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MLS Regular Season

26 August 1:28 pm

The Crew's second-straight three-goal victory led to another strong showing in the weekly Power Rankings. The Black & Gold rose two additional spots in each of the three major national polls.

See below for this week's ranks with last week's position indicated afterward:

MLSsoccer.com: 8 (10)

ESPNFC: 10 (12)

SI.com: 9 (11)

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

22 August 2:54 pm

GREAT HOME CROWDS

The Crew completes a three-match homestand on Saturday with a visit from Houston, looking to build-off the home attendance success in recent weeks ... over the last two weeks, the Crew has averaged 19,275 fans per game ... last Saturday’s attendance of 20,729 marked the Crew’s third sellout of the season ... that attendance marks the 30th largest all-time crowd in Crew Stadium history dating back to 1999, which includes MLS regular-season, MLS Cup Playoffs, an MLS Cup and U.S. Soccer matches.

DOMINATING THE DYNAMO IN COLUMBUS

Houston arrives in Columbus for its 10th trip to Columbus Crew Stadium since 2006 ... Crew Stadium has not been kind to the Dynamo ... since a June 10, 2007 victory for Houston in Columbus, the Crew is unbeaten (4-0-3) against Houston at home ... in that span, the Crew has outscored Houston, 13-6 and has shut-out the Texas side four times.

FOUR-GOAL PERFORMANCE

Four different Crew players scored in Saturday’s 4-1 win over the LA Galaxy ... it was the Crew’s first four-goal performance of the season and first since the 4-2 win at FC Dallas on September 29, 2013.

A FIRST FOR SPEAS, GONZALEZ

On Saturday against LA, Ben Speas recorded his first goal of the season in the 75th minute to give the Crew a 3-1 lead and Giancarlo Gonzalez scored his first goal in his MLS career in the 84th minute in the match’s final strike of the evening ... Gonzalez became the first Crew defender to score in 2014 ... for Speas, it was the second career goal for the midfielder ... Speas scored his first strike in D.C. last season in a tally that earned him the club’s Goal of the Year award, voted by the fans.

21 August 12:23 pm

Saturday's 4-1 triumph over the LA Galaxy perpetuated a positive statistic for the Columbus Crew: the club is unbeaten (5-0-3) when leading at halftime this season. In those eight matches, the Crew has scored 13 first-half goals and has notched exactly three shots on target per first half. Compare that to 1.3 shots on target per first half in the 16 matches that the Crew has been tied or trailing after the first 45 minutes, and you can see the importance of an early start. 

Beyond starting quickly, the statistic is also a testament to the Crew's ability to get results from positive positions. Consider Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter's opinion on the second half against LA:

"The second half was, to me, more of an exercise in counter-attacking. You saw it. We had guys running in the counter-attack. They switched to three in the back ... and it hurt them. There was a lot of open space."

When asked if he thinks his team's style lends itself well to burying teams that have to chase the game against the Crew, Berhalter said that he hopes so. The evidence supports it, and the Crew will be looking for more of the same against Houston on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

19 August 3:09 pm

The Crew's 4-1 thrashing of the LA Galaxy was certainly a head-turning performance, and national outlets have started to notice. The Black & Gold made gigantic leaps forward in each of the major Power Rankings polls around the soccer world.

See below for the ranks, with last week's assessment indicated afterward:

MLSSoccer.com: 10 (14)

SI.com: 11 (16)

ESPNFC: 12 (14)

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

12 August 1:33 pm

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

08 August 4:21 pm

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.

08 August 2:38 pm

FINAL LEG OF TRILLIUM CUP PRESENTED BY SCOTTS ...

The Crew and Toronto FC battle on Saturday for the third and final meeting in the Trillium Cup, presented by Scotts ... Toronto secured the trophy with a 3-2 win in Toronto on May 31 and a 2-0 victory at Crew Stadium in April in the first match of the regular-season series ... Trillium is the provincial flower of Ontario and the state wildflower of Ohio and Scotts joined as the presenting sponsor of the award ahead of the 2013 series ... the trophy was first awarded in 2008.

... AND REVENGE IS ON THE LINE

Following Toronto FC’s 3-2 win on May 31 to secure the Trillium Cup, presented by Scotts, the Crew has the ability to play for revenge and crucial Eastern Conference points ... despite the trophy loss this year, the Crew has secured the Trillium Cup five times ... 2008 marked the first year the award was up for grabs and the Crew held the trophy from 2008-2010 before a Toronto regular-season series victory gave the Reds the Cup for 2011 -- Toronto’s only Trillium Cup victory prior to this year ... the Crew regained the award in 2012 with three victories over Toronto and retained it in 2013 with a 2-1-0 record against the Reds ... Saturday is also the first meeting between the Crew and former forward Dominic Oduro, who was traded to Toronto on June 6.

PIPA LOVES THE REDS

Toronto FC got a break from Federico Higuain in the last meeting on May 31 while the Argentine served a one-match suspension for yellow-card accumulation ... Higuain has been lethal against Toronto and has recorded five goals and two assists in just six meetings with Toronto FC ... he recorded a two-goal performance on August 18, 2013, assisted Dominic Oduro on the game-winning goal on May 18, 2013 and the Crew playmaker recorded a brace in the final meeting between the two teams in 2012 on October 28 ... Pipa has been quite efficient against the Reds, as he’s scored all five goals on just seven shots on goal in 525 minutes.

OH THANK HEAVEN, ETHAN FINLAY’S LAST ELEVEN

With his game-tying assist in Chicago last weekend, Ethan Finlay has now recorded a goal or an assist in eight of the last 11 League matches he’s played in dating back to May 17 at Portland ... Finlay scored his first career tally in Oregon before returning home for a second goal against Chicago on May 24 ... on May 31 in Toronto, Finlay added an assist on Justin Meram’s tally to open the scoring before scoring on June 4 ... the Crew was held scoreless in the 0-0 draw on June 7 and Finlay missed action on June 29 after recovering from an appendectomy ... he returned with the team’s lone goal in the 1-1 draw at Colorado on July 4 ... Finlay also assisted Adam Bedell’s goal in the July 12 match at New York and added the game-winning goal on July 26 at New England.

05 August 2:51 pm

Following the Black & Gold's 1-1 draw in Chicago, the club experienced little movement in the national Power Rankings.

See below for the Crew's weekly placement, as well as its ranking from last week:

MLSsoccer.com: 14 (13)

ESPNFC: 13 (13)

SI.com: 15 (14)

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

30 July 2:33 pm

Consecutive victories have vaulted the Crew into MLS Cup Playoff position in the Eastern Conference, and national writers have noticed.

The Black & Gold have risen in all three of the major national Power Rankings rundowns. See below for the Crew's position, with the previous week's rank noted afterward:

MLSsoccer.com: 13 (15)

SI.com: 14 (15)

ESPNFC: 13 (15)

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

30 July 9:28 am

Crew defender Giancarlo Gonzalez was recognized for his defensive efforts in New England by the League, as he was named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week for Week 20.

Throughout the match at Gillette Stadium, "Pipo" recorded three tackles won, three interceptions, one blocked shot and an astonishing 14 clearances, tying Michael Parkhurst's total during the season-opener at D.C. United for the most by any Crew player in one contest this season.

Also recognized was goalkeeper Steve Clark, who made the Team of the Week bench to round out the full 18.