New England Revolution
DESPITE 2013 LOSSES, BLACK & GOLD HAVE REVS’ NUMBER ...
Saturday’s meeting will be the 61st regular-season meeting between the two teams, the Crew’s most-faced opponent during the season since 1996 ... the Crew’s 29 wins (29-20-11) against the Revs are the most versus any opponent in Black & Gold history, more than D.C. United (24 wins against), New York (24 wins against) or Sporting KC (21 wins).
... AND A STRONG STRETCH AGAINST THE REVS HAS HELPED
Although the Revs won the regular-season series in 2013 with three victories, the Black & Gold have found success against the Revs over the last seven seasons ... in the last 18 meetings, dating back to 2007, the Crew is 8-6-4 against the Revs ... during that stretch, the Revs won the regular-season series once: last year ... other than that, the Crew has won the regular-season series four times and the two teams have split results two other times ... from 1996 through 2000, and again from 2002 through 2006, the two conference foes met four times a year.
THE CAPTAIN & THE ALL-STAR...
Major League Soccer announced on July 19 that Columbus Crew captain and de- fender Michael Parkhurst has been named to the 23-man roster for the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game ... the experienced roster will take on Bayern Munich on August 6 at Providence Park, home of the Portland Timbers (live on ESPN 2, UniMas, and in Canada on TSN and RDS starting at 9:30 p.m. ET) ... the Rhode Island native is the first Crew player to be named to the All-Star roster in four years and is the first selection since the duo of Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Chad Marshall in 2010 ... Parkhurst has played in two previous MLS All-Star matches.
... PARKHURST RETURNS TO NEW ENGLAND
Saturday’s clash is the first for Crew Captain Michael Parkhurst against his former club, New England ... drafted by the Revs in the first round (ninth overall) in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft, Parkhurst played every single minute of his first season as a professional and earned MLS Rookie of the Year honors en route to the first of three consecutive MLS Cup Final appearances with New England ... following the 2006 season – in which he was named MLS Humanitarian of the Year – the defender was a part of the club’s first-ever title in 2007 when the Revs secured the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup ... that season, Parkhurst was also named MLS Defender of the Year and a member of MLS Best XI ... 2007 also marked the first of two consecutive seasons in which he earned the MLS Fair Play Award, as the defender was not issued a red card in four seasons of action ... with Parkhurst, the Revs won the 2008 Superliga title the following season in his final campaign in New England.
A BIT OF REVENGE AT STAKE ...
The Crew needed two positive results last weekend to stay afloat in the run for the MLS Cup Playoffs and unfortunately were eliminated from postseason contention ... the Crew fell 3-2 to the Revs on Saturday night and then Chicago defeated Toronto just after the final whistle in the Crew match ... even with a Crew win at New England, the Black & Gold would have been eliminated ... however, the loss to the Revs leaves the Crew with a feeling that New England kept the Crew from the postseason, giving plenty of motivation this weekend to return the favor.
DESPITE TWO LOSSES THIS YEAR, BLACK & GOLD HAVE REVS’ NUMBER ...
Sunday’s meeting will be the 60th regular-season meeting between the two teams, the Crew’s most-faced opponent during the season since 1996 ... the Crew’s 29 wins (29-19-11) against the Revs are the most versus any opponent in Black & Gold history, more than D.C. United (23 wins against), New York (24 wins against) or Sporting KC (21 wins).
... AND A STRONG STRETCH AGAINST THE REVS HAS HELPED
Although the Revs have won the regular-season series in 2013 with a pair of wins on July 20 and October 19, the Black & Gold have found success against the Revs over the last six seasons ... in the last 17 meetings, dating back to 2007, the Crew is 8-5-4 against the Revs ... during that stretch, the Crew has won the regular-season series four times and the two teams have split results two other times ... from 1996 through 2000, and again from 2002 through 2006, the two conference foes met four times a year.
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.
On Saturday, the Crew hosts New England Revolution in the first of three matches this season between the two sides in 2013. The Black & Gold went 1-1-1 against the Revs last season in 2012, here is a look back at the series last season.
Andy Gruenebaum made six saves to extend the Crew's unbeaten run to begin the summer of 2012 to six matches as the Crew battled the Revolution to a 0-0 draw at Gillette Stadium. While the Black & Gold attack only mustered three shots on target, the team's stellar defensive play was enough to earn the road point.
After surrendering two goals within the first 23 minutes, it seemed the Crew was headed for certain defeat in its second meeting of the season with the Revolution. But two Federico Higuaín free-kick tallies with a Jairo Arrieta counter-attack strike saw the Black & Gold head into halftime with a 3-2 advantage. The Revs would draw level in the 81st minute following a Lee Nguyen penalty kick, but Arrieta would net his second goal of the match five minutes later to lift the Crew to victory.
Playing its sixth match in 18 days, the Crew traveled to New England in search of a fifth-straight win. However, fatigue was a factor as the Black & Gold allowed an early second-half goal followed by an own goal to hand the Revolution its first win in two months.