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.
Five-year-old Leukemia survivor Luke Brenner joined the rest of the Crew faithful at Crew Stadium last Saturday night to watch his favorite team take on New York. Luke and his family were there as guests of Matt Lampson and his LLS Hero program and had the opportunity to come down onto the field after the match to meet with the goalkeeper and many of his Black & Gold teammates.
Looking to continue the Hero program that Lampson started during the 2013 season, the goalkeeper will be working with LLS to invite a child and their family to every home and away match during the 2014 season.
Dominic Oduro's latest Papa John's-inspired haircut certainly got a rise out of soccer fans around the world. Check out the highlights below.
The Guardian’s Football Weekly Podcast (listen at 32:15 mark)
FOX Sports 1 – Crowd Goes Wild
CBS Sports Network – The Jim Rome Show
Comcast SportsNet – SportsTalk Live
Sports Illustrated's Extra Mustard
MLSsoccer.com’s “The Sideline”
Following a third-straight draw, the Crew saw very little movement in this week's Power Rankings. The only change for the Black & Gold was a one-spot drop in Sports Illustrated's Planet Fútbol's rankings, while holding firm on MLSsoccer.com and ESPNFC's lists.
See the full rankings below with last week's ranking in parenthesis.
MLSsoccer.com: 6 (6)
ESPNFC: 5 (5)
A pair of Steve Clark's saves on Saturday against the New York Red Bulls are nominated for Save of the Week this week. Clark's mulitple efforts are up against Houston's Tally Hall, New York's Luis Robles and FC Dallas' Chris Sietz for the Week Eight crown.
Voting runs until 11:59 p.m. PT on Thursday.
Called into action early against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark earned MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week honors for his five saves to help the Black & Gold to a point at home. The accolade is Clark's first in 2014.
In a surprise move, Jairo Arrieta stepped up to the spot against the Red Bulls to convert the penalty drawn moments before by Justin Meram on Saturday night. It marked just the second time since Federico Higuaín joined the Crew in August 2012 that someone other than the Argentine has taken a spot kick in game action. A similar move occured earlier this year in the Crew's 4-1 preseason win over Sporting Kansas City in which Arrieta and Higuaín elected to have Arrieta take -- and convert -- the penalty.
After the match, Sporting Director and Head Coach revealed that he lets his players decide who should take penalties in game action.
"[Arrieta and Higuaín] decided [who would take it] between themselves," Berhalter said. "Jairo wanted to get off the mark, he was anxious to score, and it was good that he took it and made it."
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Only in his third season with the Black & Gold, Higuaín is just four penalties short of Guillermo Baros Schelotto's club record for spot kicks taken and two tallies shy of Brian McBride's Crew record for penalty kick goals.
Dayton Dutch Lions FC fell 5-1 at home to the Richmond Kickers over the weekend. Crew loanee Kevan George went the full 90 minutes at centerback for the home side, while Aaron Schoenfeld and Ryan Finley each saw action in the Dutch Lions' attack.
Dayton returns to action on Sunday when it hosts the Charleston Battery.