Crew Stadium will play host to the 2012 Girls and Boys Columbus City League Soccer Championships on Thursday evening to help give back to the community where the Columbus Crew has thrived for the past 17 years.
"We've been doing this for years and years, really since the stadium was opened," Crew President and General Manager Mark McCullers said. "It's a way for us to give back to the community and show appreciation for what they do for us. Importantly, it's an opportunity to create a memorable experience for the kids that get to play a championship game at Crew Stadium. It's something they will remember for the rest of their lives."
The action kicks off with the girls' championship between the Centennial Stars and the Whetstone Braves at 5:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Walnut Ridge Scots vs. the Whetstone Braves in the boys' championship at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Gates open at 4:30 p.m. ET and admission is $6.00 for all persons over the age of six.
Due to the All-American Quarterhorse Congress at the Ohio Expo Center, fans are encourage to enter the Crew Stadium grounds off of Hudson Street.
With both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney hitting the swing state of Ohio hard as Election Day nears, Columbus has been in the national media spotlight. Out on his morning coffee run, CNN's John King tweeted this picture of the digital billboards at the corner of Broad and High:
Times Square??? No- Columbus, OH. Coffee run!instagr.am/p/Qmml5GsLSb/
— John King (@JohnKingCNN) October 10, 2012
Luckily for the Crew, ads for season ticket renewals were in rotation when he snapped his photo.
Speaking of season tickets, purchase or renew yours today.
The Crew Soccer Academy swept its matches for the second-straight weekend. The U-16 squad defeated the Cleveland Internationals 1-0 behind Jalim Bayo's tally. Nathan Kohl assisted on the match's lone goal. The U-18 side took down the Internationals 4-2 with Nicholas Parianos, Thomas Wiseman, Andrew McKelvey and Alex Bumpus scoring in the affair.
In other news, CSA goalkeeper Carter Richardson earned an invite to the United States U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. The Dublin native will join fellow CSA product Benny Swanson playing under Richie Williams for the Stars & Stripes.
On the college stage, plenty of Crew Youth alumni were in action over the weekend, here are some of the highlights:
Akron Zips (7-1-2) This Week: 5-0 W vs. Florida Atlantic
Chad Barson, Wil Trapp, and Eric Stevenson all started in the Zips' weekend win over Florida Atlantic. Stevenson scored two goals and added an assist in the victory to earn TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week honors.
Louisville Cardinals (8-4-0) This Week: 3-0 W vs. DePaul, 2-1 W at Syracuse
The Cardinals earned a pair of Big East wins last week to move to 8-4-0 on the season. Alex Obbey came on as a sub in both matches for Ken Lolla's side. Louisville will host Indiana on Wednesday night
Xavier Musketeers (8-0-2) This Week: 3-2 W vs. Saint Louis, 2-1 W vs. Butler
Xavier opened Atlantic 10 play with a 3-2 victory over Saint Louis at home. Will Walker tallied twice, while his brother Matt chipped in an assist in the win. Matt Walker added another assist in Sunday's win against Butler. Will Walker's brace earned him a spot in College Soccer News' National Team of the Week.
Boston College Golden Eagles (6-3-2) This Week: 1-0 W at Wake Forest
Senior Justin Luthy made eight saves to hold No. 15 Wake Forest scoreless as the Golden Eagles improved to 6-3-2 in 2012. The Crew Youth product has posted two clean sheets on the season.
Photo credit: BCEagles.com
Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha, TV Analyst Duncan Oughton, and Brand Ambassador Frankie Hejduk took part in the C Magazine celebrity golf outing at The Medallion Club in Westerville Monday afternoon to help promote the Crew brand.
"This is a great time and an opportunity to meet good people and spread Crew love," Oughton said in a text message.
While no scores were reported, it's probable that Warzycha beat Oughton and Hejduk handily as "The Polish Rifle" is an avid golfer in his down-time.
A special thank you to C Magazine for inviting the Black & Gold to participate in this special event.
To do his part in Sunday's Boot Breast Cancer day presented by Ohio Health, Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum will wear a pink jersey to raise awareness for the disease. The cause hits home for the Crew 'keeper.
"It actually means a lot to me," Gruenebaum explained Friday. "My grandma battled breast cancer before she passed away. She was very sick and very brave. It means a lot to me and I'm sure it means a lot to everybody."
