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ryan schwepfinger

15 September 4:25 pm

With Dayton's season coming to an end last week, the last Crew loanee active in USL-PRO this year was Wilmington's Brad Stuver. Unfortunately for the goalkeeper, he and the Hammerheads fell in the first round of the 2014 USL-PRO Playoffs to Sacramento Republic FC by a 4-1 final. 

Stuver started and played all 90 minutes in the defeat, which was fueled by two goals from former Crew player Nemanja Vukovic.

All-told, the former Cleveland State Viking played the final 11 matches of Wilmington's season, compiling a 3-5-3 record with a 1.45 goals-against average. He also notched three clean sheets over the span, which came consecutively on August 30, September 3 and September 5. 

Photo Credit: USL-PRO

12 September 10:29 am

Sunday against Chivas USA, the Columbus Crew achieved a feat it had done just eight other times in club history: register three separate three-goal performances over a four-match span. Excluding overlaps, the club has only been on a stretch of this nature just four other times since its inaugural season in 1996.

Here is a table of every stretch where the Crew has bundled three separate three-goal performances over a four-match span in club history:

Date Opponent Goals Scored
1998
8/8/98 NE 6
8/12/98 @MET 1
8/16/98 KC 5
8/22/98 TB 3
8/29/98 @LA 3
9/6/98 MET 4
9/9/98 MIA 1
2001
8/1/01 CHI 3
8/4/01 @KC 3
8/11/01 @SJ 2
8/15/01 DAL 3
2002
7/31/02 @MET 3
8/10/02 @COL 1
8/14/02 LA 3
8/18/02 @KC 4
8/31/02 NE 0
9/7/02 @SJ 3
2009
7/18/09 RSL 3
7/25/09 TFC 3
8/1/09 @COL 1
8/8/09 @SJ 3
2014
8/16/14 LA 4
8/23/14 HOU 3
8/30/14 @MTL 0
9/7/14 CHV 3

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

09 September 11:18 am

 

The Crew's home victory over Chivas USA resulted in varying levels of movement across national Power Rankings. In fact, across the three weekly polls, the Crew rose in one, remained the same in one and dropped a spot in the other. Such is the reality of MLS parity and the League-wide movement. The bottom line: it was a successful week in Crewville, as the Black & Gold earned three points and remained above the MLS Cup Playoffs threshold.

See below for the rankings, with last week's position indicated afterward:

MLSsoccer.com: 10 (9)

ESPNFC: 11 (11)

SI.com: 8 (10)

Photo Credit: Daniel Herlensky

08 September 4:11 pm

Brad Stuver's run of strong play for the Wilmington Hammerheads continued over the previous week. Over three matches played, the Crew loanee went 1-1-1 in goal with two clean sheets and just two goals conceded over the span.

Stuver began yet another busy week by blanking Orlando City SC to the tune of a 0-0 draw on Wednesday, September 3. On Friday, September 5, the former Cleveland State Viking traveled to Dayton and faced his fellow Black & Gold loanees Matt Walker, Ross Friedman, Matt Wiet and Ben Sweat, who all started for the Dutch Lions in a 4-0 Hammerheads win. Stuver concluded the week by dropping a 2-0 decision to the Rochester Rhinos.

The match against Wilmington was the final contest of the season for Dayton, which finishes 2014 with a 6-18-4 record. As such, all Crew loanees have returned to training with the Black & Gold on a regular basis. Wilmington finished the regular season with a 9-8-11 record, qualifying for the playoffs as the number-seven seed. The club is set to face Sacramento Republic FC in the first round of the postseason.

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

04 September 5:06 pm

Crew midfielder Romain Gall notched a goal in the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team's 2-0 victory over Racing Club Reserves in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Thursday afternoon.

Gall was joined on the scoresheet by Philadelphia Union Homegrown Player Zach Pfeffer, who scored on a penalty in the 11th minute before the newest member of the Black & Gold doubled the USA's advantage in the 27th minute, aided by an assist from Paul Arriola.

The U.S. U-20s next play the Defensa y Justicia Reserves on Saturday, September 6, followed by a meeting with Argentina’s U-20 squad on Tuesday, September 9.

