Crew choices come back to bite them

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Few experiences are more nauseating than seeing an ex lock lips with a new lover. Now imagine that while watching that smooch you tripped and landed on jagged glass shards, and you might approximate what Crew fans felt watching former Crew players score against Columbus in recent weeks.

Eric Brunner, snatched by Portland in last November's expansion draft, headed home the game-winner in Portland's 1-0 win last Saturday. A week before, Steven Lenhart, traded to San Jose for draft picks last January, sent a shot careening off teammate Brandon McDonald's back and into the net to help the Earthquakes shake up the Crew 3-0. (The goal was credited to McDonald, but still.)

These goals were especially painful for the Crew faithful considering Columbus, which has scored only eight goals in 10 games, willingly parted with both guys last winter. It's not the first time former Columbus players have made the team pay. Here are a few notable examples of the phenomenon.

Brian McBride - McBride is the Crew's all-time goals leader and arguably the most beloved player in club history. So it hurt when he opted to play for the archrival Chicago Fire upon returning from the English Premier League in 2008. He scored against Columbus several times after that, each one a dagger to the heart. Most famously, he staked a 1-0 lead for Chicago in the 2008 Eastern Conference championship game, which would have been far more painful had the Crew not come charging back to win 2-1 en route to MLS Cup.

Ante Razov - After butting heads with coach Greg Andrulis (figuratively, we think) in 2005, Razov got shipped to New York after just five games. Less than two weeks later, the all-star forward turned around and scored twice against the Crew in the MetroStars' 3-2 victory at the Meadowlands.

Jeff Cunningham - Though Cunningham is suiting up for Columbus once more, he spent six seasons as a hired gun with several MLS clubs, during which time he always seemed to relish the chance to prove his mettle at Crew Stadium. He did so by scoring his 100th career MLS goal there on Aug. 16, 2008, though the Crew ultimately won 2-1.

Columbus Crew vs. Chivas U.S.A.

Be there:

Crew Stadium

7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 28

1 Black and Gold Blvd., North Side