THE ROAD TRIP CONTINUES
Wednesday’s match marks the second of three games in a stretch of three tilts in seven days ... the contest also marks the first time in 2014 that the team is playing back-to-back road matches in the club’s extended road trip, traveling directly from Kansas City to Houston before coming home ... including Wednesday’s clash against the Dynamo, the Crew has three more road matches in the month of May ... the team has consecutive away matches scheduled in July (July 4 at Colorado and July 12 at New York) before a trio of consecutive road matches in October (at New England on October 4; at Philadelphia on October 11; and at New York on October 19).
A QUICK TURNAROUND AND A FOCUS SHIFT TO HOUSTON
Following Sunday’s match, Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter was quick to note the team’s rapid turnaround and shift of focus ahead of Wednesday’s road tilt ... said Berhalter, “We need to get guys recovered from this game. Obviously it’s been warm, so we have to recover and get prepared for the next game. We’re going to focus, right from the beginning, on playing our game. That’s our focus. We want our guys to look at this game and see what they could have done better. We’ll give them feedback about what they could have done better and we’re going to move forward.”
BEGINNING A NEW STREAK ...
Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Sporting KC marked just the second loss for the Crew in 2014 ... the last time the Crew lost -- on April 5 against Toronto -- the team rebounded with a trio of draws as the Crew went unbeaten from April 13-26 ... already this year, the team has gone on a pair of three-match unbeaten streaks, with additional wins in three Match tilts to open the year.
... AND BUILDING OFF A STREAK VERSUS HOUSTON
Last September’s Crew victory against Houston began a new streak against the Dynamo ... the Crew’s 3-1 loss at Houston on August 3, 2013 snapped a nine-match unbeaten streak (3-0-6) against the Dynamo, dating back to March 21, 2009 ... the Black & Gold defeated Houston 2-0 on June 18, 2011 in Houston, but the two teams have drawn four of the last six matches, including a 1-1 draw on June 1, 2013 at Crew Stadium.
Federico Higuain is also just five corner kicks shy of recording his 200th corner as a member of the Crew. Currently at 195 in 50 career games played, Higuain could become just the third player in Crew history to record 200 or more corner kicks. Robert Warzycha is the club’s all-time leader with 503 and Guillermo Barros Schelotto is in second with 423. Both players are finalists for the Crew’s 2014 Circle of Honor Induction. Higuain recorded eight corner kicks in a match earlier this season on March 29 at Seattle.
The Crew announced last week announced that Crew Juniors entered a partnership with the Centerville United Soccer Association (CUSA) in Dayton, Ohio. The affiliation is the most comprehensive Crew Youth partnership in the Crew’s history, as approximately 40 teams and 500 select players in the Greater Dayton area will now become the CUSA Crew Juniors and wear the club’s signature Black & Gold colors. CUSA is also set to send 40 teams to Crew Youth events throughout each year.
Federico Higuain recorded his 50th career appearance in MLS for the Crew on Sunday at Sporting KC. Higuain, who has played 50 matches -- starting 48 of them -- has scored 20 goals and 18 assists in his time in Columbus since arriving in August 2012. Five of his goals have been game-winners and six of his helpers secured a victory for the Black & Gold.
Federico Higuain’s next match is set to be his 50th career appearance in MLS for the Crew. Higuain, who enters the weekend with 49 appearances and 47 starts, has scored 20 goals and 18 assists in his time in Columbus since arriving in August 2012. Five of his goals have been game-winners and six of his helpers secured a victory for the Black & Gold.
Federico Higuain is also just eight corner kicks shy of recording his 200th corner as a member of the Crew. Currently at 192 in 50 career games played, Higuain could be- come just the third player in Crew history to record 200 or more corner kicks. Robert Warzycha is the club’s all-time leader with 503 and Guillermo Barros Schelotto is in second with 423. Both players are finalists for the Crew’s 2014 Circle of Honor Induction. Higuain recorded eight corner kicks in a match earlier this season on March 29 at Seattle.
Last Saturday’s 1-1 draw marked a couple of Crew milestones for a goal-scoring duo. The match was Dominic Oduro’s 40th appearance in a Crew jersey. The Ghanaian has scored 13 times for the Black & Gold. In his 50th career game for the Crew, Jairo Arrieta scored his 14th goal for the Black & Gold with a penalty kick strike. Both players have three career goals against Sporting KC as members of the Crew.
RIDING A THREE-MATCH UNBEATEN STREAK ...
The Crew enters Sunday’s match with a three-match unbeaten streak following a trio of 1-1 draws the last three weekends ... after scoring a first-half goal in San Jose before finishing 1-1 on April 13, the Crew earned a point with a 90th-minute goal in the 1-1 result against D.C. United at home on April 19 ... last weekend against New York, the Crew came away with a point in the 1-1 result at Crew Stadium.
