Notching a goal and an assist for the second week in a row, Crew winger Justin Meram was named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week following the club's 3-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo. Despite the convincing win in Week 24, Meram is the Black & Gold's lone representative on the Team of the Week. Goalkeeper Steve Clark was named Honorable Mention.
The Crew's Steve Clark, Giancarlo Gonzalez and Tony Tchani were named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week following Saturday's 4-1 win over the LA Galaxy. With three players on the list in Week 23, it's the Black & Gold's highest total of the season. Justin Meram was named honorable mention.
Winger Ethan Finlay was an offensive threat throughout the Crew's Independence Day clash with the Colorado Rapids, eventually netting the equalizer in the 76th minute to help the Black & Gold to a point on the road. For his efforts, Finlay was named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week for Week 17. The honor is the first of Finlay's career.
For his efforts in helping the Black & Gold to back-to-back draws against Real Salt Lake and D.C. United, defender Michael Parkhurst was named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week for Week 14. This marks the second time in 2014 the Crew Captain has earned the accolade after he helped his club blank D.C. United, 3-0, in Week One. Goalkeeper Steve Clark and midfielder Ethan Finlay were named Honorable Mention following the multi-fixture week.
In its first tune-up for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Costa Rica fell to Japan, 3-1, Monday night in Tampa, Fla. as Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa found the winner for Japan in the 80th minute. The Crew's Giancarlo Gonzalez played all 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in the defeat, while leftback Waylon Francis did not see action for Costa Rica.
Los Ticos continue their preparation for Brazil on Friday in a friendly against Ireland at PPL Park in Chester, Penn. TheCrew.com will be on the ground with full coverage of the match.
PHOTO: Action Images
Following Saturday's 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire, Crew defender Eric Gehrig and forward Federico Higuaín were named to Sports Illustrated's Week 12 Best XI. In his first appearance of the season, the fourth-year defender Gehrig stepped into central defense to help the Black & Gold to their second shutout of 2014 in the victory. Coming off MLS Player of the Week honors, Higuaín continued a stand-out May with assists to Ethan Finlay and Jairo Arrieta to lift the Crew at home.
In a surprise move, Jairo Arrieta stepped up to the spot against the Red Bulls to convert the penalty drawn moments before by Justin Meram on Saturday night. It marked just the second time since Federico Higuaín joined the Crew in August 2012 that someone other than the Argentine has taken a spot kick in game action. A similar move occured earlier this year in the Crew's 4-1 preseason win over Sporting Kansas City in which Arrieta and Higuaín elected to have Arrieta take -- and convert -- the penalty.
After the match, Sporting Director and Head Coach revealed that he lets his players decide who should take penalties in game action.
"[Arrieta and Higuaín] decided [who would take it] between themselves," Berhalter said. "Jairo wanted to get off the mark, he was anxious to score, and it was good that he took it and made it."
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Only in his third season with the Black & Gold, Higuaín is just four penalties short of Guillermo Baros Schelotto's club record for spot kicks taken and two tallies shy of Brian McBride's Crew record for penalty kick goals.
Dayton Dutch Lions FC fell 5-1 at home to the Richmond Kickers over the weekend. Crew loanee Kevan George went the full 90 minutes at centerback for the home side, while Aaron Schoenfeld and Ryan Finley each saw action in the Dutch Lions' attack.
Dayton returns to action on Sunday when it hosts the Charleston Battery.
Thanks to Wil Trapp and Hector Jimenez's late-game heroics to rescue a point at home for the 10-man Crew against D.C. United over the weekend, the Black & Gold stood firm in this week's Power Rankings. The Crew slipped slightly on MLSsoccer.com and Sports Illustrated's Planet Fútbol lists, while moving up one spot in ESPNFC's rankings. See the full rankings below.
MLSsoccer.com: 6 (5)
ESPNFC: 5 (6)
Forward Aaron Schoenfeld drew -- and converted -- a first-half penalty kick to help Dayton Dutch Lions FC to a 1-0 victory over the Harrisburg City Islanders at Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg on Saturday. Fellow loanee Kevan George played the entire 90 minutes, while Ryan Finley came on as a second-half substitute.
The Dutch Lions are 2-1-1 on the season and third on the USL-PRO table after four matches.