Ilija Stolica vs. Columbus Crew

Crew 3, Revolution 1

KENNESAW, Ga. – Tommy Heinemann had a pair of goals and Bernardo Anor registered one goal and one assist as the Columbus Crew claimed a 3-1 win over the New England Revolution on Wednesday night in the opening game of the Atlanta Pro Soccer Challenge at Kennesaw State University Soccer Stadium.

Ilija Stolica scored a consolation goal for the Revs, who suffered their first loss of the 2011 preseason after opening with four consecutive wins. Most recently the Revolution had defeated the Crew, 2-1, just four days ago in an exhibition match in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Wednesday night’s meeting with the Crew was part of the Atlanta Pro Soccer Challenge, a round-robin tournament which also includes the Houston Dynamo.

Left back Didier Domi returned for the Revolution after recovering from swelling in his right knee, while fellow newcomers Franco Coria (central defense), Ryan Kinne (right midfield), Stephen McCarthy (central midfield) and A.J. Soares (central defense) maintained their spots in the starting lineup.

On a night when ominous weather threatened to put a damper on the proceedings, Columbus wasted little time jumping out to an early 2-0 lead by scoring with each of its first two shots on target in the 16th and 17th minutes.

Anor struck first for the Crew, which took advantage of a free kick down the left side. The Venezuelan midfielder ghosted into the box and rose unmarked to nod home Robbie Rogers’ in-swinging service, placing his header inside the left post.

Columbus doubled its advantage just seconds later through Heinemann, who capitalized on a miscue from Soares. The rookie center back attempted to play a routine back pass to goalkeeper Matt Reis but didn’t connect as the ball hopped up at the last second, allowing Heinemann to burst into the right side of the box. The Crew forward still had plenty to do and did it expertly, chipping his effort over Reis and dropping it just under the crossbar.

The Revs had a golden chance to cut the deficit in half in the 33rd minute when a counterattack finished with Kinne slotting a pass to Stolica inside the box. The Serb did well to round the keeper but couldn’t convert the chance, lifting his effort over the crossbar with the goal gaping.

Just as Columbus opened the first half on the front foot, the Crew did the same following the halftime break and stretched its lead to 3-0 in the 53rd minute. An extensive string of passes through midfield opened up the Revolution backline, finishing with Anor sliding a pass across the face of goal for Heinemann to tap into an empty net.

Stolica pulled one back for the Revolution in the 62nd minute, capping a fine piece of interplay which involved Chris Tierney, Shalrie Joseph and Zack Schilawski. The final ball came from Schilawski as the second-year forward slipped a clever pass inside to Stolica, who finished high past Crew goalkeeper Alex Riggs from 12 yards out.

Spurred on by the first goal, the Revs continued to push and almost had a second in the 73rd minute. Second-half substitute Sainey Nyassi made easy work of a pair of Crew defenders down the right wing before bursting into the box, but ultimately blasted his effort into the side of the net from close range.

The Revs will conclude the Atlanta Pro Soccer Challenge on Sunday, March 13, when they battle the Houston Dynamo in both clubs’ final preseason match. Kickoff from KSU Soccer Stadium is set for 3 p.m. ET and fans can watch the game live on Comcast SportsNet New England.

New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew
March 9, 2011 – Kennesaw State University Soccer Stadium (Kennesaw, Ga.)

Scoring Summary:
CLB - Bernardo Anor (Robbie Rogers) 16
CLB - Tom Heinemann (unassisted) 17
CLB - Tom Heinemann (Bernardo Anor) 53
NE - Ilija Stolica (Zack Schilawski) 62

New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Didier Domi (Michael Augustine 77), A.J. Soares, Franco Coria, Zak Boggs, Chris Tierney, Shalrie Joseph, Stephen McCarthy (Pat Phelan 64), Ryan Kinne (Sainey Nyassi 64), Zack Schilawski, Ilija Stolica (Kenny Mansally 64)

Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Darrius Barnes, Ryan Cochrane

STATS: Shots: 8; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 7; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 6

Columbus Crew: William Hesmer (Alex Riggs 60), Korey Veeder, Julius James (Josh Gardner 46), Chad Marshall (Ben Sippola 46), Josh Williams, Robbie Rogers (Dilly Duka 46), Eric Gehrig, Leandre Griffit (Santiago Prim 60), Bernardo Anor (Justin Meram 60), Jeff Cunningham (Andy Adlard 46), Tom Heinemann (Bernardo Anor 89)

STATS: Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 8; Saves: 5; Corner Kicks: 1; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 5

Misconduct Summary:
NE – Franco Coria (caution) 78
NE – A.J. Soares (caution) 90

Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Weather: Cloudy, 55 degrees


  • The Revs are now 4-1-0 in their 2011 preseason schedule … tonight’s loss was the team’s first in preseason … the Revs have now out-scored their opponents 8-4 this preseason
  • The match was the first of the three-game Atlanta Pro Soccer Challenge, featuring the Revolution, Columbus Crew and Houston Dynamo … the Crew and Dynamo will play on Friday evening, while the Dynamo and Revs will close the round-robin tournament on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet New England)
  • Ilija Stolica recorded his first goal of the preseason campaign
  • Zack Schilawski picked up his second assist this preseason … he’s now tied with Chris Tierney for the team lead in preseason assists
  • Didier Domi played his first match of the Georgia leg of preseason after missing Sunday’s game against Columbus with knee swelling
  • Three rookies started the match – A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy and Ryan Kinne
  • For the second game in a row, the central defense combo of A.J. Soares and Franco Coria teamed to start the match
  • Ryan Kinne earned the start on the right side of midfield, with Chris Tierney starting on the left side
  • Shalrie Joseph and Stephen McCarthy started for the second game in a row together in the center of midfield
  • Matt Reis went 90 minutes in goal for the second time this preseason … he also went 90 minutes and collected a shutout against FC Dallas on Feb. 23
  • The Revs are now 2-1 against MLS opponents this preseason, having defeated Dallas, 1-0 (Feb. 23), and Columbus, 2-1 (March 6)


Feb. 18 Univ. Central Florida W 2-0
Kinne (ua), Joseph (Tierney)

Feb. 21 U.S. Under-17s W 2-0
Tierney (ua), Phelan (Tierney)

Feb. 23 FC Dallas W 1-0
Nyassi (Schilawski)

March 6 Columbus Crew W 2-1
Nyassi (ua), Schilawski (ua)

March 9 Columbus Crew L 1-3
Stolica (Schilawski)

March 13 Houston Dynamo 3 p.m.