... AND CREW HISTORICALLY STRONG AFTER THREE STRAIGHT DRAWS
The Black & Gold enter Sunday’s match following three straight draws dating back to April 13 at San Jose ... it marks just the fifth time in club history -- and first time since 2009 -- that the team has played to a trio of consecutive deadlocked matches ... the Crew is perfect (3-0-1) in the the match immediately following three straight draws ... a look at those matches is below:
- May 9, 2009 – vs. Kansas City, W, 3-2
- April 28, 2007 – vs. DC United, W, 1-0
- July 4, 2006 – at Houston, T, 1-1
- July 28, 2004 – vs. FC Dallas, W, 2-1
LOOKING TO REVERSE FORTUNES AT SPORTING PARK
The Crew is 1-3-0 in the team’s previous four trips to Sporting Park and the Black & Gold look to change that trend on Sunday ... the team’s lone win came in 2012 with Jairo Arrieta’s two goals in the first half on July 28 ... Arrieta added a third goal in the venue last year on June 29 in the wild, back-and-forth 3-2 loss.
STILL UNBEATEN ON THE ROAD
The Crew opens a two-match road swing with a test against Sporting KC on Sunday before a midweek clash at Houston ... the Black & Gold enter the weekend unbeaten (2-0-1) in their first three road matches of 2014 ... the team’s road winning percentage (.833) is second in MLS this year behind Seattle (3-0-1, .875 winning percentage) ... the best road start for the Black & Gold occured in 2010 when Crew went unbeaten in its first five road matches, posting a 2-0-3 mark away from Crew Stadium.
Hector Jimenez’s goal against D.C. on April 19 was the fifth of his career and first in a Crew jersey -- coming at the perfect time in the 90th minute of the match to secure a 1-1 draw. The goal also marked the fifth Crew player to score in 2014 as Jimenez, Justin Meram and Jairo Arrieta each have a goal. Those three players trail Bernardo Anor (two goals) and Federico Higuain (four goals) on the team’s leaderboard.
Thierry Henry did not record a shot in his last visit to Crew Stadium on May 4, 2013 (and did not play in the last meeting of 2013). Limiting his effectiveness is an obvious strategy as the Frenchman has only played two total matches at Crew Stadium. Henry’s only other match in Columbus was lethal for the Black & Gold, as Henry’s brace gave New York a 4-1 win at Crew Stadium on April 7, 2012.
The votes have been counted and the five finalists for the Crew’s Circle of Honor induction taking place on Saturday, September 27 are Mike Clark, Frankie Hejduk, Brian Maisonneuve, Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Robert Warzycha. Cast your vote at TheCrew.com before Friday, May 23. The celebration is Saturday, September 27 and the Circle of Honor presentation is presented by OhioHealth. The first 10,000 fans through the gates will receive a commemorative Circle of Honor Bobblehead of the inductee presented by OhioHealth.
RIDING A TWO-MATCH UNBEATEN STREAK ...
The Crew enters Saturday’s match with a two-match unbeaten streak following a pair of 1-1 draws the last two weekends ... after scoring a first-half goal in San Jose before finishing 1-1 on April 13, the Crew earned a point with a 90th-minute goal in the 1-1 result against D.C. United at home on April 19.
... AND LOOKING FOR SECOND TRIO OF UNBEATEN TILTS IN 2014
Should the Crew extend its unbeaten streak to three matches, it would mark the second time in 2014 that the team has been able to do so entering its seventh match on Saturday ... previously, the club opened the campaign with a historic 3-0-0 start with road wins at D.C. (March 8) and Seattle (March 29) book-ending a home-opener win against Philadelphia on March 22.
COMING OFF OF BACK-TO-BACK DRAWS
Last season, the Crew played to a pair of back-to-back draws throughout the year and struggled in the following match -- something the Black & Gold had not done in previous years ... in 2013, the Crew was 0-2-0 in the next match following consecutive draws but was 1-0-0 in 2012, 1-0-0 in 2011 and 2-1-1 in 2009 in games following a pair of deadlocked tilts.
BUILDING OFF A HOME DRAW
After a 1-1 result at Crew Stadium against D.C. last weekend, the Crew looks to build off of a point in its next home match ... in 2013, the Crew went 1-1-1 following a home draw, securing points in two of the next three matches that immediately followed three individual Crew Stadium draws.
With his three shots against San Jose last Sunday (April 13), forward Dominic Oduro now has 99 shots as a member of the Crew. Oduro has made seven shots in the young 2014 season and his career-best 92 shots in 2013 helped boost him to a career-high 13 goals.
