To do his part in Sunday's Boot Breast Cancer day presented by Ohio Health, Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum will wear a pink jersey to raise awareness for the disease. The cause hits home for the Crew 'keeper.
"It actually means a lot to me," Gruenebaum explained Friday. "My grandma battled breast cancer before she passed away. She was very sick and very brave. It means a lot to me and I'm sure it means a lot to everybody."
The goalie continued, "Every year, I contribute to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and try to run in the races if I can. It's great that MLS takes part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month each year."
Kickoff is slated for 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Click here for more information of the Crew's Boot Breast Cancer Day presented by Ohio Health.
Through his first six matches (five starts), there is no denying that Federico Higuaín has made an instant impact in the Crew attack with his three goals and six assists since joining the team last month.
But at the same token, perhaps teams are starting to learn how to defend against the Argentine. Following last Wednesday's loss in New England-- the only hiccup the Crew has had since Higuaín joined the club-- Revolution coach Jay Heaps was pleased with how his team disrupted the forward in the final third.
"Columbus is a rhythm team and we never really let them get into rhythm," the first-year head coach explained following his team's victory. "And that was important that [Jairo] Arrieta and [Federico] Higuain couldn’t get the ball. And that was our focus – when they did get the ball, we wanted a guy on them quickly. You could see when Higuain would get the ball we were on him, and he started to drift wider and we knew to take him there."
The OPTA Chalkboards below illustrate where Higuaín's activity and distribution has been on the field over his first five starts in Black & Gold. As you can see, Heaps was correct in that his team forced Higuaín out onto the right wing more often. What is more noticable is that most of Higuaín's activity is coming in the middle third and teams are starting to limit his touches in and around the penalty area. Also, it seems Higuaín was dropping the ball off to players behind him more often in New England last week.
From what these charts show, perhaps teams are starting to learn Higuaín's tendencies a bit as they study more film on the Argentine playmaker. At the same time, Higuaín is learning to exploit MLS defenses as he adjusts to the league as well. And maybe teams picking up on Higuaín's tendencies isn't such a bad thing either. As the Argentine attracts defenders, it opens up space and opportunities for Jairo Arrieta, Eddie Gaven, Dilly Duka, Milovan Mirosevic, and Chris Birchall to score goals.
Furthermore, the Crew's future opponents will still have to be wary of conceding corner kicks and free kicks in dangerous areas. Higuaín has served up two assists from dead balls and banged home two free kick goals.
Through his first five games in Major League Soccer, Federico Higuaín has made an instant impact in the Crew attack to help the Black & Gold to a 4-0-1 record and a four match winning streak. With such production coming from the Argentine, here's a look at how Higuaín compares to similar Designated Players through their first five matches in MLS:
|PLAYER||Goals||Assists||Team Goals||Team Record|
|Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Chicago Fire)||2||3||10||3-1-1|
|Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)||0||3||4||2-1-2|
|Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)||3||1||9||5-0-0|
|Luciano Emilio (D.C. United)||2||0||6||1-1-3|
Notes: Robbie Keane's first five matches includes the 2011 Playoffs, Luciano Emilio went on to win the 2007 Golden Boot and MLS MVP while helping D.C. United to the Supporters Shield that season.
Crew captain Chad Marshall reflects on the strong, silent leadership he brings to a team fighting its way back to the league's elite.
With William Hesmer out for the season following hip surgery and Andy Gruenebaum recovering from a lower back contusion, it leaves rookie Homegrown Matt Lampson as the only healthy goalkeeper on the Crew's roster for Wednesday's match against the Philadelphia Union
Although Eddie Gaven won Save of the Week honors back in 2010 and Chris Birchall has put on 'keeper gloves for fun in training, it's not likely Robert Warzycha would have felt comfortable having one of the two midfielders as the number two goalie against the Union.
Fortunately for Warzycha, Major League Soccer has a rule for this type of situation: The Extreme Hardship Call-Up.
From the 2012 MLS Roster Rules and Regulations:
Pool 'keeper Scott Angevine has joined the Crew in Philadelphia, and will serve as Lampson's backup in Wednesday's match. Angevine is a rookie from Coastal Carolina University and currently trains with Sporting Kansas City, his hometown club, to stay sharp. Angevine and Lampson have a similar history as both redshirted the 2008 season at Northern Illinois before transferring and going their separate ways.
Following the Crew's 2-1 victory in Kansas City on Saturday, the Black & Gold has been racking up the weekly awards around various media outlets. Here's a guide to all the accolades the team has earned this week:
In addition, Arrieta earned Team of the Week honors for by the above outlets and Sports Illustrated. Unfortunately for the Crew, Andy Gruenebaum's five-save effort wasn't enough to edge him past Chicago's Sean Johnson, who was the unanimous selection for the goalkeeper in the above outlets' First XIs.
For the hard-earned road win, Robert Warzycha was honored as Coach of the Week by MLSsoccer.com. It's the second time the Crew skipper has earned that honor this season.
Major League Soccer announced its inactive All-Stars on Wednesday afternoon, with one obvious snub: Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum. Gruenebaum should have been at least a reserve--if not a starter-- in tonight's MLS All-Star game in Philadelphia. To not even include the Hebrew Hammer on the inactive list is just downright mindboggling.
Here's how Gruenebaum stacks up against the four goalkeepers selected to the All-Star team:
The numbers speak for themselves.
Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum continues to garner accolades for the stellar season he is having. Most recently, Gruenebaum was tabbed as the goalkeeper in Soccer America’s Midseason Best XI. According to the famed soccer publication: “The longtime veteran has been peppered with shots…and he’s compiled a 1.06 goals-allowed average and made more saves than any keeper except Matt Pickens of Colorado.”
July 6, 2011 - This date in Crew history Jeff Cunningham broke the Crew’s all- time scoring record held by Brian McBride with 62 goals. Cunningham scored his 63rd Crew goal in thrilling fashion at Vancouver with a stoppage time goal that also allowed him to tie Jaime Moreno for the MLS all-time scoring lead (133).
READ: Cunningham's record goal