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.
BERHALTER ON A TOUGH LOSS WEDNESDAY NIGHT
Following the club’s 2-1 defeat on Wednesday at home, Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter spoke to the media on the turnaround needed ahead of Saturday ... said Berhalter: “We’re not victims in this whole thing. The way we perform we didn’t deserve to win that game and it wasn’t a pretty soccer game all around. The whole thing wasn’t pretty. Our job is to come out here and entertain the fans and play attractive soccer and we didn’t do that we didn’t live up to our end of the bargain tonight. It was hesitancy, it was guys not moving and it’s too bad because especially when they got the red card we could have gotten more out of that and we didn’t.”
FRANCIS, GONZALEZ RETURNED
Crew defenders Waylon Francis and Giancarlo Gonzalez represented the Crew in Brazil during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and returned on Wednesday with a start after meeting the team in New York last weekend ... Gonzalez started and played in every single match for The Ticos ... Gonzalez also added successful spot kicks during penalty kicks on June 29 as Costa Rica advanced past Greece and in the team’s final match against the Netherlands on July 5 in the Quarterfinals.
LAST EIGHT HAVE BEEN STRONG FOR FINLAY
With his assist on Adam Bedell’s goal in New York on July 12, Ethan Finlay has scored a goal or an assist in six of the last eight 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 ... he returned with the team’s lone goal in the 1-1 draw at Colorado on July 4 ... the Crew earned an own goal on Wednesday night against Sporting KC in just the second match in eight League contests Finlay has played in of late in which he did not record a goal or an assist.
ANOTHER TEST AGAINST EASTERN CONFERENCE-LEADING IMPACT ...
Saturday’s match is the third meeting between the two teams this year and a third test against an Impact side that has sat atop the Eastern Conference ahead of both tilts in 2013 ... the Crew has secured crucial points against the Impact and will look to do the same on Saturday against the current conference leaders with the Black & Gold five points out of the fifth-place spot in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.
... AND A CHANCE TO TAKE A REGULAR-SEASON SERIES
A win in Montreal would also mark the Crew’s third regular-season series victory in 2013 ... with a 2-0 win over Toronto on August 17, the Crew secured its second regular-season series victory following a pair of victories against D.C. United (2-0-0): a March 23 win at RFK Stadium (2-1) and a 3-0 win on April 27 at Crew Stadium.
A FINAL TRIP NORTH OF THE BORDER
Saturday’s trip to Montreal is the Crew’s fifth and final trip to Canada in 2013 and 14th overall regular-season match north of the border ... although the Black & Gold fell to Toronto on July 27, the Crew has secured points in 10 of the 13 previous meetings up North and is 4-3-6 in those Canadian-hosted matches ... Columbus is 3-1-5 in nine matches at Toronto FC, has a 1-1-0 record at Vancouver and the Crew’s 1-1 draw at Montreal on April 13 improved the Crew’s record at Montreal to 0-1-1 ... additional Ohio ties to Canada include rookie defender Drew Beckie who was born in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Despite playing in shutouts in the last six matches (three shutout wins, three shutout losses) dating back to August 10, the Crew does have a bit of history on its side headed into Montreal this weekend looking for its first victory at Stade Saputo. In the two previous all-time meetings at Stade Saputo in which the Crew has gone 0-1-1, the Black & Gold have found the back of the net once each time, giving the visitors a chance to perhaps make it shutouts in the last seven matches by adding another cleansheet win.
Saturday’s match will also be another first for Brian Bliss as his side heads north of the border. When Bliss took over as Interim Head Coach of Kansas City in 2006, MLS had yet to introduce a Canadian-based club into the League. Toronto joined the next year in 2007 and Vancouver (2011) and Montreal (2012) have followed suit, meaning this week’s clash will be Bliss’ first match coached against a Canadian opponent in MLS as well as first trip to Canada as Crew boss.
Tuesday night’s U.S. Men’s National Team win in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Mexico was among the top Crew Stadium soccer attendances of all time. The announced attendance of 24,584 was the fourth largest attendance for all Crew Stadium soccer matches and third largest U.S. Men’s National team attendances held at the home of the Black & Gold. The crowd helped give the Americans the crucial qualifying victory in a historic fourth “Dos a Cero” win against rival Mexico.
No matter where you may be in the world, chances are you'll be able to watch the Crew's match against the Montreal Impact on Saturday. The game will be available in over 100 countries worldwide. For local listings, check the list below.
Al Jazeera (Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen)
Arena Sport (Former Yugoslavia - except Slovenia)
Astro Supersport (Malaysia, Brunei)
Benfica TV (Portugal, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique)
Canal + (France)
C More (Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden)
GSP TV (Romania)
Nex- Media (Indonesia)
Prisa TV (Spain)
Rightster (Clips WorldWide)
Setanta Africa (Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros Islands, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, St. Helena, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zanzibar, Zimbabwe)
Sport Klub (Hungary)
Šport TV (Slovenia)
Sportdigital.tv (Germany, Austria)
TEN Sports (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka)
After a snowstorm-induced delay, the Crew and Impact finally met on the pitch at Stade Saputo on Sunday, April 14. Montreal striker Marco Di Vaio opened the scoring in the 68th minute, firing a long-distance shot past an outstretched Andy Gruenebaum to give his team the lead. Di Vaio's class would be matched just four minutes later when Crew forward Dominic Oduro blasted a stunning, left-footed volley to the far post and by Impact 'keeper Troy Perkins to level the two sides. The match remained deadlocked for the next 18 minutes as the Crew earned its first point in Montreal.
The Crew travels to Montreal for the first of three matches with the Impact in 2013 this Saturday. Before the Black & Gold head north of the border, let's look back at the three meetings between the two sides in 2012.
A 16th minute red card to Impact defender Jeb Brovsky, followed by a Milovan Mirosevic penalty kick at the half-hour mark lifted the Crew its first win of 2012 in last year's home opener. A second half goal from Olman Vargas on the end of a Shaun Francis cross put the icing on the cake in the first-ever meeting between the two sides.
In its first trip to Stade Saputo, the Crew saw its 1-0 lead vanish in the final 12 minutes of the match after Zarek Valentin's 78th minute tally drew the Impact level. An 89th minute penalty surrendered by Chris Birchall spelled doom for the Black & Gold as Patrice Bernier converted from the spot to lead the home team to victory.
Battling back from a 1-0 deficit at home, Federico Higuaín provided assists to Chad Marshall and Emilio Rentería to lift the Crew to its fourth-straight victory. Rentería's stoppage time tally was the Black & Gold's third-straight winner to come in the final 10 minutes of play.