The Crew heads to Red Bull Arena for the first of two meetings at the home of the Red Bulls in 2014. The Crew is 1-1-2 in its previous four meetings in the venue, but has secured points in three of the four meetings, including a victory in the team’s first visit to the building that opened in 2010. Those results have helped improve the Crew’s overall road record against New York, which stands at 9-14-5. Despite the historical struggle on New Jersey soil, the clubs remain almost deadlocked in regular-season action all-time, with the Crew currently 24-25-9 against New York.
The Crew has played to four consecutive draws dating back to June 4 against Real Salt Lake. The streak matches a previous Black & Gold record for consecutive draws (four) from the 2006 season. That year, the team played to consecutive 1-1 draws at home against New England (June 21) and Chivas USA (June 24) before a pair of road draws: 0-0 at New York (June 28) before a 1-1 tilt at Houston (July 4). Both stretches -- the 2006 string of matches and the current one -- began in June and involved a 1-1 Fourth of July draw.
Midfielder Tony Tchani has started each of the team’s first 17 matches through the midway point of the year. His 1,502 minutes are fast approaching a career high (1,610) that was set in his rookie season with Saturday’s opponent, the New York Red Bulls, in 2010. As a rookie, Tchani made 27 appearances and 17 starts. His 17 starts this year have already trumped his 13 starts for the Crew in 2013 and he is on pace to reach the 20 appearance mark for the third consecutive year in Black & Gold.
MLSsoccer.com's Nick Firchau and Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle preview the Saturday evening match between the New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew.
Crew play-by-play man Neil Sika joins Matt Finkes for "Sika the Truth" every Wednesday on 95.5 The Game.
The Crew's unbeaten streak has stretched to four matches, and as a result, ESPNFC bumped it up one spot in its Power Rankings, with MLSsoccer.com keeping it level.
See the links below for the full rankings, with last week's position indicated as well:
MLSsoccer.com: 14 (14)
ESPNFC: 12 (13)
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images
Winger Ethan Finlay was an offensive threat throughout the Crew's Independence Day clash with the Colorado Rapids, eventually netting the equalizer in the 76th minute to help the Black & Gold to a point on the road. For his efforts, Finlay was named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week for Week 17. The honor is the first of Finlay's career.
The Dayton Dutch Lions split a pair of contests last week as they continued their USL-PRO campaign.
On Wednesday, July 2, Dayton fell 2-1 to Pittsburgh Riverhounds at home. A pair of Crew loanees linked up for the match's opening goal, as Aaron Schoenfeld scored from Ross Friedman in the fifth minute. Matt Walker and Matt Wiet also started for Dayton.
On Saturday, July 5, Schoenfeld nabbed a hat trick in a 3-1 road victory over Charlotte Eagles. Friedman and Wiet both started the match, while Walker entered as a second-half substitute.
Schoenfeld now leads USL-PRO in goals with 12 in 18 matches. He is also three goals away from tying the all-time USL-PRO single-season goal-scoring record.
— Nicholas Murray (@NJEMurray) July 6, 2014
Photo Credit: Jeremi Blurton