Monday, June 27, 2011

Special Report: Heiney Grabs 1st MLS Goal

Former Charleston Battery Forward Tom Heinemann opened his MLS account Sunday as the Columbus Crew dismantled reigning MLS champs the Colorado Rapids in a 4-1 goal festival.  
The budding striker snatched an opportunistic goal that would be one of many on the day.  After a bumpy start to the season, the Crew have finally seemed to find their rhythm.  They are now 6-4-6 and the win moves them into second place in the Eastern Conference standings.  The four goals in Sunday’s match is their best single-game result in nearly three years.  
The game began rather dismally for the Crew as Rapid’s Conor Casey burried a ripping header in only the 5th minute of play.  An exciting first half would see Columbus draw level only seven minutes later as Eddie Gaven seized upon an embarrassing giveaway by the Rapids shoddy defense.  Gaven, through incredible individual effort moved in for the kill and slotted home.  It would take only six more minutes for in-form striker Andres Mendoza to snatch up another awful miscue by the Rapids back line and punish them with a scorching rocket from 18 yards out.  The woes would continue for the MLS champs as Casey was dismissed on the half hour for a rash and dangerous foul on the Columbus GK.  With the lead and an on-field advantage, the Crew ran riot giving the 10,000+ fans a spectacle they would not soon forget.  As the Columbus defense cleared the ball shortly after the restart, the Rapids lost track of Mendoza who zeroed in on the ball and strode nearly half the field and once again made a fool of Matt Pickens, the Colorado GK.  The Crew were not finished and continued to dominate play.  Another great buildup play saw a botched clearance deliver the ball right at Heinemann’s feet who one-touched the ball and sent it trickling past the goal line.  The crowd was delighted and the Crew will look to continue their run as they journey to Pizza Hut Park in Dallas on July 2nd.  Colorado have got a week to pick up the pieces before facing Houston at Dick’s Sporting Goods Field. 
Alonso leads the Seattle midfield
Heinemann is not the first Charleston Battery player to go from this lower division side and thrive in the big leagues.  Cuban international Osvaldo Alonso was drafted by the Seattle Sounders when they joined Major League Soccer as an expansion team several years ago.  He has since become a regular feature and midfield stalwart in their starting eleven.  Alonso has started every single game and boasts nearly 40 shots on the year with two goals this campaign.  He is certainly Seattle’s midfield maestro and a vital part of the squad.

Alonso’s teammate Lamar Neagle has also come most recently from the Charleston Battery.  Having led the league in scoring last season with the Battery, Neagle got the call from Seattle and joined during preseason.  He has started three games and played nine total thus far.  The striker has also found the net for his new club, the Sounders. 
Neagle in Rave Green
Tom Heinemann has had a good year so far with the Columbus Crew.  After an impressive preseason, he is still working has way into the regular starting lineup.  He is a consistent sub for the Crew, providing creativity and power in the final third.  Heinemann has logged 499 minutes so far this season with ten shots on goal.  We Battery fans are delighted to see him doing so well and congratulate him on his first MLS goal.  Go Heiney!!!! 

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