Crew News & Notes: October 5

Ekpo, James on national team duty as Crew prepares for stretch run with bye week

Julius James

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On the heels of a huge 2-1 victory over Eastern Conference rival D.C. United on Sunday (Oct. 2), which saw the return from injury of eventual game-winning goal scorer Eddie Gaven, the Crew will have a bye week in observance of FIFA international fixture dates.

The Black & Gold is training for a Reserve League match against the New York Red Bulls on Monday, Oct. 10, at Crew Stadium, and preparing for the final two games of the regular season at New England on Oct. 15 and at Chicago on Oct. 22. While the team is training at Obetz this week, defender Julius James and midfielder Emmanuel Ekpo have been called up to their respective national teams.

James has joined Trinidad & Tobago for a pair of World Cup qualifiers. This Friday, Oct. 7, the Soca Warriors face Bermuda in Prospect, Bermuda, before returning to Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, to host Barbados on Oct. 11. Trinidad is currently tied for first in its group with Guyana and the two teams are even on goal differential as well. Only one team from each group will advance to the third round of CONCACAF region qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Ekpo, meanwhile, will join Nigeria in Watford, England, where it will face Ghana in a friendly on Oct. 11 at Vicarage Road Stadium. The Super Eagles and the Black Stars were supposed to meet on Aug. 9, but the match was canceled due to security concerns after riots broke out in different parts of England.

Both players will return before the Crew’s all-important final two games as the club prepares to finish the season strong heading into MLS Cup playoffs.

EDDIE GAVEN NAMED TO MLSSOCCER.COM TEAM OF THE WEEK

Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven returned from injury on Sunday (Oct. 2) and immediately proceeded to make an impact in the Black & Gold’s 2-1 win over D.C. United. Gaven played the full 90 minutes and scored the game-winning goal in spectacular fashion. His feats on the field earned him the No. 5 slot on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Day and a spot on MLSSoccer.com’s team of the week.

VOTE FOR EDDIE GAVEN FOR AT&T GOAL OF THE WEEK

Eddie Gaven’s diving header against D.C. has been nominated for AT&T Goal of the Week. Fans can vote on line at MLSSoccer.com or text G4 to 22442 (Standard messaging rates apply). The winner will be announced on Friday, Oct. 7.

CREW, RED BULLS TO SQUARE OFF IN RESERVE LEAGUE MATCH ON MONDAY

Hot off a come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 18, the Crew Reserves (6-1-0) will host the New York Red Bulls in a Reserve League match on Monday, Oct. 10, at 10 a.m. at Crew Stadium. The match was originally scheduled for March, but postponed due to New York’s shortage of players at that time. The Crew is currently leading the East Division with 18 points, one point ahead of D.C. United.  D.C. and the Black & Gold will square off at a date still to be determined, with their match originally scheduled for Sunday (Oct. 2) having been postponed.

GOALKEEPER WILLIAM HESMER ON CREWXTRA THIS WEEK

CrewXtra, the weekly show on ONN Wednesdays at 8, 8:30, 11 and 11:30 p.m., this week will feature Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer, alongside Crew radio man Neil Sika, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch, and host Beau Bishop, as they discuss the Crew’s come-from-behind win against D.C. and the upcoming matches in New England and Chicago.