While cleaning out our bookshelf in the digital department here at Crew Stadium, we found this video from the 2006 season of "The Voice of the Crew" Dwight Burgess interviewing various Crew players for a video series that would be shown on the stadium scoreboard.
Here's one of Dwight interviewing his now-broadcast booth mate Duncan Oughton. Even six years ago, you could tell the two had a natural chemistry.
What kind of pants is the Kiwi wearing here?
Through his first five games in Major League Soccer, Federico Higuaín has made an instant impact in the Crew attack to help the Black & Gold to a 4-0-1 record and a four match winning streak. With such production coming from the Argentine, here's a look at how Higuaín compares to similar Designated Players through their first five matches in MLS:
|PLAYER||Goals||Assists||Team Goals||Team Record|
|Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Chicago Fire)||2||3||10||3-1-1|
|Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)||0||3||4||2-1-2|
|Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)||3||1||9||5-0-0|
|Luciano Emilio (D.C. United)||2||0||6||1-1-3|
Notes: Robbie Keane's first five matches includes the 2011 Playoffs, Luciano Emilio went on to win the 2007 Golden Boot and MLS MVP while helping D.C. United to the Supporters Shield that season.
The college soccer season continued through the holiday weekend. Here's how some former Crew Youth players fared:
Akron Zips- (2-0-1) This Week: 1-1 D vs. Creighton, 2-1 W vs. SIU Edwardsville
Following the news that Head Coach Caleb Porter would become the next head coach of the Portland TImbers at the end of the season, Akron traveled to Omaha for the Ameritas Classic. The No. 6 Zips opened play with a 1-1 draw against hosts No. 3 Creighton on Friday. On Sunday, Akron beat SIU Edwardsville 2-1 with help Captain and Crew Soccer Academy product Chad Barson's opening tally. Wil Trapp, Andrew Souders, Eric Stevenson, and Thomas Schmitt all played key roles for the Zips in both results.
Louisville Cardinals- (1-2-0) This Week: 3-1 W vs. Belmont, 1-0 L at SLU
The Cardinals rebounded from last week's 3-0 loss to Maryland with a 3-1 rout of Belmont behind CSA's Alex Obbey's first goal of the season. Louisville suffered its second lost of the season Tuesday night on the road at Saint Louis.
Xavier Musketeers- (2-0-1) This week: 2-1 W vs. Wright State, 2-1 W vs. Cincinnati
Both Matt and Will Walker started and played significant minutes in the 24th ranked Musketeers' first win of the season against Wright State last Thursday in a 2-1 victory. The Walker twins each registered an assist in Xavier's weekend win against crosstown rival Cincinnati. Will Walker also had the game-winning goal in the 2-1 victory. Freshman Rhodes Moore played 27 minutes.
Boston College Golden Eagles- (1-0-0) This Week: 1-0 L vs. Boston U., 1-0 W vs. Fairfield
Goalkeeper Justin Luthy suffered his first loss of the season in crosstown showdown with Boston University on August 27 before earning his first shutout of the season at Fairfield on Monday night. Next up for Luthy and the No. 13 Golden Eagles is their opening ACC match against No. 4 Maryland.
UCLA Bruins- (1-1-1) This Week: 2-2 D at Maryland, 1-0 W at Virginia
Captain Matt Wiet led the No. 14 Bruins to a 2-2 draw on the road at Maryland in FOX Soccer Channel's National Game of the Week on Friday. To cap off the east coast road trip, UCLA traveled to Charlottesville, VA to top Virginia 1-0 in overtime.
With William Hesmer out for the season following hip surgery and Andy Gruenebaum recovering from a lower back contusion, it leaves rookie Homegrown Matt Lampson as the only healthy goalkeeper on the Crew's roster for Wednesday's match against the Philadelphia Union
Although Eddie Gaven won Save of the Week honors back in 2010 and Chris Birchall has put on 'keeper gloves for fun in training, it's not likely Robert Warzycha would have felt comfortable having one of the two midfielders as the number two goalie against the Union.
Fortunately for Warzycha, Major League Soccer has a rule for this type of situation: The Extreme Hardship Call-Up.
From the 2012 MLS Roster Rules and Regulations:
Pool 'keeper Scott Angevine has joined the Crew in Philadelphia, and will serve as Lampson's backup in Wednesday's match. Angevine is a rookie from Coastal Carolina University and currently trains with Sporting Kansas City, his hometown club, to stay sharp. Angevine and Lampson have a similar history as both redshirted the 2008 season at Northern Illinois before transferring and going their separate ways.
The college soccer season kicked off this past weekend. Here's a look at how some Crew Youth alumni started the season in NCAA Division I:
Akron Zips- (1-0-0) This Week:4-0 W vs. Florida Gulf Goast.
Caleb Porter started five Crew Youth products in the Zips' rout of Florida Gulf Coast Friday night. Wil Trapp, Chad Barson, Eric Stevenson, Thomas Schmitt, and freshman Andrew Souders all played starting roles in the 4-0 win. Stevenson and Schmitt scored the first two goals of the match. In addition, Stevenson supplied the assist to Schmitt on his way to being named to College Soccer News' National Team of the Week.
The Crew's Director of Soccer Business Development, Jeremy Parkins, was at Cub Cadet Field for the season opener: "It was exciting to see five former players from our system have the opportunity to start for one of the top teams in the country... The first goal of the evening was Eric Stevenson with a shot from about 20 yards out, and so it was exciting to see that go in. Then, Eric found Thomas Schmitt for the second goal. It was exciting to see our guys scoring goals."