U.S. SOCCER MATCH REPORT

Photo Credit: U.S. Soccer

04 September 4:00 pm

Recovering from his MCL sprain suffered on July 4, Hector Jimenez has made substitute appearances in each of the Crew's previous two matches, including the 2-0 loss in Montreal. That match, which came on the heels of two strong performances at home, has left the Black & Gold in a state of refocusing for this weekend's match against Chivas USA.

"To be honest with you, we sat down [earlier this week] and we talked," said Jimenez. "[Montreal] was one of those games that was just a bad game. We're going to try to put it in the past and move on. We were coming off of two good victories against Houston and LA, and we're going to try to prepare like we did for those games this coming weekend. I know it's a huge game after obviously a defeat. Three points at home this weekend would be huge."

Aiding the Crew in its quest to right the ship is the fact that the club is returning to Crew Stadium, where it has played well recently, particularly in the resounding victories over the Dynamo and the Galaxy. Jimenez said that recovering from the Montreal match was "definitely" aided by playing back at home.

"Knowing that we have a really important game this weekend helps out a lot. It's one of those games where we have to come out and get three points this weekend, especially with it being a tight race for the playoffs in the East."

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

03 September 12:53 pm

On a sunny Wednesday afternoon in Obetz, the Crew defeated Dayton Dutch Lions FC by a 5-1 score in a friendly scrimmage.

The match was an opportunity for select Black & Gold players to stay sharp as well as to continue fostering the relationship with the club's USL-PRO affiliate. Ben Speas notched two goals for the Crew and guest trainee Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City added a hat trick. Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter said that Iheanacho, 17, is training with the Crew to maintain fitness before rejoining the Barclays Premier League side in mid-October.

"It's been unfortunate that we haven't had enough reserve games for the guys that haven't been playing," said Berhalter. "This is an opportunity for them to get game time. We did that in an abbreviated form [with two 35-minute halves]. Overall, I thought it was helpful. Guys like Hector [Jimenez], Jairo [Arrieta], Daniel [Paladini], Kevan [George] -- to give them some minutes -- Chad [Barson], all the guys, it was definitely worthwhile."

George and Paladini also started together in the holding midfield role. Both are candidates to start on Sunday against Chivas USA in the absences of Wil Trapp and Tony Tchani due to yellow-card accumulation. 

"I thought [the pairing] was good. I thought they controlled the game from the middle," said the Crew boss. "Defensively, they were both good. I was pleased."

03 September 9:22 am

The Crew took a small slide in national Power Rankings after its 2-0 loss in Montreal on Saturday, but the Black & Gold have a strong chance to rebound with a home clash on Sunday against Chivas USA (3:00 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).

See below for this week's rankings with last week's position indicated afterward:

ESPNFC: 11 (10)

SI.com: 10 (9)

MLSsoccer.com: 9 (8)

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

02 September 3:27 pm

It's been a whirlwind month for new Crew midfielder Romain Gall.

Less than one month after returning to the United States to join MLS and the Black & Gold, Gall is headed on another transcontinental flight -- this time to South America to join the United States U-20 Men's National Team in a camp that features three matches and 10 days of training.

Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter called Gall's call-up "great" and believes that opportunities such as this one show why he is so highly regarded.

"We see in him a young, dynamic player who has a good future," said the Crew boss. "It validates that when he's getting called into the U-20 program."

As a result of the call-up, Gall will miss Sunday's MLS clash against Chivas USA (3:00 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).

Photo Credit: U.S. Soccer

02 September 1:03 pm

Brad Stuver had another productive week for Wilmington, going unbeaten and allowing just one goal over two matches for the Hammerheads. On Thursday, August 28 he helped Wilmington defeat Orlando City SC by a 3-1 final score. Two days later, he kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw against Sacramento Republic FC. Stuver has now started seven matches for the Hammerheads, compiling a 1.43 goals-against average. The goalkeeper was also named to the league's Team of the Week for his efforts.

Elsewhere in USL-PRO, Crew loanee Ross Friedman returned for Dayton after missing two matches, starting and playing 40 minutes in a 7-0 loss to Orlando City SC. Matt Wiet also started for the Dutch Lions in the contest.

Photo Credit: Kirby Hines