Fans in Columbus have been treated to many memorable Landon Donovan moments in this city over the years. With the American soccer legend set to retire following the season, Saturday's match figures to be the final time Donovan will ever appear on the Crew Stadium pitch. His coach, Bruce Arena, reflected on that from Los Angeles:
"Landon's had a lot of good moments in Columbus," said Arena, who also has ties to the Crew through his coaching career alongside Gregg Berhalter. "Obviously with the National Team, the number of victories, especially over Mexico … I think he won an MLS Cup in Columbus as well.
"Obviously there are a lot of big moments with the National Team and with his club teams in Columbus. It'll be sad to see it as the last time around on Saturday, but having said that, I think he's had nothing but great experiences there."
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
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.