Dan Haiek and Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle take a look at the Wednesday night match between the Houston Dynamo and the Columbus Crew. Can the Dynamo contain the Crew overlap? Is Giles Barnes about to break out?
THE ROAD TRIP CONTINUES
Wednesday’s match marks the second of three games in a stretch of three tilts in seven days ... the contest also marks the first time in 2014 that the team is playing back-to-back road matches in the club’s extended road trip, traveling directly from Kansas City to Houston before coming home ... including Wednesday’s clash against the Dynamo, the Crew has three more road matches in the month of May ... the team has consecutive away matches scheduled in July (July 4 at Colorado and July 12 at New York) before a trio of consecutive road matches in October (at New England on October 4; at Philadelphia on October 11; and at New York on October 19).
A QUICK TURNAROUND AND A FOCUS SHIFT TO HOUSTON
Following Sunday’s match, Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter was quick to note the team’s rapid turnaround and shift of focus ahead of Wednesday’s road tilt ... said Berhalter, “We need to get guys recovered from this game. Obviously it’s been warm, so we have to recover and get prepared for the next game. We’re going to focus, right from the beginning, on playing our game. That’s our focus. We want our guys to look at this game and see what they could have done better. We’ll give them feedback about what they could have done better and we’re going to move forward.”
BEGINNING A NEW STREAK ...
Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Sporting KC marked just the second loss for the Crew in 2014 ... the last time the Crew lost -- on April 5 against Toronto -- the team rebounded with a trio of draws as the Crew went unbeaten from April 13-26 ... already this year, the team has gone on a pair of three-match unbeaten streaks, with additional wins in three Match tilts to open the year.
... AND BUILDING OFF A STREAK VERSUS HOUSTON
Last September’s Crew victory against Houston began a new streak against the Dynamo ... the Crew’s 3-1 loss at Houston on August 3, 2013 snapped a nine-match unbeaten streak (3-0-6) against the Dynamo, dating back to March 21, 2009 ... the Black & Gold defeated Houston 2-0 on June 18, 2011 in Houston, but the two teams have drawn four of the last six matches, including a 1-1 draw on June 1, 2013 at Crew Stadium.
Federico Higuain is also just five corner kicks shy of recording his 200th corner as a member of the Crew. Currently at 195 in 50 career games played, Higuain could become just the third player in Crew history to record 200 or more corner kicks. Robert Warzycha is the club’s all-time leader with 503 and Guillermo Barros Schelotto is in second with 423. Both players are finalists for the Crew’s 2014 Circle of Honor Induction. Higuain recorded eight corner kicks in a match earlier this season on March 29 at Seattle.
The Crew announced last week announced that Crew Juniors entered a partnership with the Centerville United Soccer Association (CUSA) in Dayton, Ohio. The affiliation is the most comprehensive Crew Youth partnership in the Crew’s history, as approximately 40 teams and 500 select players in the Greater Dayton area will now become the CUSA Crew Juniors and wear the club’s signature Black & Gold colors. CUSA is also set to send 40 teams to Crew Youth events throughout each year.
Federico Higuain recorded his 50th career appearance in MLS for the Crew on Sunday at Sporting KC. Higuain, who has played 50 matches -- starting 48 of them -- has scored 20 goals and 18 assists in his time in Columbus since arriving in August 2012. Five of his goals have been game-winners and six of his helpers secured a victory for the Black & Gold.
No fewer than five Columbus loanees featured in the starting lineup for Sid van Druenen’s side on Sunday, May 4 as the Dutch Lions fell, 2-0, to Charleston. Kevan George, Ben Sweat, Ryan Finley, Matt Walker and Aaron Schoenfeld all saw action. Additionally, Brad Stuver served as the backup goalkeeper for the contest.
Schoenfeld and Finley each notched two shots, while George tallied one.
The 2-0 loss to Charleston dropped the Dutch Lions to 2-3-1 on the season. Dayton next plays on May 10, when they host LA Galaxy II.
Ashleigh Ignelzi joined The BIG Show on Monday to recap the Crew's defeat at Kansas City and preview the Wednesday match at Houston.
Dan Haiek and Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle preview the Sunday afternoon match between Sporting KC and the Columbus Crew. Will Benny Feilhaber have space to operate against the Crew midfield? How will Columbus attack with Aurelien Collin missing the match? Find out Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
The Black & Gold take on Sporting KC in the Crew’s lone nationally televised match on the NBC Sports Network. The Crew picked-up its first win on the network -- a 2-1 victory on March 23, 2013 at D.C. United -- the Black & Gold fell 1-0 to New York on May 4, 2013. Sunday marks the fifthe match for the Crew on NBC Sports Network after NBC partnered with MLS ahead of the 2012 season. In 2012, the Crew went 0-1-1 on NBCSN: losing 1-0 at Philadelphia on April 14 before playing to a 1-1 draw against LA on August 15 at Crew Stadium.
Here's a look back at the Crew's past four matches on the network.
April 14, 2012 - Crew at Philadelphia Union
August 15, 2012 - Crew vs. LA Galaxy
March 23, 2013 - Crew at D.C. United
May 4, 2013 - Crew vs. New York Red Bulls