The Crew and Rapids met just one time last season as the Black & Gold fell at Dick's Sporting Goods Park to open 2012. Before the two sides meet at Crew Stadium on Saturday, let's look back at the match from last year.
Returning to where the 2011 season ended with an early MLS Cup Playoffs exit, the Crew traveled to Colorado to start the 2012 season. Though the cast had changed, the Black & Gold faced a similar result falling 2-0. Drew Moor and Quincy Amarikwa each scored for the Rapids from a pair of Kosuke Kimura assists just before the halftime and full-time whistles. Milovan Mirosevic led the Crew offensively, getting off two attempts on Matt Pickens' goal.
As a result of the Crew's impressive showing in Saturday's 3-0 victory against D.C. United, the Black & Gold moved up in three national media outlets' Power Rankings. Columbus jumped four spots in MLSSoccer.com and Soccer by Ives' rankings thanks in-part to Team of the Week performances from Jairo Arrieta and Danny O'Rourke. The only outlet in which the Crew did not move up the board was in ProSoccerTalk's rankings.
MLSSoccer.com: 6th (10th)
ProSoccerTalk: 11th (11th)
ESPNFC: 8th (11th)
Soccer By Ives: 8th (12th)
*Sports Illustrated's Power Rankings were not available as of Wednesday afternoon
The Crew's starting midfield of Dominic Oduro, Danny O'Rourke, Tony Tchani and Eddie Gaven in last week's 3-0 win against D.C. United could go unchanged ahead of Saturday's match against the New York Red Bulls (4:00 p.m. ET/NBC Sports Network) after a strong performance against United. If Robert Warzycha does keep the same four players in the midfield, all four players will be facing their former team. Each midfielder has spent time at some point in his career with Major League Soccer's New York franchise, whether it be the Red Bulls or MetroStars incarnation.
A newcomer to the Crew, Dominic Oduro has already played more than double the matches for the Black & Gold than he did for the Red Bulls. The Ghanaian speedster was briefly with New York during the 2009 season, in-between stints with FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo.
Traded to the Red Bulls from the San Jose Earthquakes following his rookie season, O'Rourke appeared 28 times during the 2006 season for New York. The following offseason, O'Rourke was taken in the 2006 Expansion Draft by Toronto FC. Before he ever moved to Toronto, the Crew acquired the midfielder and goalkeeper William Hesmer for partial allocation. The rest is history.
Selected 2nd overall by the Red Bulls in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Tchani made 29 appearances for New York before being traded to Toronto FC in exchanged for Dwayne De Rosario in 2011. Tchani was dealt again in the 2011 season to the Crew for Andy Iro and Leándre Griffit. He has gone on to make 27 appearances for the Black & Gold.
The then-New York/New Jersey MetroStars selected 16-year-old Eddie Gaven 12th overall in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft. Following three seasons, the MetroStars traded Gaven to Columbus in exchange for Edson Buddle. Gaven has gone on to make over 200 appearances for the Crew since 2006.
|PLAYER||With CLB (Win pct.)||With NY (Win pct.)|
|Dominic Oduro||8 Appearances - 4 Goals, 0 Assists (.563)||3 App - 0 G, 0 A (.167)|
|Danny O'Rourke||133 App. - 0 G, 7 A (.598)||28 App - 0 G, 2 A (.482)|
|Tony Tchani||27 App - 2 G, 2 A (.500)||29 App - 1 G, 3 A (.569)|
|Eddie Gaven||205 App - 35 G, 24 A (.543)||69 App - 16 G, 12 A (.486)|
The Crew will look to rebound from two disappointing losses against the Red Bulls last season when the two sides meet on Saturday (4:00 p.m. ET/NBC Sports Network). Here is a look back at the 2012 edition of the Columbus versus New York matchup.
A Kenny Cooper brace within the first 15 minutes of the match spelled doom early for the Black & Gold. Thierry Henry added two more as the Crew fell 4-1. The late Kirk Urso earned the only assist of his career, finding an open Chad Marshall on a late corner kick.
A third-minute goal from Milovan Mirosevic wasn't enough to help the Crew to a road result as Henry once again tallied twice and added an assist against the Black & Gold. The Crew was without newcomer Federico Higuaín for most of the match as the Argentine rested a sore heel, but entered as a substitute in the 90th minute.
