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
On paper, it was a tough weekend for the Dayton Dutch Lions, with two road matches in the span of two nights. However, the Crew's USL-PRO affiliate played fantastic soccer and emerged with four points from the possible six.
The doubleheader began on Friday, August 8 with a trip to Charleston to face the Battery in a clash that ended 2-2. Crew loanees Ross Friedman and Matt Walker each started the contest, with Matt Wiet coming in as a late-match substitute.
From there, Dayton traveled to Wilmington to meet the Hammerheads on the very next night, winning by a 2-1 final. Again, both Friedman and Walker started, with Wiet entering as a second-half replacement.
In an odd twist, on-loan goalkeeper Brad Stuver made his debut for Wilmington in the contest, starting and playing the duration for the home side.
Friedman went the full 180 minutes over the two matches, with Walker playing 162 minutes over the span.
Photo Credit: Jeremi Blurton
New signing Romain Gall chats with the Crew media contingent following his first training session with the Black & Gold.
Ashleigh Ignelzi joins Matt Finkes on 95.5 The Game every Monday for Massive Monday.
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.
An online auction surrounding this weekend’s Kirk Urso Memorial Night features high-value items such as unique experiences and autographed memorabilia with all proceeds going to the Memorial Fund. Kirk Urso Memorial Fund merchandise will be heavily featured throughout the match for fans to purchase, including Urso wristbands and #15 pins with the proceeds benefiting the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund. In addition to those items, any jersey that is personalized with Urso’s name and number will have a portion of the proceeds from the personalization going to the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund.
Urso was originally selected by the Crew in the first round (No. 10 overall) in the 2012 Supplemental Draft, and appeared in six games (five starts) with one assist before being sidelined by injury. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he made four consecutive NCAA Men’s College Cup Final Four appearances and captained the team to the 2011 NCAA National Championship. Urso unexpectedly passed away at the age of 22 from a congenital heart defect on August 5, 2012. He was admired for his unwavering work ethic and steadfast character both on and off the field. In 2013, Crew defender Eric Gehrig was honored with the Kirk Urso Heart Award.
Urso made one career appearance against Toronto FC, a road visit in his third-ever appearance on March 31, 2012. The midfielder went 90 minutes as the Crew defeated the Reds, 1-0, in front of 18,944 fans at BMO Field. The win, at the time, kept the Crew’s perfect run at the Toronto venue and it was the Crew’s first road victory of 2012.
In its first year, the Crew Soccer Foundation’s Kirk Urso Memorial Fund raised $100,000 to develop and support youth heart health research and programming. The funds raised are a core focus of the foundation and a way to honor the late Urso. This accomplishment set a record for funds raised for a single Foundation initiative within in a calendar year and delivered on a pledge made the day the Urso Fund was created two months after his passing in October of 2012.
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.