22813_higuainfedericoisi_mlsgb091912012 Greg Bartram/isiphotos.com
MLS Preview

The Columbus Crew in One Word: "Aggressive"

We continue our MLS team previews built around a one-word descriptor with one of the league's original franchises. Will aggressive off-season moves pay off for the new-look Crew?
BY Matt Thacker Posted
February 28, 2013
1:45 PM
Columbus Crew head coach Robert Warzycha has never managed to escape the shadow of former boss Sigi Schmid, but with his most talented team in years, opportunity knocks.

General manager Mark McCullers believes the Crew can compete for MLS Cup this year. You rarely, if ever, hear those types of statements from a team that missed the playoffs, but Columbus has good reason to feel optimistic. Last summer, newcomer Federico Higuaín took the league by storm with five goals and seven assists in 13 matches despite being slowed by a foot injury, while Jairo Arrieta scored nine goals in 18 matches.

But the front office did not rest. During the off-season, the Crew added several new South Americans—defender Gláuber and defensive-minded midfielders Agustín Viana and Matías Sánchez. Higuaín, Arrieta, Eddie Gaven and newcomer Dominic Oduro could score plenty of goals and create nightmares for opposing teams, but the Crew’s defense looks vulnerable, especially if Chad Marshall continues to struggle with injuries.

EXPECTED FINISH: 3rd in Eastern Conference. With so many new faces, a slow start is expected, but the team should get better throughout the year.

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