Louisville Cardinals- (0-1-0) This Week: 0-3 at Maryland
The Cardinals opened the season with a 3-0 loss on the road to Maryland. 2010 product Alex Obbey came off the bench and had one of Louisville's better chances in the 40th minute, but his attempt was blocked by the Maryland defense.
Xavier Musketeers- (0-0-1) This week: 1-1 D at Northwestern
Both Matt and Will Walker started and played significant minutes in the Musketeers' road draw against Northwestern. Matt Hill and freshman Rhodes Moore each came off the bench for Xavier. Matt Walker recorded three shots with one being on target, while Moore was able to force one shot in the stalemate.
Boston College Golden Eagles- (1-0-0) This Week: 2-1 W at Quinnipiac
Goalkeeper Justin Luthy saved five shots to help the No. 14 Golden Eagles to the 2-1 victory. Boston College returns to action Monday night against Boston University.
UCLA Bruins- (0-1-0) This Week: 3-2 L vs. New Mexico
The second-ranked Bruins fell to No. 6 New Mexico on Friday night. Defender Matt Wiet played the whole match and nearly recorded an assist from a long throw-in. UCLA returns to action on the road against Maryland on August 31.
The good folks at TopDrawerSoccer.com, Travis Clark and J.R. Eskilson, highlighted the Top 30 Homegrown prosepects playing in NCAA Division I this season. Which one of these players will follow in the footsteps of Aaron Horton, Matt Lampson, and Ben Speas?
From the article:
D Chad Barson, Akron, Senior (Columbus Crew): A solid center back and experienced senior -- Barson has played in 73 games in his college career to this point -- Barson is going to be a prominent figure on Akron’s side once again.
Who's ready for football season?
To hold you over, here's footage of Crew forward Justin Meram kicking field goals during his time at the University of Michigan. Meram briefly spent time place kicking with the Wolverines football team before deciding to focus solely on soccer.
After spending the summer playing with the United States U-15 and U-17 National Teams, Crew Soccer Academy standout Benny Swanson has accepted an offer to participate in the US U-17 Residency program in Bradenton, Florida.
The 15-year-old Grove City native hopes his decision will help him secure a spot in next year's U-17 World Cup.
"It's a great opportunity. It was kind of hard to pass up," Swanson said. "The [FIFA U-17] World Cup is next year in Dubai. I would like to make that roster, hopefully. If I don't, I hope I just learn every day in training in that environment with that pro mentality."
"It's great for our organization," Crew Technical Director Brian Bliss said. "Obviously it's a little bit premature to be speaking about Benny as a future pro for the club, but he's on the right track. It gives credibility to our organization on the youth side as to what we're doing."
Bliss says residency can only help Swanson's promising skill set.
"Right now, he's only getting three or four days of training each week, he's going to get five or six days each week training with the top players in the country at his age [in Bradenton]." Bliss explained. "He's got the ability to break down players off of the dribble and create on his own. He works for the good of the team in terms of being a team player. He's got an eye for the pass and can deliver it. He's got a multitude of skills and being in that environment for the next year, it's going to make him a better player."
The young midfielder's drive and skill set reminds Bliss of a certain US Men's National Team mainstay.
"He's got a lot of things Michael Bradley had," Bliss said. "Bradley grew physically really quick at the end, but he was also undersized. [Bradley] had the ability to dribble, pass, create, and had the same attitude and hunger for the game that Benny has. There are some comparisons. They may be unfair because Michael is a full national team player and I don't want to put pressure on [Swanson], but he's got a lot of this same [skills]."
Being in the same sentence with Bradley and others who attended the U-17 Residencty previously such as Landon Donovan, Brek Shea, and Eddie Gaven is still surreal Swanson says, but he remains determined to one day don the Black & Gold as a professional.
"It's kind of surreal, but I've been working hard. That's where hard work will get you," Swanson said. "The Crew has helped me a lot to progress as a player and as a person."
"[Playing professionally for the Crew] would be a dream come true," he finished.
Admittedly, Houston hasn't been my favorite city I've visited with the Crew this season. It's extremely hot and humid, there's nothing to do around the team hotel, and nearly every restraunt downtown is closed on Sunday.
However, the Dynamo's new BBVA Compass Stadium has made up for the misfortunes mentioned above.
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the stadium: there's a lot of orange in this place.
Outside the press box, images of various Houston Chronicle front pages over the past few years pay homage to Dynamo's short time in Houston.
A Dynamo legend overlooks the entrance to every lower-level section. For example, here's Brian Ching at the entryway to Section 125.
Here's the view from the north end of the stadium, looking toward the stage area. The dimensions of the field at BBVA Compass Stadium are 70 yards x 115 yards to suit the Dynamo's style of play and execution on set pieces. The MLS preference for pitch size is 75 yards x 120 yards.
In the southwest corner of the stadium is where the Dynamo supporters groups sit. No, Crew fans, it's not as big as the Nordecke.
Finally, and most importantly, the Crew's Equipment Manager Rusty Wummel was a happy camper with the spacey visiting locker room.
The wait is over, Crew fans.
Designated Player Federico Higuaín arrived in Columbus Wednesday morning from Argentina. The forward will be introduced Thursday at 10AM EST right here on TheCrew.com via live stream.
Check back later for more details.