Crew News & Notes - September 30

Crew plays host to S.J. Saturday looking to extend East lead, clinch playoff berth

Crew vs. San Jose

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Following Wednesday’s soggy Champions League setback at Municipal, the Crew returns to MLS play Saturday (Oct. 2) against the San Jose Earthquakes at Crew Stadium. A win by the Crew coupled with a loss or tie by Kansas City at New York, or a tie by the Crew coupled with a loss by Kansas City at New York would clinch a third straight playoff berth for the Black & Gold.
 
Saturday’s match, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET, will be televised live regionally on ONN-TV, with Dwight Burgess and Bill McDermott calling all the action and Katie Witham reporting from the sidelines. It can also be heard in English on News/Talk 610 WTVN, with Neil Sika and John Bluem behind the microphone, as well as in Spanish on La Mega 103.1-FM, featuring Carlos Cordova and Benny Pietrangelo on the call.
 
The Earthquakes, currently tied for fifth in the Western Conference with a record of 11-8-6 (39 pts.), are coming off a 3-0 defeat at Chicago on Wednesday (Sept. 30). They are led by forward Chris Wondolowski whose 12 goals also place him in a tie for third place for the Golden Boot award race. Wondolowski is also the reining MLS Player of the Week after scoring a hat trick against Toronto FC last Saturday (Sept. 25). San Jose’s roster also features former Crew keeper Jon Busch and defender Chris Leitch of Pickerington.

The first-place Crew enters the match fresh off of Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League match at Municipal of Guatemala, in which Andy Iro scored the Crew’s lone goal in a 2-1 setback. That followed a gritty, come-from-behind 2-2 draw at New England on Sept. 25. The Black & Gold now leads second-place New York by one point in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Crew and Quakes played to a 2-2 draw in the first game of the season series on June 2 at Buck Shaw Stadium. Chad Marshall and Eddie Gaven both tallied goals in that match. The Black & Gold leads the overall series 18-12-2 with a record of 12-3-0 in home contests.

COLUMBUS CREW vs. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Saturday, Oct. 2 – 7:30 p.m. at Crew Stadium
Regional Television: ONN-TV
Radio: News/Talk 610 WTVN (English); La Mega 103.1 (Spanish)
 
CREW JOINS OHIOHEALTH AND MLS W.O.R.K.S. IN EFFORT TO BOOT BREAST CANCER
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Crew has partnered with OhioHealth and MLS W.O.R.K.S. to bring awareness to the effort to fight the disease. The Black & Gold and OhioHealth are teaming up to “Boot Breast Cancer” on Oct. 2, when all fans will receive a pink Boot Breast Cancer t-shirt while supplies last. In addition, a human pink ribbon will be formed on the field at halftime, comprised of people affected by breast cancer and their families and friends who shared their stories online. Elements supported by MLS W.O.R.K.S. and league partners include, the use of a pink-accented adidas match ball, pink goalkeeper gloves, pink Gatorade towels and the addition of pink ribbon patches to game jerseys.

CREW, SEATTLE TO SQUARE OFF IN LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP FINAL TUESDAY AT QWEST FIELD
The Black & Gold will travel to Seattle to face the defending Open Cup-champion Sounders this Tuesday (Oct. 5), in a match that will kick off at 10 p.m. ET and be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel. Advance ticket sales have already surpassed the record attendance for that event, set 81 years ago. More than 24,000 tickets have been sold, surpassing the previous record attendance for an Open Cup Final of 21,583 set in 1929 for a title tilt between the New York Hakoah and Madison Kennel Club of St. Louis. The record in the tournament's modern era, which began in 1996 when Major League Soccer teams joined, is 19,164 for the 2000 final between the Chicago Fire and Miami Fusion. The Crew advanced by virtue of its dramatic come-from-behind 2-1 overtime win at D.C. United Sept. 1 in the semifinals, returning to the Open Cup Final for the first time since winning the competition in 2002. The Sounders earned the opportunity to defend its Open Cup title at home after defeating Chivas USA, 3-1, last week at Starfire Sports Stadium. With its second straight appearance in the Open Cup final, Seattle is looking to become the first team to repeat as champions since the New York Pancyprian-Freedoms accomplished the feat in 1983. The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer and is recognized as the federation’s National Championship. The tournament has crowned a champion for 96 consecutive years dating back to 1914. It is the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor long-time soccer pioneer and Crew Founder Lamar Hunt.

CREW NOW SECOND IN CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP WITH ONE GAME TO PLAY
Following its 2-1 setback at Municipal on Wednesday (Sept. 29) in CONCACAF Champions League play, the Crew now sits second in Group B with a 3-2-0 record and nine points. Mexico’s Santos Laguna, which defeated Joe Public (Trinidad) 5-1 on Wednesday, leads the group with 10 points (3-1-1). Municipal climbed to eight points, but will have to travel to Mexico to face Santos in its final match on Oct. 19. Columbus will travel to face already eliminated Joe Public on Oct. 21. The top two teams in the four-team group will advance to the quarterfinals next spring. Former LA Galaxy forward Guillermo “Pando” Ramirez netted both goals for Municipal Wednesday at Estadio Mateo Flores, while Andy Iro accounted for the Crew’s lone tally. Day-long heavy rain continued through the match leaving the field with standing water in several places. Players struggled with footing and balls skipped in some spots and came to a halt in others.
 
McCULLERS COMPETING IN SPORTS TIME OHIO PAR 3 SHOOTOUT, DEBUTING SUNDAY
Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers took part in the Sports Time Ohio Par 3 Shootout over the summer and his preliminary round match will air for the first time this Sunday, Oct. 3, at 10 p.m., with multiple replays to follow. PGA Pro Jimmy Hanlin and Jim Donovan host the one-hour show, in which local celebrities compete on the par 3 holes of Ohio courses for the chance to play in the championship round. McCullers squares off against former OSU basketball player and current radio analyst Ron Stokes, Blue Jackets forward Derek Dorsett and Mount Union head football coach Larry Kehres at Cumberland Trail in Pataskala.

‘SOCCER AID VIII’ AUCTIONS CONTINUE
Soccer Aid VIII auctions of unique and rare Crew jerseys continue online HERE. Soccer Aid is a unique, fund-raising program of the Crew Soccer Foundation that capitalizes on soccer fans’ passion for the sport to raise money for charity through the non-profit arm of Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew, including its primary beneficiary, the Mid-Ohio Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Through its first seven years, Soccer Aid has raised more than $35,000 for JDRF. This year the jerseys reflect a historic theme, in celebration of the club’s 15th anniversary season. The overlapping auctions, which will continue into next week, can also be accessed through CrewSoccerFoundation.org and TheCrew.com.
 
PLAYOFF PACKAGES ARE ON SALE NOW
As the Crew closes in on its third successive playoff berth, two-game playoff ticket packages are on sale now. Each package includes both of the Crew’s potential playoff games – the one guaranteed game in the first round and the Eastern Conference Championship it could host if it advances out of the first round – along with a commemorative scarf. Prices range from $40-$76 for adults and $30-$76 for students, and they are available to the general public at the Crew Stadium Box Office and all central Ohio Ticketmaster retail locations, via Ticketmaster phone at 800-745-3000 and on-line at TheCrew.com and Ticketmaster.com. The design of this year’s scarf was selected through fan voting at TheCrew.com/Playoffs