BLACK & GOLD LOVE BMO FIELD
The Crew is 2-0-5 in its first seven visits to BMO Field in Toronto dating back to 2007 ... although the Black & Gold have only won twice there, the venue has quickly be- come the destination for the fewest Crew blemishes (losses) on the road ... of all MLS venues past and present in which the Crew has played a minimum of five matches, BMO Field is the only stadium in which the Crew is unbeaten ... other venues in
Columbus Crew record: 8-1-7 Home games: 6-1-2 (18 GF, 11 GA) Road games: 2-0-5 (8 GF, 6 GA)
CREW TO TAKE ON TFC, DUNCAN OUGHTON
Saturday’s match at BMO Field is the first of three regular-season meetings between the two teams in their quest for the Trillum Cup ... the Crew swept Toronto by going 3-0-0 against TFC in 2012 ... this is the 17th regular-season meeting in the all-time season series between the two teams dating back to 2007 ... Columbus holds an 8-1-7 overall advantage .... the Crew is unbeaten (2-0-5) at BMO Field against the Reds ... this will also be Duncan Oughton’s first match as a member of the TFC coaching staff since departing the Black & Gold last week.
Federico Higuain recorded a brace with goals on either side of halftime as the Crew finished the 2012 campaign on October 28 with a 2-1 win against Toronto at Crew Stadium ... with his 62nd-minute penalty kick, Higuain finished the 2012 campaign with five goals and seven assists in just 13 matches with the Crew after joining the Black & Gold mid-season.
CREW HELD SCORELESS, BUT NOT TIME TO PANIC...
After scoring three goals in the first half of the April 27 match against D.C., the Black & Gold have not scored a goal in the two and a half matches since the 2-0 shutout loss to Colorado last Saturday ... the 225-minute scoreless streak is the 10th-longest in MLS this season ... as a point of comparison, three teams with winning records in 2013 -- New York (309 minutes) LA (253 minutes) and Montreal (234 minutes) have all witnessed scoring droughts at some point this season longer than the Crew’s current stretch.
... AND GOAL RELIEF COULD BE ON THE WAY SATURDAY
The Crew enters Saturday with a 225-minute scoreless streak but the Black & Gold have history on their side with an upcoming tilt at BMO Field ... in seven previous meetings at BMO Field, the Crew has scored in every match, totalling eight goals and five assists as a team.
A NEW CENTRAL MIDFIELD DUO
Tony Tchani has made three consecutive starts in the central midfield for the Black & Gold ... joining him last Saturday against Colorado was central midfielder Matias Sanchez, who made his first MLS start after making four appearances in the first nine mathces of 2013 ... The Tchani-Sanchez duo is the third central midfield pairing Head Coach Robert Warzycha has used in 2013 ... the primary duo of Agustin Viana and Danny O’Rourke started the first seven matches of 2013 while Tchani has made three straight starts with Viana out with a hamstring injury ... Sanchez made his starting lineup debut with O’Rourke nursing an ankle injury last weekend.
GAVEN SUFFERING PLENTY OF FOULS...
Eddie Gaven suffered three fouls last Saturday against Colorado ... Gaven is the second-most fouled player in MLS this year and has been fouled 27 times in eight matches, trailing only FC Dallas’ David Ferreira who has been fouled 35 times in 10 games played ... Gaven has been fouled five times in a match three times this season including the May 4 contest against New York -- adding to identical amounts from the March 2 match at Chivas USA and the April 20 clash at Chicago.
... AND GAVEN’S ABOUT TO BECOME THE MOST-FOULED CREW PLAYER
With 407 fouls suffered in a Crew uniform in 207 games played for the Black & Gold, Eddie Gaven is one foul suffered away from becoming the most-fouled Crew player in club history ... Gaven enters Saturday tied with Brian McBride (407 fouls suffered, 161 games played) ... the Crew midfielder is the only active member on the club’s all-time list for fouls suffered.
MLSsoccer.com's Greg Lalas and Matt Doyle preview the Trillium Cup presented by Scotts match coming up this weekend as Toronto host the Columbus Crew, kicking off at 5pm ET on Saturday.
It will surely be a bittersweet moment for new Toronto FC Assistant Coach Duncan Oughton as he prepares to face the club he spent 12 years with in his first match on Ryan Nelsen's staff. But Oughton isn't the first former Crew player to venture into coaching. After all, the Black & Gold's technical staff boasts four former Crew players.
Other former players have even earned some silverware as coaches. Todd Yeagley and Brian Maisonneuve recently won their first NCAA Championship while coaching at Indiana University, while Ezra Hendrickson has claimed three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups while on Sigi Schmid's staff in Seattle. In his second season as Head Coach of Lanús in Argentina, Guillermo Barros Schelotto could be on his way to hardware as his club currently sits in second place of the Argentine Primera División.
