Crew News & Notes - August 31

Three Crew players join National Teams in midst of bye week

Emmanuel Ekpo

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The first-place Crew (11-8-7, 40 pts.) is off this week, as only two MLS games are scheduled, with many league players having been called in for national team duty for the upcoming scheduled FIFA match dates.

A total of 53 MLS players will be representing 18 countries in international friendlies and qualifiers. Among them are Crew midfielders Emmanuel Ekpo (Nigeria) and Robbie Rogers (USA), as well as defender Julius James (Trinidad & Tobago), and they are currently spread across the globe with their respective national teams.
 
Rogers, who has been capped 15 times since 2009, has been called into USMNT camp on the heels of his most recent performance, on Aug. 10 against Mexico, in which he came off the bench in the second half to score the game-tying goal in a 1-1 draw. The U.S. will face Costa Rica on Sept. 2 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., before traveling to Brussels to face Belgium on Sept. 6.
 
Ekpo has earned his second senior team call-up, the Nigerian federation having also named him to the roster for the Ghana match scheduled for Aug. 9 in Watford, England. Unfortunately the match was cancelled due to the rioting in parts of the country, so the team scheduled some training sessions and the players flew back to their respective teams. Nigeria will face Madagascar in an African Cup qualifier on Sept. 4 before traveling to Dhaka, Bangladesh, for a friendly against Argentina on Sept. 6. Ekpo, who was a silver medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, is not expected to participate in the qualifier and will more likely feature in the match against Argentina.
 
With 11 caps under his belt, James joins T&T for a pair of FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The central defender will face Bermuda in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on Sept. 2, before traveling to Barbados for a match on Sept. 6.

Ekpo, James and Rogers are all expected to return in time for the Crew’s Trillium Cup showdown with Eastern Conference rival Toronto FC on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at Crew Stadium.
 
JEFF CUNNINGHAM NETS GOAL No. 134 TO BECOME MLS ALL-TIME GOAL-SCORING LEADER
Crew forward Jeff Cunningham scored his record-breaking 134th career goal on Saturday (Aug. 27) in a 6-2 loss at Seattle. Cunningham slotted a well-taken penalty kick to the right of Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller in the 59th minute, only two minutes after entering the match as a substitute. Cunningham now sits at the top of the list of all-time goal-scorers one ahead of former D.C. United forward Jaime Moreno. He is also the Crew’s all-time leading goal-scorer, with 64 of league-record total having come in Black & Gold.
 
CREW SOCCER FOUNDATION GOLF CLASSIC TO BE HELD ON SEPT. 19
The Crew Soccer Foundation will hold its Golf Classic at Heritage Golf Club on Sept. 19. Participants will have a chance to test their skills against Crew players on a challenging and beautiful course designed by famed architect P.B. Dye. A variety of single and foursome packages are available, including a VIP foursome package which will allow participants to play with a Crew player (subject to availability). To register for the Crew Soccer Foundation Golf Classic, visit www.thecrew.com/golf <http://www.thecrew.com/golf> .
                                                                                                                                                  
CREW FORWARD JEFF CUNNINGHAM ON CREWXTRA THIS WEDNESDAY
CrewXtra, the weekly show on ONN Wednesdays at 8, 8:30, 11 and 11:30 p.m., this week will feature Crew forward and MLS All-Time leading goal-scorer Jeff Cunningham, alongside the “Voice of the Crew,” Dwight Burgess, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch, and host Beau Bishop, as they discuss Cunningham’s historic Major League Soccer career, the match in Seattle and the upcoming match against Toronto FC on Sept. 10.