Giancarlo Gonzalez and Waylon Francis were welcomed back to Crew Stadium on Wednesday night following their run in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The Columbus crowd gave them an ovation before kickoff, as many fans saw the Costa Rican duo on the world’s stage. Americans made up a full 20% of all the traffic to the FIFA official apps and Web sites. Over the tournament, 36.7 million unique visitors from the United States have visited FIFA.com or the FIFA app. That’s about 11.28% of the U.S. population.
The Black & Gold return to action on Saturday, seeking a critical home win against the Montreal Impact. The Crew does have recent history to its advantage this weekend. Montreal is currently 0-5-3 on the road in 2014 and has yet to secure a victory away from Stade Saputo. The Crew is also 3-0-0 in the three previous meetings between the Black & Gold and the Impact at Crew Stadium.
The 75th-minute mark in matches between the Crew and Montreal has led to fascinatng action in regular-season play dating back to 2012. In the most recent meeting on September 14, 2013, Federico Higuain added his second assist of the contest – and team-best eighth of the season – on Dominic Oduro’s match-winner in the 78th minute. Both meetings in 2012 featured game-winning goals in the 89th-minute or later as Patrice Bernier’s 89th-minute PK secured the 2-1 win for Montreal on July 8 while Emilio Renteria’s 93rd-minute goal gave the Crew a 2-1 win on Sept. 1, 2012. Just outside the parameter, Dominic Oduro also snagged a 72nd-minute equalizer to give the Black & Gold a draw in a 1-1 clash on April 14, 2013 in Montreal.
MLSsoccer.com's Nick Firchau and Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle preview the Saturday night match between the Columbus Crew and Montreal Impact.
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.
Homegrown midfielder and Gahanna native Wil Trapp is one of the subjects of Capital Style's "Columbus Athletes, Outside the Lines" feature in the magazine's latest issue. Trapp's style is showcased alongside Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski and former Ohio State star and Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins.
Among the topics covered in the feature are Trapp's travel essentials, music preferences and career ambitions.
Pick up the issue at a news stand around town or visit Capital-Style.com.
Photo: Capital Style
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images
Following the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Crew welcomes Giancarlo Gonzalez and Waylon Francis back to Columbus for tonight’s match against Sporting KC. Many fans in Columbus watched the Costa Rican duo during the tournament, as well as United States Men’s National Team players Graham Zusi and Matt Besler from Sporting KC.
Here are a few numbers and notes to know following the monthlong battle of countries on the world’s stage…
- USA v. Ghana: 6.3 rating nationally (11.1 million people), 8.9 in Columbus (fifth-highest market).
- USA v. Portugal: 9.6 rating nationally (18.2 million people), 12.6 in Columbus (second-highest market)
- USA v. Germany: 6.7 rating nationally (10.8 millon people), 8.1 in Columbus (seventh-highest market)
- USA v. Belgium: 9.8 rating nationally (16.5 million people), 10.8 in Columbus (tenth-highest market)
- For comparison, here are the average ratings for several other recent national sporting events: Monday Night Football for the 2013 NFL season (9.6), the 2013 World Series (8.9), the 2014 Stanley Cup Final (2.8) and the 2014 NBA Finals (9.3).
- 220 million Facebook users have combined for over one billion interactions on the site since it started. It's the largest event, sports or otherwise, in Facebook history.
- With two weeks remaining in the tournament, the World Cup generated 300 million tweets, doubling the entire London Olympics.
- The USA hashflag was the most tweeted of any nation's.
- Americans made up a full 20% of all the traffic to the FIFA official apps and Web sites. Over the tournament, 36.7 million unique visitors from the United States have visited FIFA.com or the FIFA app. That's about 11.28% of the U.S. population.
- Americans bought more World Cup game tickets than any other country, behind host country Brazil (also happened in 2010 with USA, second behind host South Africa).