News & Notes - May 22

Two-game week opens at Seattle Wednesday; Chicago match follows Saturday

COLUMBUS – On the heels of a 1-1 draw at San Jose on Saturday (May 19), in which forward Justin Meram tallied his second goal in as many games and goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum stopped a penalty kick among seven saves, the Crew opens a two-game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle this Wednesday, May 23. The Black & Gold will then return home to face the Chicago Fire on Saturday, May 26, at Crew Stadium.  
 
Both matches will be televised live regionally in high definition on FOX Sports Ohio – Wednesday’s at 10 p.m. (ET) and Saturday’s at 7 p.m. – with Dwight Burgess and Duncan Oughton calling all the action. The games can also be heard in English on News/Talk 610 WTVN and on-line at TheCrew.com, with Neil Sika on the call, and in Spanish on La Mega 103.1, with Carlos Cordova behind the microphone.

 
The Sounders (7-2-2, 23 pts.) are coming off a 2-2 draw at Vancouver on Saturday and will look to continue their positive form. They are led by Colombian striker Fredy Montero and third-year forward David Estrada, who have tallied four goals apiece. Head coach Sigi Schmid will also be able to call upon former U.S. National Team stalwart Eddie Johnson, who was acquired in February.
 
The Black & Gold (3-4-3, 12 pts.) will also have to contend with a stingy defense that has only given up a league-best six goals this season. Austrian goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, signed to replace retired veteran Kasey Keller, may not be available due to a hip strain suffered in a match against LA on May 2, and second-year keeper Bryan Meredith could again start in his place.
 
Wednesday’s match will be the lone regular-season meeting between the Crew and Sounders in 2012. Last season, the teams played to a 1-1 draw at Crew Stadium on May 7, with Emilio Renteria scoring the Crew goal from the penalty spot. The Black & Gold then dropped a 6-2 decision in Seattle on Aug. 27, a match featured Jeff Cunningham’s record-breaking 134th career MLS goal. The Sounders own a 3-0-3 record in the all-time series.
 
The Crew will have another quick turnaround as it returns home for Saturday’s match vs. Chicago, which will be followed by a full set by world-renowned Irish rock band Flogging Molly. The Fire will also be coming off a midweek game, as it will play host to FC Dallas at Toyota Park on Wednesday (May 23).
 
Chicago, which will enter that match with a 4-3-3 (15 pts.) record, has been fueled in the attack by speedy forward Dominic Oduro and his supporting cast of Marco Pappa, Sebastian Grazzini and Patrick Nyarko in the midfield. Rookie Austin Berry has played been a vital part of Chicago’s back line, playing central defense in his first season as a professional.
 
A Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match vs. either Dayton (USL Pro) or Chicago Fire PDL will follow on Tuesday, May 29, after which the Crew will have two successive byes. It will return to MLS action on June 16 at New England, but could play another Open Cup match on June 5.
 
COLUMBUS CREW at Seattle Sounders
Wednesday, May 23 – 10 p.m. (ET) – CenturyLink Field
Regional Television: FOX Sports Ohio
Crew Radio: News/Talk 610 WTVN (English); La Mega 103.1 (Spanish)
 
COLUMBUS CREW vs. Chicago Fire
Saturday, May 26 – 7 p.m. – Crew Stadium
Regional Television: FOX Sports Ohio
Crew Radio: News/Talk 610 WTVN (English); La Mega 103.1 (Spanish)
 
CREW PUB TOUR CONTINUES WEDNESDAY AT CLADDAGH IN BREWERY DISTRICT
The Crew continues its 2012 Pub Tour with a viewing party at Claddagh Irish Pub, downtown in the Brewery District (585 S. Front St., 43215), this Wednesday, May 23. The Black & Gold’s match at Seattle kicks off at 10 p.m. (ET) and televisions in the pub will be tuned to FOX Sports Ohio so fans can enjoy the game. There will also be prizes and giveaways, including autographed memorabilia. READ MORE

FLOGGING MOLLY TO PLAY FULL CONCERT FOLLOWING SATURDAY’S MATCH AT CREW STADIUM
International Irish rock band Flogging Molly will play a full concert at Crew Stadium following the Crew’s match vs. the Chicago Fire this Saturday, May 26. Flogging Molly drummer George Schwindt and his brother, manager Gary Schwindt, are Columbus natives, and have been Crew season-ticket holders for the last five years. All tickets to the Crew vs. Fire game will grant access to the concert. A very limited number of VIP Field Access tickets that will allow field access for the concert are available – starting at $34 for Upper Level tickets and $39 for Lower Level tickets – at TheCrew.com, Ticketmaster.com, the Crew Stadium Ticket Office, Ticketmaster Outlets or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
 
JUSTIN MERAM INDUCTED INTO NJCAA MEN’S SOCCER HALL OF FAME
Crew forward Justin Meram was inducted into the NJCAA Men’s Soccer Hall of Fame on May 18. Meram spent two years at Yavapai College, where he owns the school record for career points with 132. He led the Prescott, Ariz., school to back-to-back national titles in 2007 and 2008 while compiling 51 goals and contributing to a 50-2-0 overall team record. He was named Most Valuable Player of the 2007 NJCAA National Tournament and NSCAA National Player of the Year in 2008. Meram subsequently played two seasons at the University of Michigan, capped by a College Cup appearance in his senior season with the Wolverines. Meram was selected in the first round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft (No. 12 overall) and has appeared in 20 matches scoring two goals – both of which have come in the Crew’s last two games.

SCHOENFELD AND SPEAS TO VISIT LIBERTY ELEMENTARY IN POWELL ON WEDNESDAY
Crew forward Aaron Schoenfeld and midfielder Ben Speas will visit Liberty Elementary School in Powell (8081 Saddle Run) this Wednesday, May 23, from 2-3 p.m., to conduct a school assembly. The presentation, in conjunction with the school’s field day, will include a skills demonstration and reinforcement of health and fitness messages. Former Crew midfielder Rob Smith (1996-2000) is a teacher at the school.  
 
CREW SOCCER ACADEMY WINS AND DRAWS VS. MAGIC, FALLS TO FIRE IN CHICAGO OVER WEEKEND
The Crew Soccer Academy U-15/16s and U-17/18s traveled to Chicago over the weekend, where they played the Chicago Magic on Saturday (May 19) and Chicago Fire Academy on Sunday (May 20). The 15/16s defeated the Magic, 2-1, behind goals from Charlie Reymann and William Bayemi, while the 17/18s played the Magic to a 1-1 draw, with Andrew Souders scoring CSA’s lone goal. On Sunday, the Fire Academy got the better of CSA, blanking the 15/16s, 2-0, and the 17/18s, 3-0.  Following a Memorial Day weekend break, CSA returns to action on June 2-3 when it travels to Michigan to play Vardar and CSA Wolves. They will then close out the regular season at home vs. Cleveland Internationals on June 10.