Head Coach Robert Warzycha’s first-team selection on Sunday against the Portland Timbers provided Crew fans a chance to see more than half of the squad include in-state talent.
The special Ohio ties have gained some local attention as many were originally featured ahead of the 2013 home-opener at Crew Stadium in an issue of Columbus Alive!. Sunday marked the first time in which three Crew Homegrown Players started in a single match.
In fact, six Ohio-raised athletes managed to make their way into the starting XI, helping the Crew earn a 1-0 victory against a Timbers that entered Crew Stadium unbeaten in their last 15 matches.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Official Statistician of Major League Soccer:
48 players born in Ohio have been signed to an MLS club at some point in their career. Among that total, there are currently 20 active players around the League who hail from the Buckeye State.
13 of those 48 athletes were, at one time or other, under contract to the Crew.
That list of course only includes players that were born in the state of Ohio, and does not include players that were born elsewhere but still consider Ohio their hometowns on official rosters. For example, current Black & Gold players Konrad Warzycha (Born in Poland - raised in Dublin, OH) and Matt Lampson (Born in Tennessee – raised in Hilliard, OH) have specific Ohio ties but are not included below.
The players’ name is followed by the number of appearances they have made for the Crew and the years they called Crew Stadium home.
Chad Barson (8, 2013) Columbus, OH
Eric Brunner (39, 2008-2013) Dublin, OH
Marc Burch (7, 2006-2013) Cincinnati, OH
Brad Friedel (38, 1996-1997) Lakewood, OH
Aaron Horton* (1, 2011-2013) Lakewood, OH
Kyle Hyland (0, 2013) Bay Village, OH
Chris Leitch (37, 2002-2011) Columbus, OH
Danny O'Rourke (140, 2005-2013) Columbus, OH
Kenny Schoeni (1, 2008-2010) Cincinnati, OH
Ben Speas (14, 2012-2013) Stow, OH
Wil Trapp (1, 2013) Columbus, OH
Brandon Ward (6, 1996) Westerville, OH
Josh Williams (47, 2010-2013) Canton, OH
*Currently on loan with LA Blues of USL PRO
The Crew will host FA Cup champion Wigan Athletic on Saturday in its annual international friendly at Crew Stadium. Here's a look back at the Black & Gold's 2-1 victory over Stoke City last season to get you ready for this weekend's match.
Early on, it seemed the Potters were clearly the top side as Jonathan Walters headed Ryan Shotton's cross into the net before Andy Gruenebaum could react in the opening minutes. However, the Black & Gold showed their fight in the second half as Homegrown striker Aaron Horton equalized in the 71st minute, finishing off Emilio Rentería's sliding endline cross. The Crew found the winner 16 minutes later as Horton's fellow Homegrown Ben Speas blasted a victory strike from the top of the box to edge the Premier League side 2-1.
The Crew returns home after a two-match road trip to face the Portland Timbers on Sunday night (5:00 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio). Before the two sides meet this weekend, here is a look back at their lone meeting in 2012.
The Crew kicked off a six-match unbeaten streak last season with a 0-0 road draw against the Portland Timbers. Andy Gruenebaum made seven saves in goal to deny the Timbers and help the Black & Gold to a hard-earned road point. The Crew would go on to secure 11 points from its next five matches.
MLSSoccer.com's Greg Lalas counts down his top five Americans in MLS history with former Crew striker and the League's all-time leading scorer, Jeff Cunningham, coming in at number four.
Think Hejduk and McBride are missing from this list? Discuss in the comment section below.
The Crew faces the LA Galaxy in an Independence Day tilt at the StubHub Center tonight (10:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio) in the clubs' only meeting this season. History may be on Columbus' side as this will be the third time the Black & Gold have played the Galaxy on the Fourth of July -- the Crew beat LA on Independence Day in the 2000 and 2001 seasons in front of 50,000-plus fans at the Rose Bowl.
Here's a look back at the Crew's 2001 victory over the Galaxy thanks to Brian West's brace.
Crew broadcaster, Neil Sika, catches up with Black & Gold midfielders Kevan George and Ben Speas ahead of the matchup with the LA Galaxy.
Just like last season, the Columbus Crew and LA Galaxy will meet just once this season due to the unbalanced MLS schedule. Before the two MLS charter members meet at the StubHub Center on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio), here is a look back at the teams' matchup in 2012.
In the Crew's first match following the death of rookie midfielder Kirk Urso, an emotionally charged Black & Gold dictated the play early to force numerous attempts on goal in the first half. The Crew finally got a greakthrough early in the second half as Jairo Arrieta beat Josh Suanders to give the home team the lead after 47 minutes. Just after the hour mark, an in-form Robbie Keane equalized to level the game at one. Despite several late chances from both sides, the score remained deadlocked through 90 minutes to give the Crew a point at home.
Crew striker Dominic Oduro talks about being the fastest man in MLS, growing up idolizing fellow African Samuel Eto'o and the biggest mistake you can make defending him.
U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team midfielder and Ohio native Wil Trapp talks about his early start with soccer, working his way into the Columbus Crew system and playing a significant role on Tab Ramos' U-20
squad in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
AN IMPORTANT TWO-MATCH ROAD SWING
After closing-out a two match homestand in the third and fourth weekends of June, the Black & Gold begin an important two-match road swing: at Sporting KC (June 29) and at LA (July 4) ... following Saturday’s match, the team will travel to LA on Sunday and train in the City of Angels ahead of the Independence Day clash on Thursday ... the seven-day trip will test the team’s road record of 3-3-2.
A TRIP TO SPORTING PARK...
The Crew travels to Sporting KC’s beautiful home, Sporting Park, for the club’s third- ever visit ... the Crew fell 2-1 in the team’s first visit on September 28, 2011 before securing a full three points in the Black & Gold’s only visit last year on July 28 -- a 2-1 win for the visiting Crew ... from 1996-2007, the Crew was 5-9-2 at the longtime home of the Kansas City club before posting an unbeaten (3-0-0) record at Community- America Ballpark from 2008 through 2010 before Sporting’s new venue opened.
TOP GOAL-SCORERS BATTLE FOURTH STRAIGHT MATCH
For the fourth straight week, the Crew and its opponent will battle in a match featur- ing two of the top five goal scorers in MLS in 2013 ... Dominic Oduro added his seventh goal of the season on Saturday, June 15 against Montreal and remained in the elite list of MLS goal-scorers in 2013 ... Oduro is tied with Sporting KC’s Claudio Bieler for fifth in MLS behind Camilo Sanvezzo and co-Budweiser Golden Boot leaders, Jack McInerney, Mike Magee and Marco Di Vaio (10 goals) ... Oduro has converted on the fewest amounts of shots on goal -- demonstrating that when the opportunity strikes, so does the Ghanaian striker.
SANCHEZ UNAVAILABLE ON SATURDAY; MIDFIELD COMPETITION...
Matías Sánchez will miss Saturday’s match as the Argentine serves a mandatory one- game suspension for yellow-card accumulation after picking-up his fifth caution last Saturday against Chicago ... other midfielders that have seen action this year include- Kevan George, Tony Tchani, Agustín Viana and Konrad Warzycha.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE BATTLE OF CORNER KICK LEADERS
Saturday’s contest also features the League’s top two corner kick leaders thus far in 2013 as Federico Higuain (71) faces Graham Zusi (70) of Sporting KC ... the Crew only had three corner kicks in last Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Chicago, but Higuain took all three for the club ... Zusi took all four of Sporting’s corner kicks in the 2-2 draw against FC Dallas last weekend, leaving the midfielder just one behind the Crew play- maker entering this weekend.