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05 September 12:45 pm

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
Federico Higuaín 3 6 12 4-0-1

(Source: Elias)

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.

05 September 8:40 am

The college soccer season continued through the holiday weekend. Here's how some former Crew Youth players fared:

Akron Zips- (2-0-1) This Week: 1-1 D vs. Creighton, 2-1 W vs. SIU Edwardsville

Following the news that Head Coach Caleb Porter would become the next head coach of the Portland TImbers at the end of the season, Akron traveled to Omaha for the Ameritas Classic. The No. 6 Zips opened play with a 1-1 draw against hosts No. 3 Creighton on Friday. On Sunday, Akron beat SIU Edwardsville 2-1 with help Captain and Crew Soccer Academy product Chad Barson's opening tally. Wil Trapp, Andrew Souders, Eric Stevenson, and Thomas Schmitt all played key roles for the Zips in both results.

Louisville Cardinals- (1-2-0) This Week: 3-1 W vs. Belmont, 1-0 L at SLU

The Cardinals rebounded from last week's 3-0 loss to Maryland with a 3-1 rout of Belmont behind CSA's Alex Obbey's first goal of the season. Louisville suffered its second lost of the season Tuesday night on the road at Saint Louis.

Xavier Musketeers- (2-0-1) This week:  2-1 W vs. Wright State, 2-1 W vs. Cincinnati

Both Matt and Will Walker started and played significant minutes in the 24th ranked Musketeers' first win of the season against Wright State last Thursday in a 2-1 victory. The Walker twins each registered an assist in Xavier's weekend win against crosstown rival Cincinnati. Will Walker also had the game-winning goal in the 2-1 victory. Freshman Rhodes Moore played 27 minutes.

Boston College Golden Eagles- (1-0-0) This Week: 1-0 L vs. Boston U., 1-0 W vs. Fairfield

Goalkeeper Justin Luthy suffered his first loss of the season in crosstown showdown with Boston University on August 27 before earning his first shutout of the season at Fairfield on Monday night. Next up for Luthy and the No. 13 Golden Eagles is their opening ACC match against No. 4 Maryland.

UCLA Bruins- (1-1-1) This Week: 2-2 D at Maryland, 1-0 W at Virginia

Captain Matt Wiet led the No. 14 Bruins to a 2-2 draw on the road at Maryland in FOX Soccer Channel's National Game of the Week on Friday. To cap off the east coast road trip, UCLA traveled to Charlottesville, VA to top Virginia 1-0 in overtime.

29 August 1:30 pm

Crew captain Chad Marshall reflects on the strong, silent leadership he brings to a team fighting its way back to the league's elite.

29 August 9:04 am

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:

(J) EXTREME HARDSHIP CALL-UPS
Teams may add players to their roster in cases of “extreme hardship” as follows: (1) a club with three goalkeepers on its 30-man roster, but has less than two available goalkeepers or (2) a team has less than 15 available players. Extreme hardship call-ups are made on a game-by-game basis.
 
For this occasion, the League has what are called "pool goalkeepers."

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.
 
The last time the Crew used a pool goalkeeper was last season when the club brought in Chris Konopka. Konopka played in one Reserve League game for the Black & Gold, and came on when Gruenebaum was sent off in an international friendly against Newcastle United on July 26 of last year. Coincidentally, Konopka currently plays for the Philadelphia Union.
27 August 4:05 pm

The college soccer season kicked off this past weekend. Here's a look at how some Crew Youth alumni started the season in NCAA Division I:

Akron Zips- (1-0-0) This Week:4-0 W vs. Florida Gulf Goast.

Caleb Porter started five Crew Youth products in the Zips' rout of Florida Gulf Coast Friday night. Wil Trapp, Chad Barson, Eric Stevenson, Thomas Schmitt, and freshman Andrew Souders all played starting roles in the 4-0 win. Stevenson and Schmitt scored the first two goals of the match. In addition, Stevenson supplied the assist to Schmitt on his way to being named to College Soccer News' National Team of the Week.

The Crew's Director of Soccer Business Development, Jeremy Parkins, was at Cub Cadet Field for the season opener: "It was exciting to see five former players from our system have the opportunity to start for one of the top teams in the country... The first goal of the evening was Eric Stevenson with a shot from about 20 yards out, and so it was exciting to see that go in. Then, Eric found Thomas Schmitt for the second goal. It was exciting to see our guys scoring goals."

Louisville Cardinals- (0-1-0) This Week: 0-3 at Maryland

The Cardinals opened the season with a 3-0 loss on the road to Maryland. 2010 product Alex Obbey came off the bench and had one of Louisville's better chances in the 40th minute, but his attempt was blocked by the Maryland defense.

Xavier Musketeers- (0-0-1) This week: 1-1 D at Northwestern

Both Matt and Will Walker started and played significant minutes in the Musketeers' road draw against Northwestern. Matt Hill and freshman Rhodes Moore each came off the bench for Xavier. Matt Walker recorded three shots with one being on target, while Moore was able to force one shot in the stalemate.

Boston College Golden Eagles- (1-0-0) This Week: 2-1 W at Quinnipiac

Goalkeeper Justin Luthy saved five shots to help the No. 14 Golden Eagles to the 2-1 victory. Boston College returns to action Monday night against Boston University.

UCLA Bruins- (0-1-0) This Week: 3-2 L vs. New Mexico

The second-ranked Bruins fell to No. 6 New Mexico on Friday night. Defender Matt Wiet played the whole match and nearly recorded an assist from a long throw-in. UCLA returns to action on the road against Maryland on August 31.

 

24 August 8:39 am

The good folks at TopDrawerSoccer.com, Travis Clark and J.R. Eskilson, highlighted the Top 30 Homegrown prosepects playing in NCAA Division I this season. Which one of these players will follow in the footsteps of Aaron Horton, Matt Lampson, and Ben Speas?

From the article:

D Chad Barson, Akron, Senior (Columbus Crew): A solid center back and experienced senior -- Barson has played in 73 games in his college career to this point -- Barson is going to be a prominent figure on Akron’s side once again.

MF Wil Trapp, Akron, Sophomore (Columbus Crew): A starter from day one for the Zips, Trapp is a deep-lying holding midfielder and member of the U20 MNT. He’ll be a big part of Akron’s season this fall, and is a strong candidate to sign a pro contract one day.

D Matt Wiet, UCLA, Senior (Columbus Crew) The two-time UCLA defensive MVP is going to get plenty of attention from the Crew staff. He is a center back with decent skill who is probably worthy of a Homegrown deal today. However, Crew signing both Barson and Wiet seems like overkill.

 

Read the entire article here.

Photo from UCLABruins.com.

23 August 2:57 pm

Who's ready for football season?

To hold you over, here's footage of Crew forward Justin Meram kicking field goals during his time at the University of Michigan. Meram briefly spent time place kicking with the Wolverines football team before deciding to focus solely on soccer.