Saturday's match vs. Chicago Fire will be carried LIVE and for FREE on MLSsoccer.com as the el Jimador Tequila MLS Stream of the Week.
* The stream is available only at MLSsoccer.com and fans must use a device with Adobe Flash player.
* The stream is available to fans inside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
* An MLS Network account is required. Register at MLSsoccer.com or at the top left of TheCrew.com
*Local blackout rules also apply. Learn more
Radio voice of the Columbus Crew Neil Sika previews Sunday's matchup with Montreal. Neil describes the weather situation in Quebec that caused the match to be pushed back to Sunday and what the mood of the team is like with an extra day on the road.
Catch all of the action on Sunday starting at 11:35 a.m. with the Crew Pre-Game Show on 106.7 FM.
GOALS GONE WILD ON THE ROAD
Headed up against the Eastern Conference-leading Montreal Impact, the Crew does have an advantage when it comes to road success in 2013. The Black & Gold lead MLS in road goals with six through three away matches ... after scoring three goals to open the year at Chivas USA (March 2) the Crew has continued to score on the road with a single goal in the 2-1 loss at Vancouver (March 9) before netting a pair in the 2-1 win at D.C. (March 23).
GRUENEBAUM TESTED AND DELIVERING
Through five games this season, Andy Gruenebaum is one of eight MLS goalkeepers with a goals against average of 1.00 or less ... six of those ‘keepers -- including Gruenebaum -- have started in each of their team’s matches ... not only has the 30-year-old Crew netminder seen the third-most shots of the eight ‘keepers with a 1.00 GAA or less, but Gruenebaum also has recorded 15 saves -- a feat only three others on that list have accomplished ... the list of the six aforementioned ‘keepers is below:
BACK TO CANADA FOR THE CREW
Saturday’s trip to Montreal is the Crew’s second trip to Canada in 2013 and 11th overall regular-season match north of the border ... although the Black & Gold fell 2-1 to Vancouver on March 9, the Crew has secured points in eight of the 10 previous meetings up North and is 3-2-5 in those Canadian-hosted matches ... in addition to the 1-1-0 record at Vancouver, Columbus is unbeaten (2-0-5) in seven matches at Toronto FC ... prior to the early-season loss at Whitecaps FC, the club’s only previous Canadian blemish was a 2-1 loss to Montreal on July 8, 2012 in the inaugural visit to Stade Saputo ... additional Ohio ties to Canada include rookie defender Drew Beckie who was born in Regina, Saskatchewan.
FINDING THE BACK OF THE NET
After being shut out in two of the team’s first five matches in 2012, the Crew has scored in each of its first five matches this season ... the Black & Gold are among five other teams that have not been shut out in 2013 ... that list includes FC Dallas, LA, Philadelphia, Portland and Vancouver ... Chivas USA has not been shut out since the Black & Gold blanked the Goats 3-0 in the season-opener on March 2.
The Crew has provided plenty of second-half excitement thus far in 2013 as the club has scored seven of of its eight goals after halftime ... Josh Williams scored the team’s only first-half goal in the 15th minute at D.C. on March 23 ... as a point of comparison, last season the Black & Gold recorded 21 of their 34 goals after the second-half whistle ... this year, the Crew has seen goals just seconds into the second half (Arrieta, 46’ at VAN on 3/9) as well as an insurance goal in second-half stoppage time (Oduro, 94+’ at CHV on 3/2).
Jared Montz, former MLS player and founder of OnlineSoccerAcademy.com, visited Columbus for his series “Soccer Walking America.” The 45-day, 15-city video series tour promotes World Malaria Day and hits every MLS city in the U.S.
Check out his visit to Crew Stadium and club training as he juggles with Black & Gold players Dominic Oduro, Ben Speas, Konrad Warzycha and Wil Trapp.
For more information on Soccer Walking America click here.
The best way to make sure Crew fans are geared-up for Saturday’s Opening Match is to take advantage of the Crew Gear Store Massive Sale, which will be held on Friday, March 15, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET at Crew Stadium. Frankie Hejduk will be signing autographs inside the Crew Gear Store from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The sale includes up to 40% off on select jerseys, hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, ladies and kids merchandise throughout the store. All of the newest Crew gear selections that just arrived will be available.
Those that buy a 2013 Crew jersey can receive personalization for $15 (regularly $25), and all personalization orders placed before 4:00 p.m. ET will be ready that day. Orders placed after 4:00 p.m. ET on the day of the Massive Sale can be picked-up at the Crew’s opening match on Saturday, March 16 or during the store’s regular business hours, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET.
CREW GEAR STORE MASSIVE SALE FRIDAY
WHAT: A Black & Gold Week special sale that includes up to 40% off on select jerseys, hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, ladies and kids merchandise throughout the store. All of the newest gear selections that just arrived will be available.
WHEN: Friday, March 15 from 11 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET, Frankie Hejduk to sign autographs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Crew Stadium – One Black & Gold Blvd., Columbus, OH 43211
** Fans may be redirected by guest attendants to alternate entrances adjacent to the south Crew Stadium parking lot due to Opening Match preparations in the south plaza **
After signing as the fifth Homegrown player in Crew history, University of Akron standout Chad Barson joined TheCrew.com's Cody Sharrett for a short Q&A.
Cody Sharrett: Congratulations on signing with the Crew. How do you plan on contributing to the Black & Gold as a rookie?
Chad Barson: I think I bring a good work ethic. I have a good mentality in the way I approach things. I'm willing to contribute, and I'm a team guy. I put the team first. I'll put the team's needs above my own and whatever they need, that's what I'm willing to do.
CS: You've been captain for the past two seasons at Akron and as a centerback, you have to be a leader on the field. How do you approach being a leader as a rookie?
CB: You have to be yourself. You can't be shy. As a rookie, you're stepping into uncharted territory and just because you're the young guy or the new guy, it doesn't matter how long you've been around. Obviously guys that have been around have more say, but you still need to be able to lead, to talk and to organize guys because the position I play, you see the whole game from where you play.
CS: Your coach at Akron, Caleb Porter, has moved on to the Portland TImbers in MLS. How did he develop your game over the past four years at Akron.
CB: Basically, I like to say everything about my game is a result of Coach Porter. The way we trained at Akron, the mentality he teaches you how to approach life, how to approach school, how to approach soccer: it's really all from him. I see a lot of him in myself. When I talk, when I play, just everything really.
CS: You were born and raised in Columbus. Do you remember your first Crew game? Which players did you look up to?
CB: I don't remember my first Crew game. But watching guys like [Brian] McBride, [Brian] Maisonneuve and Jeff Cunningham, I remember watching those guys all the time when I was younger.
CS: Over the past few summers, you've spent time training with the First Team. Who is the toughest guy you've had to defend?
CB: Honestly size-wise, Andy Iro and Chad Marshall because they're some pretty big guys. I'd also throw Steve Lenhart in there because he's such a scrappy guy and he likes to be physical, but he's also a great guy.
Today would have been Lamar Hunt's 80th birthday. From all of Crew Soccer Nation, thank you Lamar for your passion and vision for soccer in America!
The surging Columbus Crew got first-half goals from Eddie Gaven and Emilio Rentería and extended its unbeaten streak to five games with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire Saturday at Crew Stadium. The Crew (5-4-3, 18 pts.), winners of two straight and 3-0-2 in its last five, moved into a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with Chicago.