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Columbus Crew

26 September 2:44 pm

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Tony Tchani is fifth among all MLS players in duels won in 2014 with 185. The Crew midfielder has won 58.18 percent of his duels. Portland’s Darlington Nagbe leads that list with 211 duels won and a 63.36 percent duel success rate. Of the list of the top five duel-winners in regular-season action, Tchani is first on the list in successful passes with 1,422, while Nagbe has 883 successful passes.

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Federico Higuain is now second among all MLS players in free-kick goals this season after last weekend’s strike against New England. Both free-kick goals have come against the Revs this year. The Argentine playmaker’s two free-kick goals trails only Michel of FC Dallas who has three.

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Federico Higuain continues to lead MLS in corner kicks this season (127), which is now his career high and also ties Guillermo Barros-Schelotto (2010) for the club’s record for corner kicks in a single season. His previous career high for a single season was 123 last year, which he broke against New England last weekend. Overall, Higuain is third on the Crew’s all-time list for corners, trailing Robert Warzycha (503) and Guillermo Barros Schelotto (423).

26 September 2:42 pm

THREE ON TEAM OF THE WEEK

Recognized for their work in Saturday’s 1-0 win over the New England Revolution, goalkeeper Steve Clark, defender Eric Gehrig and midfielder Tony Tchani earned Team of the Week honors for Week 28 on MLSsoccer.com ... the Black & Gold are the only club with three players in this week’s Best XI ... the Crew also had three repre- sentatives in Week One and Week 23 following wins against D.C. United and the LA Galaxy, respectively.

CONTINUING HOME DOMINANCE ...

The Black & Gold finish a two-match homestand looking to build off of the continued success of late at Crew Stadium ... in the last four home games dating back to August 16, the Crew has been victorious, outscoring its opponents by a score of 11-1 in wins over the LA Galaxy, Houston Dynamo, Chivas USA and New England ... the club has one more home match remaining in the 2014 regular-season after Saturday.

... AND A VICTORY SATURDAY WOULD MAKE IT FIVE STRAIGHT AT HOME

The Black & Gold have won their last four home matches and look for a fifth in a row this weekend against Montreal ... the last time the Crew won five consecutive matches at home was in 2012 in a similar stretch of the season from August 22 to September 29.

26 September 2:18 pm

Crew players Tyson Wahl, Matt Walker, Wil Trapp and Aaron Schoenfeld teamed-up with Crew Cat and children from the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio Monday for an afternoon of playing games and hanging out at Dave & Buster’s. The Black & Gold also worked with DSACO earlier this week when Crew Stadium hosted its annual Buddy Walk on Sunday, September 21.

26 September 10:42 am

To those who follow the Crew (and maybe the New England Revolution), it's no secret: Federico Higuain is deadly when standing over the ball on a set piece near goal. Pipa's strike against the Revs on Saturday was his second such goal of 2014, and his second against New England after scoring from a very similar position in Foxborough earlier this season. Additionally, Higuaín scored on two free kicks against the Revolution on August 25, 2012. 

The Argentine currently ranks second in free-kick goals this season, trailing FC Dallas' Michel, who has three. The two players are the only two with more than one in 2014.

Despite ranking second this season, since Higuain's MLS debut, nobody has notched more free-kick goals. In fact, only eight players over that time period (since August 19, 2012) have recorded more than one free-kick tally:

Player Free-Kick Goals since 8/19/12
Federico Higuain 4
Camilo 3
Michel 3
Ramiro Corrales 2
Benny Feilhaber 2
Marvin Chavez 2
Juninho 2
Will Johnson 2

Over this span, Higuain also has registered 34 shots from a free kick, which bests New England's Lee Nguyen by four for the League lead in that time period as well.

26 September 9:11 am

Aaron Schoenfeld hasn't played for Dayton Dutch Lions FC since early July, but his impact while at the Crew's affiliate was so strong that earlier this week, the striker earned USL-PRO Second Team honors.

"The Big Celery" notched 12 goals in 18 USL-PRO appearances in 2014 before being called-up to Columbus. At the time of his recall, Schoenfeld was tied for the USL-PRO scoring lead.

Schoenfeld was the only Dutch Lion named to either of USL-PRO's all-league squads. With the Crew, the Knoxville, Tennessee native has recorded one goal and one assist in 2014.

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

25 September 2:32 pm

With the club's final home match before a three-weekend road swing, three points at home against Montreal would go a long way toward a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs. That fact isn't lost on defender Eric Gehrig.

"We know it's an important game. It's another three points at home," said Gehrig. "We know that our games left at home in the regular season are numbered. It's our biggest game of the season."

Although Montreal is in last place in the Eastern Conference, the side has put together better results of late and Gehrig is not taking the Impact lightly: "To me, they're a really dangerous team."

Stay tuned for more of Gehrig's thoughts on the Impact match in this weekend's Black & Gold Breakdown, presented by Koorsen Fire and Security.

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

23 September 8:12 pm

Purchase FIFA 15 and think the cover could use a little Crew flavor?

The good people at Major League Soccer have you covered, creating club-specific covers for the world's most popular sports video game. Click the photo below, right-click the full-size image and download to enjoy Crew captain Michael Parkhurst on the cover of this year's game for your XBOX 360.

23 September 1:44 pm

Ahead of the annual release of 24 Under 24, a ranking of the best players in the League under the age of 24, MLSsoccer.com's Andrew King profiled the Crew Homegrown Player.

The piece largely centers around Trapp's local ties and his affectionate nickname of "The Franchise." An excerpt:

"The Columbus Crew have had their share of legends.

But when Crew fans think of the biggest names who have come and gone for one of Major League Soccer’s founding franchises – Brian McBride, Jeff Cunningham, Frankie Hejduk, and Guillermo Barros Schelotto – there’s always been something missing.

McBride is from the Chicago suburbs, while Cunningham was born in Jamaica and grew up in Florida. Hejduk is California to the core and Schelotto spent most of his life in Argentina. None of the big names in the franchise’s rich history are from Columbus or even the state of Ohio, one of the great soccer hotbeds in the United States.

Wil Trapp is out to change that. He's a local kid from the Columbus surburbs and was something of an Ohio schoolboy soccer legend before he signed with the club in 2012. At 21, he still struggles to go grow hair on his face and carries around a somewhat diminutive 5-foot-8, 150-pound frame, but he’s already earned a fitting nickname inside the Crew locker room in just his second year on the team."

TheCrew.com will have more on Trapp later in the week, coinciding with the Thursday release of 24 Under 24.

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

23 September 1:31 pm

While the three points that the Crew earned on Saturday against New England were enormous in the context of the MLS Cup Playoff race, many of the Black & Gold's closest rivals also earned positive results as well. As such, the Crew experienced little movement in the national Power Rankings, even though there is no question that it's playing its best soccer of the year at the right time.

See below for this week's ranks and last week's position:

MLSsoccer.com: 10 (10)

ESPNFC: 11 (11)

SI.com: 10 (11)

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images