Following his team-leading 13th goal of the season on Saturday, Crew forward Dominic Oduro has been nominated by MLSSoccer.com as a Top 3 Performer for Week 34. The Ghanaian speedster registered a goal and an assist in the weekend's 3-2 loss to the New England Revolution after being named MLS Player of the Month for September.
Due to a nagging hip injury suffered in the Crew's 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on October 5, Federico Higuaín will miss Saturday night's Eastern Conference clash against the New England Revolution. Though the Argentine playmaker began jogging once again during the week, Interim Head Coach Brian Bliss and the team's medical staff ruled Higuaín was not fit for game action.
Ethan Finlay will replace Higuaín in the lineup as Dominic Oduro will join Jairo Arrieta on the Crew frontline.
"We said it yesterday that the decision regarding Federico traveling would be a flight-time call," Bliss explained. "After consulting with Federico and the medical staff, we determined that he would be unable to go tonight and so it made sense that he would not travel with us yesterday."
Following the Montreal Impact's 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union, the Crew needs a win in New England tonight coupled with a Toronto FC win or draw against the Chicago Fire. Higuaín will be re-evaluated and could return with a berth a chance to clinch an MLS Cup Playoff berth next week against the Revolution in Columbus.
"We'll re-evaluate his availability next week, but for now, we believe we have what it takes to get three crucial points tonight," Bliss said.
With starts at right wing in the last four matches, Dominic Oduro now has started 17 matches in 2013 lined up on the right, while also posting 15 starts at forward. Oduro’s team-leading 12 goals have been fairly balanced, with seven goals in 15 starts at forward and five goals in 17 games at right midfield. The Crew is 5-7-3 in 2013 when Oduro starts at forward and is 7-8-2 when Oduro takes the field on the right side of the Crew’s midfield.
Making starts in the central midfield in the last four matches, Tony Tchani now has 20 appearances, including 11 starts, for the Crew in 2013. The 24-year-old began his career with New York in 2010 and made 27 appearances (17 starts) for a career-high in both categories. Over the last two seasons with the Black & Gold, Tchani has recorded 44 appearances and 25 starts.
With the Crew on a bye weekend last weekend (October 11-13), midfielder/defender Kevan George departed for international duty with Trinidad & Tobago. George earned his third career cap in the 0-0 draw on Tuesday night, making a substitute appearance in the 83rd minute. Earlier this season, George earned a call-up during the OSN Cup, an international tournament held in Saudi Arabia from September 5-9. During the tournament, George made two substitute appearances to earn his first two caps on the senior roster, appearing as a substitute in the match against the United Arab Emirates on September 5 and against Saudi Arabia on September 9.
Crew players Bernardo Anor, Federico Higuain, Jairo Arrieta, Matias Sanchez and Augustin Viana made a special delivery to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank this week in conjunction with the Crew’s ¡Viva el Fútbol! celebration presented by Lifeline of Ohio for Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15- October 15).
At four different Crew home match dates throughout the 2013 season, fans were encouraged to bring canned food items to the Crew Stadium gates as part of the Crew and Sodexo Fight Hunger Food Drive. As a result of this drive, the two organizations were able to donate over 6,000 pounds of canned food which is enough to feed roughly 2,000 families.
(Photos courtesy of Kevin Cross / International Soccer Network)
In his most recent blog for ESPNFC, United States Men's National Team forward Jozy Altidore reflected on scoring against Jamaica last Friday while wearing custom made adidas boots paying tribute to Crew midfielder Kirk Urso, who passed away in August 2012. Altidore initially intended to wear the boots against Mexico at Crew Stadium on September 10, but was forced to miss the match due to yellow card accumulation.
"Personally, it was a special match for me. I was able to wear my custom adidas boots that paid tribute to Kirk Urso, my old friend and former youth teammate. And the fact I was able to score our second goal of the match in a pair of boots I will never wear again made it even more memorable."
The boots were raffled off to benefit the Jozy Altidore Foundation and the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund.
Crew defender/midfielder Kevan George earned his third cap for the Trinidad & Tobago National Team on Tuesday night as the Soca Warriors drew New Zealand in a friendly, 0-0, in Port of Spain. George entered the match in the 83rd minute, replacing Khaleem Hyland in the T&T midfield.
George is expected to be back and available for selection for the Black & Gold's match against New England on Saturday.
The Crew travels to New England for a crucial Eastern Conference battle with the Revolution on Saturday with both sides' playoff hopes on the line. The match will be the second of three meetings this season between the two MLS Charter Members as the Revs topped the Black & Gold, 2-0 at Crew Stadium. Here is a look back at the prior meeting this season.
The Black & Gold fought the Revolution for 90 minutes, but the Revs netted two in stoppage time to take three points on the road as Jose Gonçalves and Diego Fagundez led New England to victory.
Despite having the week off from MLS play, the Crew slipped across Week 33's Power Rankings. The Black & Gold took the biggest hit in MLSSoccer.com's rankings, where they fell from 12th to 15th place. Full rankings are below.
MLSSoccer.com - 15th (12th)
ESPNFC - 15th (14th)
Sports Illustrated - 15th (14th)
Matt Lampson and Team LampStrong helped raise over $14,000 for blood cancer research ahead of Saturday's Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk at Bicentennial Park in downtown Columbus. Here are the top tweets and Instagram photos from the event.