Following Sunday's convincing 4-2 victory over FC Dallas on the road, the Black & Gold shot up across three national media outlets' Power Rankings after Week 31. The Crew's biggest leap was five spots in ESPNFC's weekly poll to 10th place. Complete rankings are listed below.
MLSSoccer.com: 11th (13th)
ESPNFC: 10th (15th)
SI.com: 12th (14th)
The Crew will hope to learn from the mistakes it made in a 3-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City on September 7 when it hosts Peter Vermes' side on Saturday in search of its fourth-straight victory. Before the Black & Gold clash with Sporting, here is a look back at the last meeting between the two clubs.
An early penalty awarded to Sporting doomed the visiting Crew early as Claudio Bieler calmly converted from the spot. Later in the first half, Soony Saad found space in the box to make the deficit 2-0 just before halftime. Though the Crew's play improved in the second half, it wasn't enough to match Sporting's class on the evening as C.J. Sapong added a third for the home side in the 55th minute to hand Brian Bliss his first loss as Interim Head Coach.
Crew forward Dominic Oduro is nominated as a Top 3 Performer for Week 31 following his goal and assist in the Black & Gold's 4-2 win over FC Dallas on Sunday. Oduro leads the club with 12 goals on the season and has been instrumental in the team's recent push for the postseason.
Voting closes at 8:00 p.m. ET.
No matter which corner of the world you reside, chances are you'll be able to catch the Crew's match at FC Dallas on Sunday. In addition to airing live on FOX Sports Ohio (8:30 p.m. ET) locally, Sunday's match is available in over 31 countries worldwide.
Check below for your country's listing.
Benfica TV - Portugal, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique
C More - Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden
GSP TV -Romania
Perform - Worldwide
Sport Klub - Hungary
SportsMax - Aruba, Bermuda, The Bahamas, The Cayman Islands, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Curacao, The Leeward Islands (including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts/Nevis, Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands), The Windward Islands (including St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Dominica and Grenada), Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Turks & Caicos
Super Sport -South Africa
With a 3-0 win over Chicago last weekend, the Black & Gold are now two goals shy of recording their 800th regular-season goal. Only four other teams in MLS have recorded 800 or more regular-season tallies, including Sunday’s opponent, FC Dallas (815). New York has recorded 806, while D.C. United (863) trails only LA (875) on the elite list.
In 40 regular-season games with the Crew, Federico Higuain has now recorded 15 goals and 15 assists, including seven penalty kick goals (six in 2013), as well as five game-winning assists (three in 2013) and five game-winning goals (three in 2013).
Federico Higuain is 6-for-8 from the penalty spot this season and is tied for second in MLS history with Carlos Ruiz (2003) and Preki (1996) for most penalty attempts in a single season, per MLS. Higuain is one attempt shy of matching Jaime Moreno’s nine attempts in 2005, although Moreno went 9-for-9 that season. The Crew’s nine penalty kick attempts this season (eight for Higuain, one for Ryan Finley) is one attempt shy of tying a four-way lead for most team attempts in a single-season (10), trailing: Dallas (1997), Chicago (2000), MetroStars (2000) and D.C. United (2011).
250TH APPEARANCE FOR CHAD
Chad Marshall’s next appearance will be his 250th career regular-season appearance, all with the Black & Gold ... the defender is set to become the club’s first player to reach the 250-appearance milestone in the regular season ... Marshall, who also leads the club’s regular-season lists for all-time starts (246) and minutes played (21,860), made his first career appearance on April 17, 2004 in a start at Kansas City ... earlier this season, Marshall became the first Crew player to log 20,000 minutes for the Crew.
SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST
Winner of three of its last four matches dating back to the beginning of the Brian Bliss era, the Crew has made a strong push for the postseason ... included in the recent stretch is the club’s current two-match winning streak, marking the second time in two months that the club has earned back-to-back wins ... the three wins in four matches also represent the first time all season that the club has won three games in a single month in 2013.
ANOTHER DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE
Certainly the Crew would have had a tough time securing three wins in four matches without a stretch of strong defensive performances ... over the last four matches, the club has recorded two shutouts and allowed a single goal to the then-Eastern Conference-leading Montreal Impact ... the club’s only loss in that stretch allowed three goals ... despite that three-goal match, the Black & Gold backline has allowed an average of just one goal per game in the month of September.
GOOD NEWS FOR GRUENEBAUM
After missing nine matches with left shoulder weakness, there is positive news on the injury front for Andy Gruenebaum ... Gruenebaum was removed this week from the club’s injury report after being upgraded to “questionable” last week ... Gruenebaum started the first 20 matches of 2013 and Matt Lampson made his 10th overall start and ninth consecutive go in net in Gruenebaum’s place last Saturday ... Lampson has five shutouts this season, while Gruenebaum has four cleansheets to his name.
Fresh off the heels of scoring against his most recent former team, the Chicago Fire, Crew forward Dominic Oduro is set to square-off against another one of his old clubs, FC Dallas, on Sunday. Here is a look at how the journeyman forward has fared against his past teammates throughout his career.
|Club||Career Matches Since Departing Club||Goals||Assists|
|New York Red Bulls||9||2*||1|
*Oduro has recorded one goal vs. NYRB, one assist vs. Houston Dynamo and one goal vs. Chicago Fire in 2013 with the Crew
^MLS matches only
Dominic Oduro's Papa John's goal celebration from Saturday's match continues to garner national attention following the Crew's 3-0 win against Chicago. On Tuesday's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the comedic legend paid homage to Oduro's celebration in his monologue in a way that only Leno can.
Don't forget to vote Oduro for AT&T Goal of the Week.
Midfielder Tony Tchani and Interim Head Coach Brian Bliss were named to MLSSoccer.com's Team of the Week following the Crew's 3-0 win over the rival Chicago Fire in Week 30. Tchani was a box-to-box presence all night for the Black & Gold, earning an assist on Bernardo Anor's second-half counter-attack goal to cap off the victory. Bliss picked up his third win in four matches since taking over coaching duties on September 2. Following the team's recent run of form, the Crew sits just two points out of a playoff spot with four matches left to play.