The jumbled nature of the Eastern Conference standings means that the Crew's 3-2 defeat to Toronto FC still left it in the heart of MLS Cup Playoff contention, and the club's placement in the Power Rankings reflected that, with little-to-no movement over the weekend.
See below for the Black & Gold's rank in each of the major polls, with last week's rank indicated:
MLSsoccer.com: 14 (14)
ESPNFC: 14 (13)
SI.com: 16 (15)
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images
On paper, it was a tough weekend for the Dayton Dutch Lions, with two road matches in the span of two nights. However, the Crew's USL-PRO affiliate played fantastic soccer and emerged with four points from the possible six.
The doubleheader began on Friday, August 8 with a trip to Charleston to face the Battery in a clash that ended 2-2. Crew loanees Ross Friedman and Matt Walker each started the contest, with Matt Wiet coming in as a late-match substitute.
From there, Dayton traveled to Wilmington to meet the Hammerheads on the very next night, winning by a 2-1 final. Again, both Friedman and Walker started, with Wiet entering as a second-half replacement.
In an odd twist, on-loan goalkeeper Brad Stuver made his debut for Wilmington in the contest, starting and playing the duration for the home side.
Friedman went the full 180 minutes over the two matches, with Walker playing 162 minutes over the span.
Photo Credit: Jeremi Blurton
Ashleigh Ignelzi joins Matt Finkes on 95.5 The Game every Monday for Massive Monday.
The honors haven't stopped for Crew captain Michael Parkhurst.
Fresh off of his appearance in the 2014 MLS AT&T All-Star Game, the defender appeared in EA Sports' FIFA 14 MLS Team of the Season.
Parkhurst is joined by Chad Marshall, Omar Gonzalez, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler and Liam Ridgewell at centerback.
An online auction surrounding this weekend’s Kirk Urso Memorial Night features high-value items such as unique experiences and autographed memorabilia with all proceeds going to the Memorial Fund. Kirk Urso Memorial Fund merchandise will be heavily featured throughout the match for fans to purchase, including Urso wristbands and #15 pins with the proceeds benefiting the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund. In addition to those items, any jersey that is personalized with Urso’s name and number will have a portion of the proceeds from the personalization going to the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund.
Urso was originally selected by the Crew in the first round (No. 10 overall) in the 2012 Supplemental Draft, and appeared in six games (five starts) with one assist before being sidelined by injury. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he made four consecutive NCAA Men’s College Cup Final Four appearances and captained the team to the 2011 NCAA National Championship. Urso unexpectedly passed away at the age of 22 from a congenital heart defect on August 5, 2012. He was admired for his unwavering work ethic and steadfast character both on and off the field. In 2013, Crew defender Eric Gehrig was honored with the Kirk Urso Heart Award.
Urso made one career appearance against Toronto FC, a road visit in his third-ever appearance on March 31, 2012. The midfielder went 90 minutes as the Crew defeated the Reds, 1-0, in front of 18,944 fans at BMO Field. The win, at the time, kept the Crew’s perfect run at the Toronto venue and it was the Crew’s first road victory of 2012.
In its first year, the Crew Soccer Foundation’s Kirk Urso Memorial Fund raised $100,000 to develop and support youth heart health research and programming. The funds raised are a core focus of the foundation and a way to honor the late Urso. This accomplishment set a record for funds raised for a single Foundation initiative within in a calendar year and delivered on a pledge made the day the Urso Fund was created two months after his passing in October of 2012.