Donkeys sleepwalk through tie with Crew
June 28, 2006

New York Columbus

06.28.06 · League

In a performance of pathetic proportions, the Red Donkeys started the sure-to-be-short Richie Williams era with a lethargic scoreless draw against Columbus. The tie, their eighth of the year, keeps the Donkeys somewhat afloat, but doesn't mask the sorry state of this poorly assembled team, as they failed to perform against an injury-riddled, star-devoid, and offensively-challenged Crew.

With Mark Lisi sidelined and needing surgery, the now-healthy Amado Guevara made his return to the lineup. That was the only change from the weekend's drubbing in Chicago; apparently, status quo on the field is fine in Donkey land even as the man on the sidelines changes. And the boring and drab first half ended with no real chances for either team.

There was not much in the second as well; Columbus hit the post, then Guevara sprung Edson Buddle with a perfect pass, with Buddle blowing a one-on-one by missing wide. In the last five minutes of the match, the Donkeys finally started to realize that there are points to be won and lost here, but it was too little to late.

It's amazing what difference a few months make, and now we're not talking about the off-the-field changes. Last year's team, for all its shortcomings, was a solid squad, who was very rarely outplayed, scored their share of goals, and played entertaining soccer in most, if not all of the matches. This year's edition is just sad. Players playing out of position, players not playing well with each other, players standing around waiting for something to happen. No depth. No energy. No desire. Just status quo in land of the Donkeys.

Alexi Lalas and Mo Johnston are both gone, but the stench they left will remain with this franchise for a long time. And it reeks.

Lineup: Meola, Jolley, Mendes, Parke, O'Rourke, Stammler, Henderson, Guevara, Djorkaeff, Buddle, Peguero. Subs: Magee, Wynne.

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