Crew Designated Player Federico Higuain now has 23 goals and 21 assists to his name in 60 regular-season games. With his goal off of a free kick in New England last weekend, Higuain is now tied with Brian Maisonneuve for eighth all-time on the Crew’s scoring list. Next on the list is Dante Washington in seventh place with 28 goals. Jeff Cunningham leads all Crew scorers in club history with 64 tallies for the Black & Gold.
Ethan Finlay scored the game-winning goal on Saturday at New England and was assisted by Justin Meram who had just come on as a sub. It was the second consecu- tive match game-winning goal in the 75th minute or later and the third overall this season. The first came on the March 29 win at Seattle off the foot of Justin Meram in the 94th. Ethan Finlay has most recently provided a pair of game-tying goals in the 75th minute or later, including equalizers on June 4 against Real Salt Lake (88’) and on July 4 at Colorado (76’).
Toyota Park has not been a kind venue to the Crew in recent years. The team’s lone win at the Fire’s new home was in 2006 and the Crew has gone 0-6-4 since the begin- ning of the 2007 season. The match is Gregg Berhalter’s first regular-season match at Toyota Park after playing a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match in the stadium in June.
Columbus Crew players Wil Trapp and Josh Williams teamed up this week with Columbus Metropolitan Library branches in Gahanna and Reynoldsburg to read soccer themed books and to talk to children about the importance of reading. The readings come just days before the Crew launches its Get a Kick Out of Reading program that runs during the month of August.
Matt Lampson continued his LLS Hero program through a busy month of July by meeting with many special Heroes and their families. To date, Lampson has honored 18 Heroes at Crew matches.
Continuing the Hero program that Lampson started during the 2013 season, the goalkeeper will work with LLS to invite a child and his or her family to every home and away match during the 2014 season.
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
Crew rookie defender Ben Sweat made a surprise visit to the Easter Seals Central and Southeast Ohio Summer Day Camp to play games and interact with the campers.
Sweat taught the children a few tricks while working with them to improve their passing and shooting abilities.
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.
Federico Higuain's bending free kick has been nominated for Week 20's MLS AT&T Goal of the Week.
The opening tally in the Crew's match at New England, Higuain's gorgeous free kick helped the Black & Gold on to their second consecutive victory.
Voting runs until 2:59 a.m. ET on Friday and the winner is announced on Friday.