The goalie continued, "Every year, I contribute to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and try to run in the races if I can. It's great that MLS takes part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month each year."
Kickoff is slated for 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Click here for more information of the Crew's Boot Breast Cancer Day presented by Ohio Health.
With an extra day to prepare for Sunday's match against Sporting Kansas City, Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha decided to give his team a break from the daily training regimen on Wednesday morning. In lieu of training, the team went bowling as a team-building activity.
"Everything that we do is based on how we can get better as a team and do what is necessary for us to win the game," Warzycha said Wednesday afternoon.
"Team chemistry is just as important as fitness or anything else," the Head Coach continued. "I think it was a good time to bring everybody to bowling, because the guys that are injured that are not with the team every single day because they're in treatment and everything else, they were there too. To have the entire team together before the final stretch, before the end of the season, it was very important."
The team enjoyed a day without thinking about soccer.
"Sometimes, you need to spend time enjoying your teammates and your coaches," defender Sebastián Miranda explained. "It was avery good opportunity to maybe forget soccer and playing, and bond with your teammates. You can laugh. You can talk with your teammates and not talk about soccer, and try to enjoy [the team atmosphere] a little bit."
So, who was the best bowler on the team?
"After me, Netzo [Nemanja Vukovic] was a very big surprise," Miranda said with a laugh. "He was a big surprise."
The Crew will resume its normal training schedule Thursday morning at Crew Stadium.
(Photo Credit: Tucker Walther)
Conference play resumed around NCAA Division I soccer this week. Here are some highlights from Crew Youth alumni playing around the country:
Akron Zips (6-1-2) This Week: 4-0 W vs. Buffalo
The Zips moved to 2-0-0 in MAC play by beating Buffalo 4-0 on Saturday at Cub Cadet Field. Crew Youth product Eric Stevenson assisted on Akron's third goal in the romp.
Louisville Cardinals (5-4-0) This Week: 2-1 L at Rutgers
After upsetting Notre Dame last week, the Cardinals dropped a 2-1 result on the road to Rutgers. Alex Obbey nearly had the equalizer in the 78th minute, but his attempt was blocked by a Scarlet Knights defender.
Xavier Musketeers (6-0-2) This Week: 5-0 W vs. Thomas More
Xavier wrapped up non-conference play with a 5-0 victory over Thomas More. Matt Walker had a goal and two assists in the win. Next up, the Musketeers put its unbeaten record on the line at home against Saint Louis on Friday.
Ohio State Buckeyes (4-6-1) This Week: 4-1 W vs. Butler, 3-2 L at Michigan
The Buckeyes scored a season-high four goals on Wednesday against Butler. Sage Gardner had the fourth tally of the evening, converting from the penalty spot for his first goal of the season. OSU dropped a heartbreaker in Ann Arbor on Sunday, losing 3-2 in overtime.
UCLA Bruins- (7-1-2) This Week: 3-1 W at Stanford, 3-1 W at California
Matt Wiet captained the No. 6 ranked Bruins to a pair of 3-1 PAC12 victories in Northern California this weekend. UCLA will host Oregon State and Washington in the upcoming weekend.
Also in action, the Crew Jrs. U-16 and U-18 squads swept the weekend with both sides beating Shattuck-Saint Mary's and the Minnesota Thunder.
Photo Credit: GoXavier.com
Friday night, Crew Stadium played host to the Zac Brown Band before the Black & Gold's match against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night. The Crew Stadium groundscrew worked tirelessly around the clock to return the playing surface to its match-ready condition.
"We started last night at 11 o'clock doing work, and we ended just now at 3:45 p.m.," head grounskeeper Weston Appelfeller said Saturday afternoon. "It took 15 hours to get the field turned around. I think we're ready. It looks good, and hopefully it plays well."
Appelfeller has taken pride in having Major League Soccer's top playing surface all season long, and tonight's match shouldn't be any different.
The Crew kicks off against the Union at 7:30 p.m. ET, and plenty of tickets still remain at the Crew Stadium box office.
It's going to be a busy weekend around Crew Stadium. Tonight, Major League Soccer's first soccer-specific stadium will host the Grammy-award winning Zac Brown Band in the stadium's third concert event of 2012. And of course on Saturday night, the tiles shown above will be taken away, and MLS's best kept field will play host to the Crew taking on the Philadelphia Union in a pivotal Eastern Conference matchup.
Tickets still remain for both events.