Soccer: Connor Senn Memorial Match

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In his brief years on earth, Connor Senn impressed soccer fans with God-given skill and a tireless work ethic. In the decade since his death, Senn has managed to keep inspiring people.

Senn, a Granville native three games into his freshman season at Ohio State, collapsed on the field and died a few hours later from a congenital heart defect. The following season, the Buckeye soccer team faced the Columbus Crew in a springtime exhibition in Senn's honor.

Since then, "Play like Connor today" has become a popular local motto and the Connor Senn Memorial Match an anticipated tradition, raising thousands of dollars annually for a fully endowed scholarship in Senn's name and for additional health research projects.

The 10th annual contest, to be played Tuesday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, pits the Buckeyes against the minor-league Dayton Dutch Lions. It marks the first time the Crew has not appeared in the Senn memorial match.

The Crew opted out of playing this season because the players chose to enforce a clause in Major League Soccer's collective bargaining agreement, technical director Brian Bliss said.

MLS teams can only require players to appear in one free "gated" match per season besides official competitions such as Champions League, U.S. Open Cup and regular season games. After that, players must be compensated in $500, $750 or $1,000 increments depending on the player.

The Crew - which has a home game against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night, by the way - is supporting Senn's memorial fund this season in other ways. The front office attended a benefit event at the Funny Bone earlier this month, and Crew defenders Chad Marshall and Danny O'Rourke will raise money for the fund as guest bartenders 5-7 p.m. Sunday at Fado.

Be there:

Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium

7 p.m. Tuesday, May 3

2450 Fred Taylor Dr., Campus

Kick it:

Columbus Crew vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Crew Stadium

7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30

1 Black and Gold Blvd., North Side