Eddie Gaven's season-ending knee injury, coupled with Saturday's draw 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo, saw the Crew fall to 13th place in each of the four major national media outlets' Power Rankings this week. Perhaps a victory on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Union would see the Crew move back into the top 10.
MLSSoccer.com: 13th (11th)
ESPNFC: 13th (12th)
Sports Illustrated: 13th (12th)
ProSoccerTalk: 13th (12th)
Last week's ranking in parentheses.
Aside from FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper's five tallies, no other player has scored more goals against the Philadelphia Union than Crew striker Dominic Oduro since the Union was added to MLS as an expansion side in 2010. Oduro has scored four times in eight career appearances against the Union, joining Cooper and former Crew and current San Jose Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart as the only players to record four tallies versus Philadelphia. Three of Oduro's four strikes against the Union were scored during his spell with the Chicago Fire during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, while his latest tally versus Philadelphia came back on April 6 when the Black & Gold tied the Union 1-1 at Crew Stadium.
MOST GOALS AGAINST PHILADELPHIA UNION
|Dwayne De Rosario||3|
|Marco Di Vaio||3|
CREW UNBEATEN IN LAST THREE
The Crew enters Wednesday’s match at Philadelphia riding a modest three-match unbeaten streak (1-0-2) dating back to May 18 at Toronto ... a win at Toronto followed by the pair of draws has allowed for crucial Eastern Conference points as the Black & Gold play their next four matches against foes within their conference.
BUSY STRETCH CONTINUES
The Crew completes a stretch of four matches in 11 days when the Black & Gold travel to Philadelphia to take on the Union on Wednesday ... previously in this stretch, the Crew is unbeaten (0-0-2) in two MLS matches and also secured a Third Round victory over the Dayton Dutch Lions in U.S. Open Cup action ... the 11-day test began with the 2-2 draw on May 26 at New York before the May 29 Open Cup clash ... back in action after a 1-1 draw against Houston on June 1, Wednesday’s meeting at Philadelphia is followed by rest for the team ahead with bye weekend on June 8.
ALL EYES ON US...
The Crew and Union will have all eyes of Major League Soccer on the two clubs as Wednesday’s match is the only mid-week contest scheduled in League play ... this is the Crew’s first mid-week match in 2013 League play, but it is the second straight week of Wednesday action following the 2-1 win against the Dayton Dutch Lions on May 29 in U.S. Open Cup play ... the Black & Gold will get set for another mid-week match on Thursday, July 4 when the team travels to face the LA Galaxy, but the next Wednesday match for Columbus is not until Wednesday, September 4 against Houston at Crew Stadium.
PLENTY OF BROTHERLY LOVE FOR UNION MATCHES
The Crew plays its second and final match in the regular-season series against Philadelphia, looking to build off of its three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) against the Union dating back to 2012 ... the Crew defeated the Union 2-1 in its first-ever trip to PPL Park on August 5, 2010 and after the Union shut-out the Crew 1-0 in an April 14, 2012 clash back at PPL Park, the Crew responded with the beginning of the three-game unbeaten streak with a 2-1 win over the home side Union on August 29, 2012.
ANOTHER ROAD TEST FOR CREW...
The Crew returns to the road for Wednesday’s match at Philadelphia before a pair of home matches on June 15 (against Montreal) and June 22 (against Chicago) ... on the road this season, the Black & Gold have secured points in five of their first seven matches (3-2-2) ... the Crew’s winning percentage of .571 on the road is currently tied with Sporting KC for third-best in MLS behind only Montreal (.583) and League- leading Portland (.643).
... AND ANDY’S ONE OF THE BEST ON THE ROAD
Andy Gruenebaum has been the Crew’s starting ‘keeper in the first 13 matches of 2013 ... the Crew has seen success on the road (3-2-2) with plenty of thanks to Gruenebaum’s road performances in the first seven tilts away from Crew Stadium ... of the nine MLS goalkeepers in 2013 that have started at least seven road contests, Gruenebaum’s 1.00 road goals against average is second in the League behind only KC’s Jimmy Nielsen (0.86 GAA, 7 games played) ... two of Gruenebaum’s three shutouts this season have been on the road.
The Crew will meet up with the Philadelphia Union for the second time this season on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET / Univision Deportes, FOX Sports Ohio) in a pivotal Eastern Conference matchup. Before the Black & Gold make their only trip to the City of Brotherly Love this season, here is a look back at the Crew's 1-1 draw with the Union on April 6 in Columbus.
An unmarked Jack McInerney tapped his third goal of the season into an open net from a Danny Cruz-led offensive to give the Union the lead after 34 minutes. Not to be denied a point at home, Eddie Gaven slotted a perfectly-weighted pass to an in-stride Dominic Oduro for a tight-angled finish in the 72nd minute to keep the Crew unbeaten at home against Philadelphia.
