Once again, Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum has been nominated for Save of the Week by MLSsoccer.com. This week's nomination comes from the 58th minute of Saturday's match against D.C. United when Gruenebaum saved Chris Pontius' breakaway shot from close range to help keep the Crew within a goal of United.
Vote for Gruenebaum here.
Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuaín, brother of newly-signed Designated Player Federico Higuaín, took the time to talk to MLSsoccer.com while Los Blancos tour the U.S. ahead of their upcoming La Liga campaign. Skip ahead to the 1:30 mark where Gonzalo is asked about his older brother coming to MLS (translation below).
Have you had the chance to talk to your brother Federico Higuain? He was recently signed by an MLS team, the Columbus Crew. Have you had a chance to talk to him about this chance that he has in the USA? And what is your personal opinion of soccer here?
Yes, I talked to him. He asked me about the US, the city I’m in right now, the team we are playing. He wants to know because it’s a new league for him. I am very happy because it’s a change for good, and I hope he can do things the best way. I saw him very excited, I hope things go well for him because if he’s doing well, so are we (referring to his family).
Love it or hate it, no one can argue that RFK Stadium doesn't hold a special place in Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer history.
As the League's only stadium that can boast that it's been used since MLS's infancy in 1996, no other site in MLS can boast that it has held World Cup matches for both men and women, 21 U.S. Men's National Team matches, three MLS Cup Finals, and one MLS All-Star Game. Built for football and baseball, RFK stadium has also hosted boxing, bowl games, and various concerts.
RFK Stadium also holds a special place in my heart, because it's where I got my start in MLS as an intern for D.C. United in the summer of 2011. Who knows, without my experience with D.C. United last summer, I might not be writing the article for the Crew right now.
But fear not, Crew fans. In the seven matches in which I worked for D.C. last summer, Ben Olsen's team went 0-4-3 at RFK Stadium. In addition, I traveled to Chicago to see the Black-and-Red draw the Fire 1-1 and drove to my now-home of Crew Stadium to see United's playoff hopes dashed by Eddie Gaven's diving header on October 2, 2011 to go on top of July 21's 1-0 victory. And while the Black & Gold hasn't been wildly successful at RFK-- winning only six times in MLS's 17 year history-- the Crew has taken nine points from its last five matches at the historic stadium in D.C.
Though it is great for MLS that D.C. United may soon get a new stadium in The District within the next few years, you have to appreciate the only stadium that was in use when the league started in 1996 still going strong today. (Even though you may run into cockroaches, raccons, and various other critters in the field-level tunnels.)
The Crew players were greeted with the oppressive Mid-Atlantic heat and humidity on the team walk today through the Dupont Circle area of Washington, D.C.. There was a chorus of resounding "It's so hot..." statements as the team walked to Mitchell Park for a morning stretch. As you can see from Julius James' back in the photo above, many of the players broke a sweat during the stroll. Chris Birchall came prepared however, using napkins to wipe the sweat off his back throughout the walk.
It won't be much cooler at the time of kickoff this evening. Weather.com predicts it will be 89 degrees Fahrenheit with 55-percent humidity, making it feel like 96 degrees. What's more, the concrete structure of RFK Stadium will trap in the heat for tonight's match to make it even more oppressive.
Tonight will be a test of endurance for the Black & Gold, so look for the Crew to come out firing from the opening whistle just as it did two weeks ago against D.C. in search of an early goal in this muggy D.C. weather.
I'll have more from RFK Stadium later as kickoff approaches.
Today would have been Lamar Hunt's 80th birthday. From all of Crew Soccer Nation, thank you Lamar for your passion and vision for soccer in America!
Following the Crew's 2-1 victory in Kansas City on Saturday, the Black & Gold has been racking up the weekly awards around various media outlets. Here's a guide to all the accolades the team has earned this week:
In addition, Arrieta earned Team of the Week honors for by the above outlets and Sports Illustrated. Unfortunately for the Crew, Andy Gruenebaum's five-save effort wasn't enough to edge him past Chicago's Sean Johnson, who was the unanimous selection for the goalkeeper in the above outlets' First XIs.
For the hard-earned road win, Robert Warzycha was honored as Coach of the Week by MLSsoccer.com. It's the second time the Crew skipper has earned that honor this season.
Greetings from Kansas City,
After going their separate ways for breakfast, the players and coaches gathered in the hotel lobby this morning to catch some Olympic action before embarking on the team walk through the city.
Following their Olympic viewing, the players enjoyed the sights of Kansas City on the team walk.
Eventually, the team found a nice shaded are to stretch and mentally prepare for tonight's match against Sporting KC. Eddie Gaven shared his veteran insight with rookies Ethan Finlay and Matt Lampson.
Finally, before heading back to the hotel to rest, these guys insisted on posing for a buddy pic: