CREW ENTERS WEEK WITH FOUR-MATCH UNBEATEN STREAK
Following last Friday’s 1-1 draw in Colorado, the Crew enters this week riding a four-match unbeaten streak dating back to June 4 against Real Salt Lake ... in that time, the team has played to four consecutive draws in MLS action ... the team has never had a five-match streak of consecutive draws in club history.
BACK TO NEW JERSEY
Saturday’s match is a homecoming trip to New Jersey for Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter, who grew up in the Garden State ... the Englewood native took to the field in his home state as a player on two occassions in regular-season MLS action ... in 2009, he played with the Galaxy at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford and then played at Red Bull Arena in its first year of matches in 2010.
... FRANCIS, GONZALEZ TO MEET TEAM ON THE ROAD THIS WEEKEND
Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter told the press on Tuesday that Giancarlo Gonzalez and Waylon Francis plan to meet the team out East following Costa Rican celebrations for the team’s success in the 2014 FIFA World Cup ... Gonzalez last played MLS action on May 17 at Portland while Francis departed ahead of that trip and last took the field in League play on May 10 against Portland.
HIGUAIN’S 2013 AGAINST NEW YORK
Federico Higuain scored three goals in three total games against New York in 2013 ... his 74th-minute penalty kick was critical in the 2-2 draw at Red Bull Arena on May 26 and his brace in the last meeting between the two teams in 2013 included one of his most memorable goals in a Crew uniform, chipping goalkeeper Luis Robles.
MLSsoccer.com's Nick Firchau and Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle preview the Saturday evening match between the New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew.
Crew play-by-play man Neil Sika joins Matt Finkes for "Sika the Truth" every Wednesday on 95.5 The Game.
The Crew's unbeaten streak has stretched to four matches, and as a result, ESPNFC bumped it up one spot in its Power Rankings, with MLSsoccer.com keeping it level.
See the links below for the full rankings, with last week's position indicated as well:
MLSsoccer.com: 14 (14)
ESPNFC: 12 (13)
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images
Winger Ethan Finlay was an offensive threat throughout the Crew's Independence Day clash with the Colorado Rapids, eventually netting the equalizer in the 76th minute to help the Black & Gold to a point on the road. For his efforts, Finlay was named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week for Week 17. The honor is the first of Finlay's career.
The Dayton Dutch Lions split a pair of contests last week as they continued their USL-PRO campaign.
On Wednesday, July 2, Dayton fell 2-1 to Pittsburgh Riverhounds at home. A pair of Crew loanees linked up for the match's opening goal, as Aaron Schoenfeld scored from Ross Friedman in the fifth minute. Matt Walker and Matt Wiet also started for Dayton.
On Saturday, July 5, Schoenfeld nabbed a hat trick in a 3-1 road victory over Charlotte Eagles. Friedman and Wiet both started the match, while Walker entered as a second-half substitute.
Schoenfeld now leads USL-PRO in goals with 12 in 18 matches. He is also three goals away from tying the all-time USL-PRO single-season goal-scoring record.
— Nicholas Murray (@NJEMurray) July 6, 2014
Photo Credit: Jeremi Blurton