Crew defender Ross Friedman picked up an assist in Dayton Dutch Lions FC's 1-0 win to open USL-PRO play over the weekend against the Charlotte Eagles. Friedman found Dayton forward Brock Granger on a corner kick for the match-winner in the 40th minute. Fellow Crew loanees Kevan George, Matt Walker and Aaron Schoenfeld also saw action for the Dutch Lions in the win. Schoenfeld nearly doubled Dayton's lead, but his shot from outside the box hit the woodwork just ahead of the halftime whistle.
Saturday’s victory over Seattle marked the Crew’s second victory in a one-goal contest in 2014 after defeating Philadelphia by the same score on March 22. In 2013, the Crew was 4-10-0 in one-goal contests.
The 2-1 win at Seattle marked the final match of the month of March as the Crew opened the season 3-0-0. Last season, the Crew went a perfect 3-0-0 in the month of September. In the club’s inaugural season of 1996, the Crew went a perfect 6-0-0 in the month of August in a time before draws in MLS. It would be eight seasons before the Crew posted a month of perfect soccer (no losses or draws) in a calendar month with three or more regular-season matches played. In 2004, the Crew was 4-0-0 in August. The team had several unbeaten months with draws from 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012 before last season’s perfect month.
Justin Meram’s game-winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time was nominated for AT&T Goal of the Week. It is the second time this season through three games that the Crew has had a tally nominated for the award following Bernardo Anor’s nomina- tion in the 2-1 win over Philadelphia. Last year, the Crew had a nominee in Week 1 against Chivas USA (Higuain, 51st minute) and it wasn’t until Week 7 that the Crew was again among the finalists for Dominic Oduro’s 72nd-minute goal at Montreal.
BACK HOME IN TEST AGAINST TORONTO
The Black & Gold return home for their second home match of 2014 after opening the season with a pair of victories away from Crew Stadium ... the Crew is looking for wins in its first two home matches to open the year for the first time since 2010 when the club went 4-0-0 at Crew Stadium to begin the campaign ... in the three years since, the Crew went 3-0-1, (2011), 1-2-1 (2012) and 1-1-2 (2013) through its first four contests at home.
TIME FOR TRILLIUM CUP
The Crew and Toronto FC battle on Saturday for the first of three meetings in 2014 to decide the Trillium Cup, presented by Scotts ... 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 ... the Crew regained the award in 2012 with three victoies over Toronto and retained it in 2013 with a 2-1-0 record against the Reds ... 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.
PIPA AND THE REDS
Federico Higuain has recorded five goals and two assists in just five 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 435 minutes.
Crew defender Michael Parkhurst earned his 25th cap for the United States on Wednesday in the United States' 2-2 draw with Mexico at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Parkhurst made his second-straight start at leftback, and played the full 90 minutes in the draw.
The Crew Captain is due back in Columbus ahead of the Black & Gold's Trillum Cup clash with Toronto FC, presented by Scotts, on Saturday.
Crew Soccer Academy midfielders George Braima and Ben Swanson were recently called-up to represent the United States at the U-17 and U-18 levels, respectively.
Braima and the U-17 U.S. Men's National Team head to Bosnia-Herzegovina for the Josip Katalinski International Tournament and two international friendlies in Zagreb, Croatia. In the Katalinski Tournament, the U.S. takes on Montenegro and Sarajevo Select before wrapping up play in the tournament against either the Bosnia U-17 National Team, Belgrade Select or the Macedonia U-17 National Team in a placement match. In Zagreb, the U.S. plays Croatia on April 8 and April 10.
Swanson and the U.S. U-18 squad will stay stateside for a camp that includes a friendly with Canada on April 8 and another against Mexico on April 12. Swanson recently trained with the Crew First Team following the Copa del Atlantico in the Canary Islands.