Dutch Lions Move On To Face Crew For Second Straight Season, After 4-1 Overtime Result
A bottom of the barrel Dayton Dutch Lions side defeated the Columbus Crew, in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup, last season.
This year the Dayton Dutch Lions are improved on the field and will be looking forward to a second go at their Major League Soccer neighbors.
Shintaro Harada, has top level experience in Japan and is a veteran at this level; Irakli Khutsidze is a former U-21 player for Georgia.
That duo has led the Dayton Dutch Lions to a 3-2-1 record to start the 2013 USL Pro season, as well as two U.S. Open Cup wins.
Both have started all six games in central midfield, as well as both Open Cup games.
These two players will be raring to make an impression against a Major League Soccer side; There not alone, a bunch of young American players on DDL F.C. will be looking to impress the Crew and online scouts/viewers.
That combined with a front office at DDL F.C. that takes the U.S. Open Cup as a very serious tournament, can be a dangerous trap for a Crew side (looking for a breather).
Owner Mike Mossel really stresses going as far as possible in the tournament for recognition of their brand.
That was apparent in the will shown last season, in their defeat of the Crew in the 3rd Round, despite a disappointing USL Pro campaign.
Harada and Khutsidze are not the only talent the Crew will contend with.
They are joined by quality up top in American Gibson Bardsley (on a tear with 4 goals in 6 games).
Bardsley, similiar to Oduro for Columbus, is on an uptick of goal scoring form so far in 2013.
Joel DeLass is another leader in midfield with two goals, playing all 540 minutes. Gregory Preciado has also played all 540 minutes in defense.
On the other side of things, will the Columbus Crew take this tournament a bit more serious to avoid embarrassment a second time?
Robert Warzycha sides have been lax usually about the U.S. Open Cup.
Eliminated three out of four times at this 3rd Round juncture, but making the final (against Seattle) the one time they made it past this point.
Considering it could be the only chance they have at glory and CONCACAF maybe the Crew should give it a go?
May 29th will be there chance to set the record straight.
Losing in the U.S. Open Cup to lower division opposition has never been a popular move with fans, especially with the Cup being named after former Crew Owner Lamar Hunt.