Now entering his seventh year as the radio play-by-play announcer for Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew, Neil Sika has also spent the past nine years providing coverage of numerous NCAA Division I athletics.
Additionally, he has worked several national and regional events on television (Big Ten Network, STO, TWC) and radio (Monarch Sports).
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It appeared the Crew would be earning a point against the New England Revolution after the score remained deadlocked at 0-0 after 90 minutes, but then two stoppage-time goals from the Revs left the Black & Gold empty-handed and sick to their stomachs at the end of the night.
The first tally came from a Jose Goncalves header that slipped through the hands of Crew 'keeper Andy Gruenebaum in the 91st minute. Three minutes later, Diego Fagundez sealed the Black & Gold's fate as he finished off the Revolution offensive spurred from Lee Nguyen's dispossessing of Federico Higuaín 30 yards from goal.
"These goals weren't goals where they broke us down or anything like that," midfielder Wil Trapp said. "They were just kind of a set-piece and one was a bad giveaway. That's the most frustrating part, I'd say."
The Crew nearly went ahead from Ben Speas just moments before Goncalves' eventual winner, but the winger's attempt was just off the mark. The Black & Gold managed just two shots on goal all evening to help New England netminder Bobby Shuttleworth to his League-leading ninth shutout of 2013.
"It hurts," winger Ben Speas said after the match. "We were pushing. It felt like we had a good rhythm. It felt like we were the ones that were going to get [the winner]. Then, in the end, they end up sneaking it in. It's very frustrating and we'll do everything we can to fix it. We've got to keep attacking, creating those chances and put them away."
The loss drops the Crew to eighth place in the Eastern Conference following the Chicago Fire's 4-1 win on Saturday over D.C. United. Columbus will look to rebound next week as it travels to Toronto FC for the second match of the 2013 Trillium Cup Series presented by Scott's Lawn Care.
"We can't dwell on it, it's over now," Trapp said.
"All we have to do is try to pick up three points in the rest of our games, really. We have to move on and into the playoffs."