Here's a full list of former Crew players in the coaching ranks:
Robert Warzycha, Head Coach
Brian Bliss, Technical Director/U.S. U-20 Assistant Coach
Mike Lapper, Assistant Coach
Ricardo Iribarren, Assistant Coach
Billy Thompson, Crew Soccer Academy Director of Coaching
Duncan Oughton, Assistant Coach
Seattle Sounders FC
Ezra Hendrickson, Assistant Coach
New York Red Bulls
Robin Fraser, Assistant Coach
John Wolyniec, Reserve Team Coach/Player Development Coordinator
Pat Noonan, Assistant Coach
Real Salt Lake
Andy Williams, Head Scout
Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Head Coach
Kaizer Chiefs (South African Premier League)
Doctor Khumalo, Youth Development Coach
Todd Yeagley, Head Coach
Brian Maisonneuve, Assistant Coach
Penn State University
Bo Oshoniyi, Assistant Coach
University of New Mexico
Brandon Moss, Assistant Coach
Steven Herdsman, Assistant Coach
ANOTHER HOME UNBEATEN STREAK ON THE LINE, THOUGH
The Crew may be starting over on a regular-season home unbeaten streak overall, but the Black & Gold do hold another home unbeaten streak that will be tested this weekend against Colorado ... the Crew is unbeaten (5-0-2) in its last seven home matches against the Rapids dating back to a 1-0 Crew win on June 11, 2005 ... the match that began the Crew’s home unbeaten streak against the Rapids featured many Crew-Rapids ties ... for the Rapids, Pablo Mastroeni (still active) made the start and Jeff Cunningham suited up at forward for the Rapids, while current Colorado forward Edson Buddle made an appearance for the Crew ... in that match, the Crew’s Cornell Glen buried a penalty kick before later joining the Rapids in 2006.
GAVEN AND MARSHALL NAVIGATE THE RAPIDS
Eddie Gaven and Chad Marshall may be without a goal through nine games in 2013, but the two Crew veterans have seen plenty of success in their regular-season careers against Colorado ... Gaven has scored three goals and recorded one assist in 14 starts while Marshall has two goals and two assists in 14 starts against the Rapids.
THREE-MATCH HOMESTAND WRAPS-UP
After playing five of its first seven matches of 2013 on the road, the Crew completes a three-match homestand on Saturday against Colorado -- the Crew’s longest regular- season homestand of the year ... the last time the Black & Gold played three consecu- tive regular-season matches at home was back in July of 2010 ... during that span, the Crew went 2-1-0 which featured two shutouts and one attacking shutout ... in the current homestand, the Crew has shut-out D.C. 3-0 on April 27 and was held scoreless against New York 1-0 on May 4.
GAVEN SUFFERING PLENTY OF FOULS...
Eddie Gaven suffered five fouls last Saturday against New York -- a match in which the Black & Gold were fouled 18 times ... Gaven is the second-most fouled player in MLS this year and has been fouled 24 times in seven matches, trailing only FC Dallas’ David Ferreira who has been fouled 33 times in nine games played ... Gaven has been fouled five times in a match three times this season including last Saturday’s contest -- adding to identical amounts from the March 2 match at Chivas USA and the April 20 clash at Chicago.
... AND GAVEN’S ABOUT TO BECOME THE MOST-FOULED CREW PLAYER
With 404 fouls suffered in a Crew uniform in 206 games played for the Black & Gold, Eddie Gaven is just four fouls suffered away from becoming the most-fouled Crew player in club history ... Gaven enters Saturday three fouls behind Brian McBride (407 fouls suffered, 161 games played) ... the Crew midfielder is the only active member on the club’s all-time list for fouls suffered and after suffering an average of 3.4 fouls per- game thus far in 2013, he may capture the lead on Saturday.
A PAIR OF STARTS FOR TCHANI
Tony Tchani has made consecutive starts in the central midfield for the Black & Gold, the first time Tchani has seen back-to-back starts in 2013 ... Tchani’s 90 minutes in both matches thus far on the homestand is the first time since June 16, 2012 (at New England) and June 23, 2012 (at Chicago) in which Tchani made consecutive starts and played a full 90 for Robert Warzycha.
DEFENDING CREW STADIUM
The Black & Gold enter Saturday riding a 11-game unbeaten streak at Crew Stadium dating back to July 21, 2012 ... in that span, the Crew is 7-0-4 in front of its home fans ... the Crew opened its home schedule with a 1-1 draw against San Jose on March 16, 2013 and later played to a 1-1 draw against Philadelphia on April 6.
A LOOK AT THE GOALS IN THE FIRST 4,999 MINUTES
In the previous 55 regular-season meetings between the Crew and United, the two teams have battled for 4,999 minutes or 83.3 hours ... just short of the 5K minute-mark in the regular-season series, the Crew has led for 1575 of those minutes, trailed for 1291 of them and haS clashed at level scorelines for 2133 minutes.
A CREW UNITED AT HOME AGAINST D.C.
When the two teams last met in the Nation’s Capital on March 23, the Black & Gold were happy to disrupt a recent trend in the regular-season series between the two teams ... prior to the Crew’s win at RFK Stadium on March 23, all five of the previous meetings between the two teams resulted in wins for the home team ... the Crew wouldn’t mind keeping up the home success in Columbus, however, as the team is unbeaten against United (4-0-1) in the last five tilts at Crew Stadium dating back to October 26, 2008.
LAST OF THE BLACK-AND-RED
Saturday’s match ends play in the month of April for the Crew, but it also ends regular- season action against D.C. United ... the Black & Gold only play United twice this sea- son, so the two teams will not partake in their (of late) annual end-of-season playoff implication match ... two seasons ago, a regular-season win for the Crew knocked D.C. out of playoff contention while last season it was United that kept Columbus from a playoff berth.
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.
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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.