Work in Sports
East Locker Room
Crew players give hometown crowd reason to cheer
By Steve Almasy, CNNSI.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Crew players had, for most of the match, an enjoyable day on their home field. Forwards Dante Washington and Brian McBride had two goals and three assists between them, and defender Mike Clark held his own.
After scoring, Washington and McBride jumped the boards and ran to the North Enders, a group that regularly sits in that section.
"The referee told me I had a little time," Washington said, "so I ran over there. That's what it's all about. It's good to give something to the fans."
It was on offense that Clark felt the anguish of missing an open goal in front of 23,495 of his closest friends, the Crew faithful. In the 88th minute it appeared he would cap the East win when McBride slotted a pass to Clark alone on the left side. Clark missed wide left.
"He's not paid to score goals," McBride joked, "but he's kicking himself a little bit."
The other MVPIn a 9-4 game, one goalie stood out in a good way. Scott Garlick managed to keep a clean sheet for his 45 minutes despite some intense pressure.
Garlick had seven saves, including four in the final 20 minutes. He said that he was prepared to get shelled due to the nature of all-star games, especially with two of the previous four contests being offensive affairs.
"You kinda go in thinking there is going to be a lot of chances," he said. "If you stop them great; if not, so what."
Garlick was indeed pleased with his performance, enough to try to wrest away Mamadou Diallo's MVP trophy when the two sat down for postgame interviews. Diallo smiled and let his regular-season teammate hold the trophy for a few minutes.
The seven saves were an All-Star Game record.
Stoppage timeJay Heaps, who scored one goal and missed on another golden opportunity ("I got too cute with it."), gave away one of his two jerseys after the game. "It's a kid who was on the same plane flight I was on the other day from Chicago," Heaps said. "I saw him at all the events this week." ... Commissioner Don Garber once again lauded the stadium and the city of Columbus. "The people [in the city and with the Crew] have exceeded our expectations," he said. ... Carlos Valderrama has an All-Star Game assist record to go with his regular-season mark of 20 he set a few weeks ago. He had four second-half assists to tie Cobi Jones (four first-half assists) for the best all-time performance.