Crew Cuts: William Hesmer

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

William Hesmer was a beast Saturday, but he swears it's all in a day's work.

Hesmer, the Crew's starting goalkeeper since 2007, didn't have to make a ton of saves in the Crew's 1-0 win over Chivas U.S.A., but that's partly because he was diffusing the attacks before his opponents could manage to shoot. Hesmer was constantly bursting out of his net to smother dangerous passes.

"I did a good job of coming and cutting off balls off the line, winning through balls, little stuff like that," Hesmer said.

He also got a couple big assists from defender Gino Padula, who cleared two shots off the goal line in the 60th minute.

Pitching a shutout was especially encouraging coming after the May 8 match against New England, when Hesmer's split-second brain fart caused him to let a Zack Boggs shot slip underneath him and into the net for a 1-0 lead. Boggs later beat Hesmer and the Crew defense with a clinical strike for New England's second goal.

"The first goal was weak, for sure," Hesmer said.

Other than that gaffe, Hesmer has been steadfast in the net so far this season, just as he was as one of the Crew's labor representatives during negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement in the offseason. Hesmer's reputation took a beating from fans who thought the players were being too stubborn.

"I understand that's how it goes. When you get out there and you're fighting for those types of things, people are going to have their opinions," Hesmer said. "The only thing that bothered me is when people would make arguments or comments toward me when the facts were completely wrong."

The facts are that ultimately the players and MLS came to a satisfying compromise for now.

"I'm pleased with the agreement to a certain extent," Hesmer said. "We gave where we needed to give to make sure there wasn't a work stoppage. We all felt that a work stoppage would be hugely disastrous for this league."

William Hesmer's favorite things:

Band: Widespread Panic - "I've seen them 10 times, and I'm super-pumped this year because they're playing the LC and it's right in my backyard."

TV show: "24"

Movie: "The Big Lebowski"

Restaurant: Marcella's

Sports team: Atlanta Braves

Columbus Crew at New York Red Bulls

8 p.m. Thursday, May 20


Columbus Crew at Kansas City Wizards

4 p.m. Sunday, May 23