On May 24, 2000, Crew Stadium hosted its first-ever international friendly as the Black & Gold took down Bundesliga side Hamburg SV, 4-1. The Crew has hosted clubs from leagues all over the world including the Barclays Premier League, Liga MX and the Argentine Primera División in its 18-year history.
As the summer approaches, which league from around the world would you like to see the Crew take on in an international friendly?
It seems 12th place is the consensus of where the Crew belongs in various media outlets' Power Rankings this week. The Black & Gold moved up in MLSSoccer.com and ProSoccerTalk's rankings, but somehow dropped a spot in Sports Illustrated's table after beating Toronto FC over the weekend.
Here is where the Crew falls in five Power Rankings:
MLSSoccer.com: 12th (13th)
ESPNFC: 12th (12th)
Sports Illustrated: 12th (11th)
ProSoccerTalk: 12th (14th)
Soccer By Ives: 12th (13th)
Last week's ranking in parentheses.
Crew playmaker Federico Higuaín was named to MLSSoccer.com's Team of the Week for Week 12 after supplying the game-winning assist to Dominic Oduro against Toronto FC on Saturday. The performance marks Higuaín's first Team of the Week honor this season, joining Josh Williams (Week 10), Jairo Arrieta (Week Nine) and Danny O'Rourke (Week Nine) to earn the accolade so far in 2013.
Despite a dominant performance in front of the Crew Stadium faitfhul, the Black & Gold were unable to find the back of the net in a 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls back on May 4. Tim Cahill's 80th minute headed tally was the difference as the Aussie midfielder headed the rebound from an Andy Gruenebaum save over the head over the outstretched Crew 'keeper and into the net. The Crew limited superstar forward Thierry Henry's impact on the match as the Frenchman failed to register a single shot in the match.
Here is a look at how the lopsided stats failed to reflect the end result.
|SHOTS ON GOAL||6||3|
|TOTAL PASSES (PCT. COMPLETE)||400 (75%)||359 (70%)|
In case you missed, Tuesday night served as a talent show of sorts for Crew players on Twitter. First, following a long day of band practice, the @YellowSwagBand handle was launched to start promoting Sloan and the Keepers, a band made up of guitar players and karaoke all-stars Shawn Sloan, Daniel Withrow and Andy Gruenebaum. The band later tweeted the video for their first song, a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" dedicated to defender Tyson Wahl (above).
Wahl's thoughts on being the muse for the band's tune?
"First of all, I was shocked that they even thought of me," the defender said. "When writing a song, to spontaneously think of me out of everyone else is flattering. It was kind of stupid and funny at the same time. I thought it was hilarious."
The band is profiled in this week's Columbus Alive!, available for FREE at various locations around the city.
— Shawn Sloan (@ShawnSloan) May 14, 2013
If you prefer Hell's Kitchen to American Idol, Ethan Finlay and Ryan Finley later took to the social media website to showcase their cooking skills and debate who the really deserves the title of "Chef Fin."
@ethanfinlay13 Debatable. Need to see the finish product.
— Ryan Finley (@Ryan_Finley9) May 14, 2013
@ethanfinlay13 kids got potential
— Ryan Finley (@Ryan_Finley9) May 14, 2013
It will surely be a bittersweet moment for new Toronto FC Assistant Coach Duncan Oughton as he prepares to face the club he spent 12 years with in his first match on Ryan Nelsen's staff. But Oughton isn't the first former Crew player to venture into coaching. After all, the Black & Gold's technical staff boasts four former Crew players.
Other former players have even earned some silverware as coaches. Todd Yeagley and Brian Maisonneuve recently won their first NCAA Championship while coaching at Indiana University, while Ezra Hendrickson has claimed three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups while on Sigi Schmid's staff in Seattle. In his second season as Head Coach of Lanús in Argentina, Guillermo Barros Schelotto could be on his way to hardware as his club currently sits in second place of the Argentine Primera División.
