In the latest episode of Between the Lines, MLSSoccer.com's Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle looks at the evolving role of the No. 10 in Major League Soccer. Doyle cites Crew midfielder Federico Higuaín as one of the few remaining playmakers in MLS today.
Crew forward Dominic Oduro appears on the latest episode of PitchPass, where he talks about the addition of New York City FC, his love for Papa John's pizza and hopes for joining the Ghanaian National Team.
Listen to the full episode which also features former Crew midfielder and NBC Sports commentator Kyle Martino.
Crew playmaker Federico Higuaín was named to MLSSoccer.com's Team of the Week for Week 12 after supplying the game-winning assist to Dominic Oduro against Toronto FC on Saturday. The performance marks Higuaín's first Team of the Week honor this season, joining Josh Williams (Week 10), Jairo Arrieta (Week Nine) and Danny O'Rourke (Week Nine) to earn the accolade so far in 2013.
Crew Homegrown’s Chad Barson & Aaron Horton served as Celebrity Referees for a Project Hope Fundraiser at Olentangy Liberty High School on Monday, April 29th. Barson is a graduate of Olentangy High School and Horton is a graduate of Olentangy Orange High School. It was a spirited match between a club soccer team and a team of seniors and coaches from the Varsity Soccer team. The club team came out on top with some last minute heroics that was so exciting even Chad and Aaron joined in the celebrations! Project Hope works to make health care available for people around the globe. Click here for more information on Project Hope.
Andy Gruenebaum is up for MLS Save of the Week for his ridiculous performance against the Chicago Fire. Andy's on-handed stop on an Austin Berry attempt makes the list, although there were numerous ones to choose from.
Make sure you take a second or two and vote Gruenebaum for Save of the Week!
The Crew welcomed Zimbabwean forward Lucky Mkosana on-trial with the club on Thursday. Mkosana most recently spent time with the Harrisburg City Islanders of USL-PRO, where he scored seven goals in 16 appearances last season. As a trialist with the Philadelphia Union last fall, Mkosana scored against the Crew in a Reserve League match.
Mkosana was drafted 23rd overall by the Chicago Fire in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, but was not signed after preseason training.
Photo: The Dartmouth
With Bill Hamid coming off MLS Player of the Week honors, the Crew knew it would be tough to beat the 22-year-old D.C. United goalkeeper in Saturday's match at RFK Stadium. As expected, Hamid made several acrobatic saves to keep United in the game as the Black & Gold peppered him with nine shots on goal throughout the afternoon.
Not to be outdone, Crew backstop Andy Gruenebaum fed off Hamid's play on the other end of the field to make several key stops to help the Crew to the 2-1 victory away from home.
"[Hamid] played out of his mind again," Gruenebaum said after the match. "He’s had a couple back-to-back games where he’s just feeling it and right now he’s on fire.
"Anytime you see someone on the other end make a great save it, you hope – I mean, you obviously don’t want to have to be in that position, but when it happens you hope to be there and it was an interesting game. It was probably one of the weirdest games I’ve ever played in.”
Added Head Coach Robert Warzycha: "[Hamid] did very well on Chad [Marshall]'s save, and following with Tyson Wahl. I think the second half, the goalies did a very good job. They did what they were supposed to do. They made some saves and there were some clear chances, but they stood on their heads and they were very, very good.”
Perhaps the top highlight of Saturday afternoon was Gruenebaum's back-to-back-to-back saves from Lionard Pajoy, Brandon McDonald and Dwayne De Rosario attempts that NBC Sports broadcaster Arlo White could only describe as "a miracle."
The humble Gruenebaum claims some luck was involved.
“It was a shot through traffic from the top, I didn’t see it until the end so I wasn’t able to hold it clean, but I just saw [De Rosario] there wide open so I just got up and just tried to make myself big.
"I kind of got lucky there.”
The Crew's resident Canadian Drew Beckie is looking forward to a weekend trip across the border to face Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The rookie defender is expected to be welcomed by friends, family and fellow Canadians for the match.
"I'm always excited to go back [to Canada]," Beckie said over the phone. "Even though Vancouver isn't home, I love being back and I'm looking forward to seeing friends there."
After playing four years at Denver University, Beckie can't wait to hear "Oh, Canada!" played before kickoff for the first time in his professional career. The Regina, Saskatchewan native has represented his country at the U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels in the past.
"I'm a very proud Canadian," he explained. "I love the National Anthem. I think Americans love theirs too, but it's just something that's in the Canadian spirit. Playing for the National Team, you really feel that pride to represent Canada. I'm really excited to hear 'Oh, Canada!'"
Despite his Saskatchewan roots, Beckie is an avid follower of the NHL Vancouver Canucks. The rookie faces a conundrum as his Canucks face the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday evening, but the rookie isn't bailing on the team he grew up cheering for.
"I always root for the Canucks, but now Columbus is my hometown team," Beckie said. "I'm kind of torn, but I'm going to go with Vancouver. I don't want to make any enemies, but I'll say it will be a draw and an overtime win for the Canucks. That's the easiest way I can predict the game."
For the first time this preseason, Homegrown forward Aaron Horton trained with the Black & Gold on Tuesday. Horton spent his offseason traveling the globe between a mission trip in South Africa and trials with FK Sarajevo in Bosnia and Hammarby IF in Sweden.
Training with teams in Europe was a valuable experience for the 20-year-old forward.
"It was awesome just being able to get out and travel around the globe, playing with different clubs in Europe," Horton said. "It was a great experience. I had a lot of fun too. I think I gained experience on all levels."
For Horton, the differences in culture and soccer in Bosnia and Sweden took some getting used to compared the lifestyle he is accustomed to in Columbus.
"It's different.That's the best way I can put it," Horton explained. "Sarajevo was different from Sweden, Sweden is different from here. It's all different. The training was all good, but at the same time, it was very different. The style of play in every single country is different. It was just about adapting to the places I was at and how they play, how things work. All-in-all, it was good."
Upon his arrival back at the Crew's training ground in Obetz on Tuesday, Horton was welcomed with open arms by his teammates as he enters his third season with the Black & Gold.
"I'm happy to see everyone," he said. "Everyone here has welcomed me back warmly. I love these guys, I love my teammates. It was good to be around the coaches again, they were happy to see me back. It's good to be back."