For the third time in 2013, the Crew faces the Fire on Saturday (8:00 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio) in a crucial Eastern Conference matchup. Looking ahead to the weekend, let's revisit the rivals' previous two meeting this season at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.
Andy Gruenebaum made a season-high six saves to help keep the Black & Gold in the match, but an 83rd-minute Jeff Larentowicz tally was the deciding factor in the Crew's defeat to the Fire back in April. The Black & Gold were unable to muster a single shot on frame in the loss.
The Crew fought through losing defensive anchor Gláuber in the sixth minute to a torn left ACL to find the opening goal of the match via the head of midfielder Konrad Warzycha in the 22nd minute. Though the Black & Gold maintained most of the possession and dictated the tempo in the first half, the Fire was able to equalize six minutes later and eventually found the winner in the 79th minute on a goal scored by Patrick Nyarko to knock the Crew out of Open Cup play.
MLSSoccer.com's Dan Haiek and Matt Doyle breakdown this weekend's matchup between the Crew and Fire, highlighting Ben Speas as a player to watch in the Black & Gold attack.
UNBEATEN STREAK CONTINUES
The 1-1 draw on Sunday at Montreal extended the Crew’s modest unbeaten streak to four games (1-0-3) dating back to March 16 against San Jose ... the team’s last (and only) loss came when the Crew fell 2-1 in Vancouver on March 9, more than one month ago ... the Black & Gold are one of three teams with a current unbeaten streak of four or more games, joining Portland (4), Kansas City (4) and FC Dallas (5).
EASTERN CONFERENCE PERFECTIONISTS
This weekend’s match in Chicago also puts the Black & Gold’s perfect Eastern Conference record on the line ... following a 1-1 draw at Montreal last Sunday, the Crew is now 1-0-2 in Eastern Conference play this season after opening 2013 with three straight Western Conference matches (1-1-1).
ROAD SWING WRAPS-UP
The Black & Gold return to the road this weekend for their fifth away match in seven contests thus far in 2013 ... although the Crew has yet to win at home (0-0-2), the team has been able to secure key road wins after posting a 2-1-1 record away from home thus far ... after Saturday, the Crew plays its next three straight matches at home: April 27 vs. D.C., May 4 vs. New York and May 11 vs. Colorado.
Saturday's match vs. Chicago Fire will be carried LIVE and for FREE on MLSsoccer.com as the el Jimador Tequila MLS Stream of the Week.
* The stream is available only at MLSsoccer.com and fans must use a device with Adobe Flash player.
* The stream is available to fans inside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
* An MLS Network account is required. Register at MLSsoccer.com or at the top left of TheCrew.com
*Local blackout rules also apply. Learn more
The Crew and Chicago Fire renew their rivalry this weekend at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Here is a look back at how the series played out in 2012.
First half goals from Eddie Gaven and Emilio Rentería moved the Crew's spring unbeaten streak to five matches as the Black & Gold beat the Fire back on May 26 of last year 2-1. Celtic punk band Flogging Molly celebrated the win with a post-match concert on the Crew Stadium main stage.
The Crew couldn't fight back from an early-two goal deficit as Marco Pappa and Dominic Oduro tallied for the Fire within the first 30 minutes. Tony Tchani got one back for the Black & Gold shortly after Gonzalo Segares was sent off in the 29th minute. However, the Crew failed to find an equalizer despite playing against 10 men for 61 minutes.
Jairo Arrieta's aggressiveness gave the Crew an early advantage, as the Costa Rican pick-pocketed Fire 'keeper Sean Johnson to put the Crew ahead at the 15 minute mark. Columbus couldn't hold the lead however, as two Chris Rolfe tallies within three minutes of each other ultimately spelled doom for the Black & Gold.
The Black & Gold will kick off its 2013 Reserve League campaign on Tuesday. The back-to-back reserve champions will host the Chicago Fire at the Crew Training Facility at Obetz on Tuesday, March 26 10:00 a.m. ET. The match is open to the public and admission is free.
**UPDATE** Match moved to the Crew Training Facility at Obetz located at 4153 Alum Creek Dr. Obetz, OH 43207
Click here for the 2013 Reserve League schedule.