Three players are quickly approaching the milestone of 50 games played for the Crew. Bernardo Anor has only one more game left until he hits the 50-game mark, which he could earn against DC United on Saturday. Tony Tchani has 48 games under his belt as a member of the Crew and will look to complete his 50th game for the Crew as early as next weekend against New York Red Bulls (April 26). Federico Higuain currently has 47 Crew games played and would be looking for his 50th Columbus Crew match potentially against Sporting Kansas City on May 4.
Crew defender Michael Parkhurst hit a career milestone of 120 games played in MLS last Sunday. Parkhurst has played five games for the Crew in 2014 and totaled 115 games from 2005-08 with the New England Revolution before departing Europe for five years.
The five finalists for the 2014 induction into the Crew Circle of Honor are set to be made on Saturday following the conclusion of stage one voting on Saturday at noon. A complete list of candidates and criteria for entry is available at TheCrew.com.
CREW’S SUCCESS AGAINST UNITED IN COLUMBUS
The Crew has successfully defended its home field in six of the past seven meetings with D.C. United at Crew Stadium ... the Black & Gold have not lost to D.C. United at Columbus Crew Stadium since August 18, 2007 when the club was defeated 2-0 ... the Crew has gone 5-0-1 at home against United -- with four straight wins -- since that loss.
SCORE FIRST AGAINST UNITED AND SUCCEED
Since the start of the 2009, the Crew has secured points in seven of the eight meetings between the Crew and United in which the Black & Gold have scored first ... overall, the Black & Gold are 7-4-1 in the last five seasons against United.
HIGUAIN MOVING ON UP
With his goal at San Jose last Sunday, Federico Higuain moved up the Crew’s all-time top 10 goal-scoring list ... in just 47 career regular-season matches, he currently has 20 goals as a member of the Crew and departed a three-way tie for 10th place alongside Robert Warzycha and Pete Marino (19 goals) ... his goal moved him into a tie for ninth place with Alejandro Moreno (20 goals) ... Higuain will have to score four more goals this season to take over eighth place, which is held by Brian Maisonneuve (23 goals).
The last three meetings between Columbus and San Jose have resulted in a point for each club. After a 0-0 draw in 2011, the clubs played to a pair of 1-1 matches in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The last Crew victory against San Jose was August 8, 2009 in a match in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. The two teams began meeting just once a season following the schedule adjustment ahead of the 2012 season. In both 2000 and 2002, the two teams met four times in the regular-season.
Crew Vice Captain Wil Trapp has now played the same number of games in his proessional career as the number on the back of his jersey: 20. Since making his debut on July 7, 2013 against Portland, Trapp has started every regular-season game for the Crew. The midfielder, who turned 21 this year, has two career assists, including the game-winning helper on Bernardo Anor’s second goal in the 2-1 win over Philadelphia on March 22.
Midfielder Tony Tchani enters this weekend on 2,999 regular-season minutes in his Crew career since his first season with the Black & Gold in 2012. Since 2010, he has played 90 regular season games across time with New York and Toronto FC. Of the 90 appearances and 5,753 minutes, 48 appearances have come with the Crew as the midfielder has started in each of the Crew’s first four matches of 2014.
A CHANCE FOR ROAD TRIP HISTORY
The Crew heads back on the road looking to improve upon its hot start away from Crew Stadium in 2014 (2-0-0) ... the Black & Gold are looking to accomplish something not done in club history before -- win the first three road matches of the year ... the team has gone unbeaten on the first trio of road trips to open a campaign before -- going 2-0-1 in 2003 and 2-0-3 through the first five away contests in 2010 -- but a win in San Jose Sunday would make club history for a perfect three road matches.
WHAT A ROAD WIN COULD ALSO MEAN
While the Crew could make early-season history Sunday should it win on the road, a win also gives three consecutive road victories for the first time since 2007 ... during that season, the Black & Gold defeated Toronto FC 2-1 (September 22), New England 3-2 (October 13) and DC United 3-2 (October 20) ... the 2007 Columbus Crew finished 9-11-10 (37 points) and sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
LEARNING FROM A LOSS
The Black & Gold look to rebound from a 2-0 loss last Saturday against Toronto FC ... Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter addressed the best way a team can learn, telling local reporters, “No, you never need a loss [to learn] ... we always want to win. I honestly believe it’s better to learn from wins. I’m disappointed that we lost. Toronto played a great game and executed their game plan perfectly, but I’m still disappointed that we lost, no question.”
HIGUAIN CREEPING UP THE CHARTS
Federico Higuain is one goal away from moving up the Crew’s all-time top 10 goal- scoring list ... in just 46 career regular-season matches, he currently has 19 goals as a member of the Crew and sits in a three-way tie for 10th place alongside Robert Warzycha and Pete Marino (19 goals) ... his next goal moves him move him into a tie for ninth place with Alejandro Moreno (20 goals) ... Higuain will have to score five more goals this season to take over eighth place, which is held by Brian Maisonneuve (23 goals).