys feel good
about our game, they feel good about each other, they feel good about
themselves individually. We've just got to carry this momentum and keep
The Crew has played one more game than many of the other contenders in the
Eastern Conference, so a setback would be a huge blow to the late-season surge
Bliss and his side has mounted.
Sporting was on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline at home against Philadelphia
last Friday, a result that snapped a three-game winning streak for the team.
The result left Sporting four points back of Eastern Conference leaders Red
Bull New York, but despite the disappointing score, head coach Peter Vermes
couldn't fault the effort of his team.
"I don't have any negative comments when it comes to the players' commitment
on the field, their work ethic, and the opportunities they created," Vermes
said. "All that was great. But on the attack side, we just weren't clinical
enough to score. And you need to score. You need to put the ball in the back
of the net."
Sporting scored seven goals in its three previous wins combined so a return to
form in front of net will go a long way toward getting the team back into the
A victory over Columbus combined with a few other results going the right way
could see Sporting clinch a playoff spot, but for now the focus will be on
getting back to winning ways over the final four games, with three those of
those contests coming on the road.
The Sports Network