It's no surpise that three of Major League Soccer's most prolific scorers in Jeff Cunningham, Jaime Moreno and Brian McBride have done the most damage in the long-standing rivalry between the Columbus Crew and D.C. United. During his time with the Black & Gold, McBride tallied 11 times against United in the rivalry's early days. Moreno was always a thorn in the Crew's side for United, finding the net 15 times in 37 career regular season matches with D.C. against Columbus. As MLS' all-time leading scorer, Cunningham scored five times against D.C. United while playing with the Crew. In total, Cunningham scored 11 times against United.
Eddie Gaven leads all active Crew players with two goals in the rivalry. Gaven also tallied twice against United with the NY/NJ MetroStars, including his first career goal coming on a game-winner against D.C. after entering the match as an emergency goalkeeper. Both of Gaven's goals for the Black & Gold have come in the Crew's last five matches against United.
On the D.C. side, forward Carlos Ruiz has scored 10 times against the Black & Gold. In his first season with United, he has yet to score against the Crew for the Black-and-Red. Six current United players have each scored one goal in the rivalry.
All-Time Leading Scorers vs. D.C. United
*Active player, Played for Crew
|3||Brian McBride (11 with Crew)||12|
|4||Jeff Cunningham (5 with Crew)||11|
All-Time Leading Scorers vs. Columbus Crew
*Active player, Played for D.C. United
|2||Jaime Moreno (All with D.C.)||15|
|3||Raul Diaz Arce (5 with D.C.)||12|
|5||Carlos Ruiz* (0 with D.C.)||10|
In case you'd forgotten, the Crew and D.C. United met almost exactly a month ago in the Nation's Capital. Josh Williams and Ben Speas scored to snap United's 18-match home-unbeaten streak as Andy Gruenebaum made several miraculous second half saves to seal the 2-1 victory.
The win wasn't without controversy, however. It appeared D.C. midfielder Kyle Porter had scored just before halftime to put United up 2-1 at the break. But after a few moments of deliberation, referee Allen Chapman ruled the strike offside. In the days after, the Professional Referee Organization ruled the tally should have counted.
Despite the ruling, the Crew's three points stand-- adding more ammunition in an original MLS rivalry.
Re-live the victory as you prepare for Saturday's match between the two sides at Crew Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET/FOX Sports Ohio). BUY TICKETS
In preparation for this summer's FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, Crew midfielder Wil Trapp has joined U.S. U-20 training camp in Carson, Calif. Trapp is one of seven MLS Homegrown players in the camp. The central midfielder is expected to play a key role for the Yanks in the tournament after being named to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship Best XI last month.
Joining Trapp in California is Crew Technical Director Brian Bliss, who serves as an Assistant Coach on Tab Ramos' staff.
The camp runs from April 22-29 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
It took him until his fifth game in Black & Gold, but once Stern John scored, he didn't stop. John netted his first tally for the Crew on April 18, 1998 against the Miami Fusion. The Trini striker added two more in a 23-minute span to lead the Black & Gold to a 5-1 victory over the Fusion.
John bagged his first of five hat tricks in his two seasons with the Crew, a total that is still a franchise record. The striker scored 44 goals through two seasons in Columbus, good for third-most in club history.
The Crew and Chicago Fire renew their rivalry this weekend at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Here is a look back at how the series played out in 2012.
First half goals from Eddie Gaven and Emilio Rentería moved the Crew's spring unbeaten streak to five matches as the Black & Gold beat the Fire back on May 26 of last year 2-1. Celtic punk band Flogging Molly celebrated the win with a post-match concert on the Crew Stadium main stage.
The Crew couldn't fight back from an early-two goal deficit as Marco Pappa and Dominic Oduro tallied for the Fire within the first 30 minutes. Tony Tchani got one back for the Black & Gold shortly after Gonzalo Segares was sent off in the 29th minute. However, the Crew failed to find an equalizer despite playing against 10 men for 61 minutes.
Jairo Arrieta's aggressiveness gave the Crew an early advantage, as the Costa Rican pick-pocketed Fire 'keeper Sean Johnson to put the Crew ahead at the 15 minute mark. Columbus couldn't hold the lead however, as two Chris Rolfe tallies within three minutes of each other ultimately spelled doom for the Black & Gold.