On the second night of the Atlanta Pro Soccer Challenge the Houston Dynamo and Columbus Crew squared off. It was another chilly night with temps in the low 40′s. Both teams started out of the gate fast with several goal scoring chances on both sides. In the 22nd minute a handball in the box gave Jeff Cunningham the oppourtunity to put the crew on the board early. Unfortunately for Cunningham Houston GK Tally Hall guessed right. Literally, with a diving save to his right he deflected Cunninghams shot wide.
It wasn’t until the 34 minute that the Columbus Crew’s newly crowned Designated Player, Andres Mendoza, scored the games first and only goal of the game. In the second half of the game the tempo slowed and became more of a defensive battle with fewer offensive opportunities. It was still a great match and my two biggest takeaways are 1) I’ve always heard MLS is a “physical” league. But TV doesn’t do it justice, once you see it live you understand. 2) I could get used to this. It’s been great having these matches but to have our own team in Atlanta would be incredible.
After the game Will Hesmer and several other Columbus Crew players hung out in the cold and signed autographs and took pictures with the fans. It was a great jesture and a moment those fans will remember forever. As far as the number of fans are concerned the attendance was improved over Wednesday’s game but still not to the level it should be for these games. Hopefully Sunday will be the day that the fans come out and the stadium fills up.
Have you been to a game yet? What did you think?