BUSY STRETCH CONTINUES
Following the May 26 test against New York and Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup clash, the Crew continues a stretch of four matches in 11 days as the club resumes MLS action at Crew Stadium when the Black & Gold host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, June 1 (7:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio) ... that stretch continues through June 5 when the Black & Gold travel to Philadelphia to face the Union before a bye weekend on June 8.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE VERY FEW PROBLEMS
The Crew resumes MLS action this weekend with an Eastern Conference test from the visiting Houston Dynamo ... the Crew has had Houston’s number since 2009 as the Black & Gold are unbeaten (3-0-5) in their last eight contests against the Dynamo ... the last three matches between the two clubs dating back to 2011 have resulted in a draw ... the Crew is unbeaten (3-0-2) in five previous meetings against the Dynamo in Columbus dating back to April 26, 2008.
GLAUBER AND ARRIETA AVAILABLE...
Crew centerback Glauber is available on Saturday after serving a mandatory one- match suspension following his fifth caution of the season that he picked-up on May 18 in Toronto ... Glauber made the start on Wednesday in U.S. Open Cup action ... following an MLS Disciplinary Committee suspension of two matches, Crew striker Jairo Arrieta is also available for selection, as the Costa Rican was away on National Team duty earlier this week and missed the 2-1 win against the Dayton Dutch Lions.
... AND JAIRO FOUND A SCORING TOUCH WITH COSTA RICA
Jairo Arrieta has missed the last two League matches while serving a two-game suspension handed down by the MLS Disciplinary Committee, but the Crew forward remained sharp during his international call-up for Costa Rica against Canada in a friendly in Edmonton on Tuesday ... Arrieta converted a 16th-minute penalty kick to give the Ticos a 1-0 win ... Tuesday’s match was Arrieta’s 10th cap with Costa Rica and third goal after scoring twice during the 2013 Copa Centroamericana.
ODURO GETS HIS SIXTH
The Crew was held scoreless in the first two matches of the month but Dominic Oduro still managed to score in the final two May contests to lead the Black & Gold in scoring with two strikes on the month ... his game-winning goal at Toronto on May 18 was followed by his second-minute goal against the Eastern Conference-leading Red Bulls on May 26, accounting for 66% of the team’s scoring on the month ... Oduro has scored in each month of the season in his first year with the Crew ... the Crew remains unbeaten (3-0-3) in 2013 when Oduro finds the back of the net.
FIRST GOAL IS KEY FOR CREW
The Crew struck first on May 26 at New York and managed to secure a point on the road ... it was the sixth time this season the Black & Gold have gotten on the scoreboard first and in those matches, Columbus is 4-0-2 ... the Crew went 10-4-2 last season when scoring the first goal and went 5-8-3 in 2012 when the club’s opponent got on the board first .
Josh Williams, Justin Meram, Ethan Finlay, Chad Marshall and Eric Gehrig caught some of the First Round action at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club on Thursday. Along with Brand Ambassador Frankie Hejduk, the players took part in a short Q&A with 610 WTVN and FOX Sports Ohio personality Dave Maetzold before heading to the Nationwide Digital House to shoot a video with our friend Ashleigh Ignelzi.
After the players' media duties were through, they were able to take in some of the tournament play. For some of the players, it was a nice change of pace to be a spectator at a sporting event for once.
"It's unique," Gehrig said. "Golfers carry such an aura about them. It's such a hard sport and there's only a select few who can do it so well. You can't really replace the feeling or the environment of seeing it in real life. It's pretty cool.
"I encourage anyone who hasn't been to a PGA Tour event to definitely get out to see one."
— Cody Sharrett (@CodySharrett) May 30, 2013
In two heated contests last season, the Crew drew in both of its meetings with the Houston Dynamo in 2012. Before the Black & Gold kicks off the first of three matches with the Dynamo in 2013 on Saturday night, here is a look back at the home-and-home series from last season.
On a chilly April night, Eddie Gaven netted his first brace for the Black & Gold as Aaron Schoenfeld recorded his first-career assist. The Crew's effort wasn't enough for the win however as Will Bruin tallied and found Brian Ching unmarked in front of net for the 81st-minute equalizer. Andy Gruenebaum made six saves in the draw, including an acrobatic stop from a long-distance laser from Ching's right foot.
The Dynamo's Brad Davis and the Black & Gold's Cole Grossman traded first-half goals as Federico Higuaín made his MLS debut as a halftime substitute. The Argentine playmaker made an immediate impact, lobbing a 35-yard pass to find a streaking Eddie Gaven downfield to put the Crew ahead 2-1. But it was a late goal from a familiar face that left the Black & Gold with just a point to take from its first visit to BBVA Compass Stadium as former Crew midfielder Adam Moffat pounded a long-distance shot off the hands of Andy Gruenebaum and past the goal line.