Crew legend Brian McBride made his television debut over the weekend, appearing on Fox Soccer's Matchday and Goals On Sunday. The former United States national team captain served as an in-studio analyst, providing commentary on weekend action in the Barclay's Premier League. McBride will continue to give his take on the beautiful game throughout the week for Fox Soccer's coverage of the UEFA Champions League.
In addition to his in-studio work, McBride sat down with FoxSoccer.com's Jamie Trecker to dish on the current state of American soccer. (Nevermind the jersey he's wearing in the photo.)
Heading into Final Four week, Justin Meram retained his lead in the Crew's bracket challenge. Meram, Eric Gehrig, and Cole Grossman tied for correctly picking four teams out of the Elite Eight. Rookie Ethan Finlay was the only player to predict more than one Final Four team. The Creighton product correctly chose Kentucky and Kansas to make the trip to New Orleans.
Check back next week to see who takes the crown in the Crew's March Madness bracket challenge.
1. Justin Meram 189 points
2. Ethan Finlay 186
Josh Williams 186
4. Tom Heinemann 183
5. Eric Gehrig 182
6. Cole Grossman 157
Few players have yet to make history against MLS's expansion Montreal Impact. However, Crew striker Tommy Heinemann holds a special memory of playing against the French-Canadian side.
While playing for the Carolina Railhawks in 2010, the St. Louis native sent the then-NASL Impact packing in the semifinals of the USSF Division 2 playoffs with a series-winning strike in the 89th minute of the second leg to put the Railhawks ahead 2-1 on aggregate.
The Crew hopes some of Heinemann's magic can rub off on his teammates as the Crew welcome the Impact to Columbus for First Kick 2012.
Crew rookie Kevan George and the U23 Trinidad & Tobago National Team will kick off CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying against Mexico tonight in Los Angeles. George scored in the Soca Warriors' final preparation match against Clarema United on Sunday. Friday night's match vs. Mexico can be found on Universal Sports Network and streaming online at CONCACAF.com. Kickoff is slated for 11:30PM EST.
The Crew Soccer Academy's Wolves U15/16 squad debuts in the number one spot of ESPN's Development Academy Power Rankings this week. The CSA Wolves are 6-0-1 thus far in the academy season. Ali Jawad leads the U15/16 squad with six goals early on in the season.
CSA joined forces with the Michigan Wolves in May 2011. The club is based out of Livonia, MI.
Check out the full rankings on ESPN.com.
In an effort to spruce up the United States' first Major League Soccer-specific stadium, LED field boards have been installed at Crew Stadium ahead of Saturday's home opener against the Montreal Impact. The boards are just one of many upgrades for the 2012 MLS season.
"I think it's going to be a fantastic addition to the fan experience at Crew Stadium," team president and general manager Mark McCullers said.
The boards will also increase the Crew's sponsorship opportunities in conjunction with the team's new television deal with Fox Sports Ohio.
"With our Fox Sports Ohio deal, it's going to give our sponsors and our corporate partners the best possible platform to deliver their brand message," McCullers continued. "There's a lot of flexibility, it marries well with the increased distribution we have at Fox Sports Ohio and gives the sponsors a great platform."
In addition to the new LED field boards, new menu items can be found at Crew Stadium's concession stands along with updated concourses and plaza experiences.
FOX28's Johnny DiLoretto stopped in Tuesday morning to sample some of the new food items offered at Crew Stadium this year. It was Johnny D's final morning on Good Day Columbus as he is moving on to become the Director of Operations at the Gateway Film Center.
The Crew is honored that Johnny D could spend his last day on the job with the Crew and the entire organization wishes him the best in his future endeavors.
Photos courtesy of Rodney Middendorf
If the Crew's 5-1 win over Michigan State on Saturday counted for something, I'd like to think Milo's free kick would win Goal of the Week on MLSsoccer.com.
Have a look for yourself:
Though his Wolverines were knocked out by the Ohio Bobcats in their opening game of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, Justin Meram currently leads the Crew bracket challenge after two rounds with 124 total points. No one's bracket was hit harder by upsets than Tom Heinemann's. The St. Louis native had the Missouri Tigers winning in the National Championship, but Mizzou was shocked by 15-seed Nofolk State on Friday. However, Heinemann tied Meram in correctly predicting eleven of the Sweet 16 teams. Cole Grossman currently sits in last place after his Duke Blue Devils were upset by Lehigh in their Second Round matchup.
The complete standings:
- Justin Meram: 124 points
- Ethan Finlay: 116
- Josh Williams: 111
- Tom Heinemann: 108
- Eric Gehrig: 107
- Cole Grossman: 102
Possible points: 176
Crew rookie midfielder Kirk Urso talks about his strike from distance and the contributions of Milovan Mirosevic and Olman Vargas to the Black & Gold attack.