It was one of the upsets of the season thus far, and it left Montreal Impact coach Marco Schallibaum calling the Columbus Crew his team's version of kryptonite. And it may have started at the feet of genius playmaker Federico Higuain, but it finished with the head of veteran defender Chad Marshall.
Marshall may have had an ugly moment in that 2-1 win at Stade Saputo - an early miscommunication with goalkeeper Matt Lampson that let Marco Di Vaio, No. 2 on this list, head home his league-leading 18th goal of the season. But he made up for it later with a clinical, towering header and his usual stellar defensive performance and his organization of the back line. For his efforts he earned the top spot in this week's Castrol Index.
After inspiring the Crew to a 2-1 road win over the weekend against the Montreal Impact with two second-half assists, Crew Captain Federico Higuaín has been nominated for MLSSoccer.com's Top 3 Performers for Week 29. The performance was the Argentine's third multi-assist match with the Crew, with his last coming on September 1, 2012, also against the Impact. Higuaín's challengers include Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane and Obafemi Martins among others.
Crew forward Dominic Oduro is up for AT&T Goal of the Week honors following his match-winner against the Montreal Impact in Saturday's 2-1 victory. Oduro's competition for the award includes Seattle Sounders FC's Obafemi Martins, LA Galaxy's Robbie Keane, New York Red Bulls' Fabián Espíndola and the New England Revolution's Kelyn Rowe.
Text G2 to 22442 or VOTE ONLINE to push to Dom to victory.
For his two-assist effort to lift the Crew to a comeback victory over the first-place Montreal Impact, Argentine playmaker Federico Higuaín has been selected as Soccer by Ives' Player of the Week after missing three matches due to suspension and injury. Higuaín currently leads the Black & Gold with eight helpers on the year to go with nine goals this season.
Higuaín and the Crew remain four points out of a playoff spot with five matches left in the season, starting with the Chicago Fire on Saturday at Crew Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET / TICKETS).
The KICKTV crew captures the build-up, electric atmosphere and end result of last week's 2014 World Cup Qualifier at Crew Stadium.
Following the United States' stunning 2-0 win over Mexico for the fourth-straight time at Crew Stadium, Sports Ilustrated's Grant Wahl (as he typically does) broke Earth-shattering news via Twitter:
Waiting on the field in Columbus for the Honduras-Panama finish (2-1 HON now). Frankie Hejduk is break-dancing for the fans.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) September 11, 2013
Soon after Wahl's tweet, the above video was posted to YouTube by user RyanRosenblatt. And for that, we are forever grateful.
ANOTHER TEST AGAINST EASTERN CONFERENCE-LEADING IMPACT ...
Saturday’s match is the third meeting between the two teams this year and a third test against an Impact side that has sat atop the Eastern Conference ahead of both tilts in 2013 ... the Crew has secured crucial points against the Impact and will look to do the same on Saturday against the current conference leaders with the Black & Gold five points out of the fifth-place spot in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.
... AND A CHANCE TO TAKE A REGULAR-SEASON SERIES
A win in Montreal would also mark the Crew’s third regular-season series victory in 2013 ... with a 2-0 win over Toronto on August 17, the Crew secured its second regular-season series victory following a pair of victories against D.C. United (2-0-0): a March 23 win at RFK Stadium (2-1) and a 3-0 win on April 27 at Crew Stadium.
A FINAL TRIP NORTH OF THE BORDER
Saturday’s trip to Montreal is the Crew’s fifth and final trip to Canada in 2013 and 14th overall regular-season match north of the border ... although the Black & Gold fell to Toronto on July 27, the Crew has secured points in 10 of the 13 previous meetings up North and is 4-3-6 in those Canadian-hosted matches ... Columbus is 3-1-5 in nine matches at Toronto FC, has a 1-1-0 record at Vancouver and the Crew’s 1-1 draw at Montreal on April 13 improved the Crew’s record at Montreal to 0-1-1 ... additional Ohio ties to Canada include rookie defender Drew Beckie who was born in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Despite playing in shutouts in the last six matches (three shutout wins, three shutout losses) dating back to August 10, the Crew does have a bit of history on its side headed into Montreal this weekend looking for its first victory at Stade Saputo. In the two previous all-time meetings at Stade Saputo in which the Crew has gone 0-1-1, the Black & Gold have found the back of the net once each time, giving the visitors a chance to perhaps make it shutouts in the last seven matches by adding another cleansheet win.
Saturday’s match will also be another first for Brian Bliss as his side heads north of the border. When Bliss took over as Interim Head Coach of Kansas City in 2006, MLS had yet to introduce a Canadian-based club into the League. Toronto joined the next year in 2007 and Vancouver (2011) and Montreal (2012) have followed suit, meaning this week’s clash will be Bliss’ first match coached against a Canadian opponent in MLS as well as first trip to Canada as Crew boss.
Tuesday night’s U.S. Men’s National Team win in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Mexico was among the top Crew Stadium soccer attendances of all time. The announced attendance of 24,584 was the fourth largest attendance for all Crew Stadium soccer matches and third largest U.S. Men’s National team attendances held at the home of the Black & Gold. The crowd helped give the Americans the crucial qualifying victory in a historic fourth “Dos a Cero” win against rival Mexico.
This weekend, the Crew travels across the border to face Canadian rival the Montreal Impact for the third time this season. Before the Black & Gold square-off with the Impact on Saturday (2:00 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio), here is a look back at the meeting between the two sides back in June.
Matías Sánchez netted his first MLS goal just six minutes in against the Eastern Conference leaders, while Dominic Oduro added another 16 minutes later to seal the deal. In central defense, Chad Marshall and Josh Williams anchored the Crew backline to a shutout and a victory at home in front of Andy Gruenebaum.
MLSSoccer.com documents the pre-match festivities and tifo unveiling before Tuesday's World Cup Qualifier at Crew Stadium.