Here's a full list of former Crew players in the coaching ranks:
Robert Warzycha, Head Coach
Brian Bliss, Technical Director/U.S. U-20 Assistant Coach
Mike Lapper, Assistant Coach
Ricardo Iribarren, Assistant Coach
Billy Thompson, Crew Soccer Academy Director of Coaching
Duncan Oughton, Assistant Coach
Seattle Sounders FC
Ezra Hendrickson, Assistant Coach
New York Red Bulls
Robin Fraser, Assistant Coach
John Wolyniec, Reserve Team Coach/Player Development Coordinator
Pat Noonan, Assistant Coach
Real Salt Lake
Andy Williams, Head Scout
Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Head Coach
Kaizer Chiefs (South African Premier League)
Doctor Khumalo, Youth Development Coach
Todd Yeagley, Head Coach
Brian Maisonneuve, Assistant Coach
Penn State University
Bo Oshoniyi, Assistant Coach
University of New Mexico
Brandon Moss, Assistant Coach
Steven Herdsman, Assistant Coach
The 2013 edition of the Trillium Cup rivalry kicks off on Saturday (5:00 P.M./FOX Sports Ohio) between the Crew and Toronto FC at BMO Field in Toronto. The Black & Gold have owned the rivalry having only been defeated once in 16 meetings since it began with the Reds' expansion into MLS in 2007 and the Trillium Cup started as a bet between the cities' mayors in 2008. The teams have had a similar number of MLS All-Stars and Best XI selections, and though the Crew's large-market competitor has had twice the number of Designated Players, the Ontario side has yet to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs while the Black & Gold have won an MLS Cup and has been to the playoffs four times in the past six seasons.
|Head-to-Head Goal Differential||+9||-9|
|Overall Record (Pct.)||84-62-52 (.555)||46-93-59 (.381)|
|MLS Supporters' Shields||2||0|
|MLS Best XI Selections||4||2|
*All stats, 2007-2013
The Crew swept Toronto FC in three matches last season, outscoring the Reds 5-2 in the process. Before the 2013 Trillium Cup series kicks off on Saturday (5:00 P.M./FOX Sports Ohio), here is a look back at the 2012 edition of the rivalry.
Bernardo Anor scored the match's lone goal as the Black & Gold topped Toronto FC 1-0. Eric Gehrig stood tall in central defense, making the start on short notice for an injured Danny O'Rourke to help the Crew to the shutout.
In his first start for the Black & Gold, Federico Higuaín provided the assist on Eddie Gaven's fourth minute tally to put the Crew ahead early before adding a goal for himself in the second half. Luis Silva scored in 72nd minute to get one back for Toronto, but it wasn't enough as the Black & Gold re-claimed the Trillium Cup.
Higuaín scored a pair of tallies to propel the Crew to a 2-1 victory at Crew Stadium to close out the 2012 season. The playmaker's penalty kick broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute to secure the three points for the Black & Gold.
Columbus Crew Owner/Director Lamar Hunt, Jr. and Brand Ambassador Frankie Hejduk paid a visit to Shady Lane Elementary School on Monday morning to inspire second graders to pursue college in their future. Frankie led the classes in a "We are MASSIVE!" chant before sharing his story of hard work in school and on the field. Lamar Hunt, Jr. then read the book "I Know I Can" aloud, which taught the children the importance of working hard toward a college education.
The event was part of the I Know I Can program, which helps Columbus City Schools students enter and succeed in college. Following the presentation. each of the students was given a voucher for a free ticket to an upcoming Crew match.
Though the Crew's loss to the New York Red Bulls saw the Black & Gold fall in most national media outlets' Power Rankings, the club also remains in the top 10 most outlets' rankings. After 10 weeks of the 2013 MLS Season, Sports Illustrated and MLSSoccer.com have the Crew ranked the highest in the ninth spot.
MLSSoccer.com: 9th (6th)
ProSoccerTalk: 11th (11th)
ESPNFC: 10th (8th)
Soccer By Ives: 10th (8th)
Sports Illustrated: 9th (9th)