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One Other Pro Game in Town

Posted: February 23, 2008 3:45 a.m.
Updated: April 25, 2008 5:02 a.m.
You think it's cold in Santa Clarita?

Try being in Columbus, Ohio.

Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew don't mind playing here a bit.

The Crew meet Chivas USA tonight at College of the Canyons' Cougar Stadium in the second professional sporting event to run, or cycle, through the Santa Clarita Valley in one day.

Earlier, the Amgen Tour of California cycling race will burn the streets of the SCV.

But the MLS game has its own bit of intrigue.

Two teams - one on the rise, one very youthful - will meet in a preseason tilt that should be ultra competitive.

"We're testing people, making roster decisions on final spots. Guys are looking at starting positions. A lot is at stake for our players," said third-season Crew head coach Sigi Schmid.

The game is a benefit for the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, a local non-profit foundation that gives support to children and families of children facing childhood cancer.

Last season, the Crew tied the Los Angeles Galaxy 1-1 at COC.

Schmid's friendship with Scott Schauer, executive director of the Hoefflin Foundation, helped bring the game to the Santa Clarita Valley - a unique happening since it's one of only three professional sporting events to happen regularly in the SCV.

The Tour of California is also in its second year, and the Champions Tour's AT&T Champions Classic will be making its eighth straight appearance in March at Valencia Country Club.

For the Crew, it's an opportunity to get away from the horrid weather in Columbus. Schmid said his squad likes the opportunity to get away in the preseason.

As for what people will see, Schmid said it will be two teams competing as if it's a regular season game.
"Any time two teams play against each other, there's a reason they're pro athletes. They like to win. There's always that inner juice (to win)," Schmid said.

"Chivas had a very good season last year. We're still a younger team. I certainly think going into the game, you have to give the edge to Chivas. I think we'll give them a run for their money, though."
Tickets are still available for purchase and will be sold at the gates. Gates will open up at 2:30 p.m. and the game will kick off at 5 p.m.


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