Preview: Crew at Union
The Crew felt it played well enough to win in Philadelphia back on April 14, but an unfortunate Eric Gehrig handball led to a Union penalty from Gabriel Gomez that was the only tally of the match. The 1-0 defeat was the second match in a winless streak that lasted five games for the Black & Gold early in the season.
Aside from the result, Robert Warzycha was happy with the Crew's performance back in April.
“I can’t say that I’m disappointed with the performance," Warzycha said after the loss. "I think [the Crew players] did a very good job.”
Unbeaten in its last four matches, the Crew finds itself in a different streak this time around. The addition of Designated Player and reigning MLS Player of the Week Federico Higuaín has raised the team to another level and packed a serious punch in the Black & Gold attack.
In need of three points to stay in playoff contention, the Crew travels to the City of Brotherly Love looking to avenge the early season defeat.
"We are in the time of the season that we have to win games if we want to even think about the playoffs," Warzycha explained after Monday's training session in Obetz. "Winning games gets us into the playoffs. We have to be thinking about one thing: how can we go to [Philadelphia] and get three points."
"I think we're motivated every game to get three points," captain Chad Marshall added. "I think we know at this point in the season how important each game is, especially against Eastern Conference rivals. We're going to be looking to play better than last time we went [to Philadelphia] and trying to get three points."
Wednesday's match will be a special one for the Crew captain as he sits in second place on Columbus' all-time minutes played list, just 80 minutes behind Mike Clark. Barring injury or tactical substitution, Marshall should move into first place on the all-time list in Philadelphia.
"That's cool," Marshall sounded surprised. "I didn't know that. I've been here a long time. It's a cool feeling. Hopefully, I get to that 80 minute point."
Warzycha, who registered 12,149 minutes himself in Black & Gold, says the milestone displays Marshall's importance to the organization.
"[Marshall] is one of the core layers for the team," the head coach said. "He's in his ninth year, and I think that speaks for itself. He's very important to this team and his good performances are needed by this team. [The record] means his career is going the right way. It means no major injuries and I hope he can continue to serve us and be a leader and captain for a long, long time."
The Crew and Union kick off at 8:00PM EST and the match can be found on FOX Sports Ohio where Dwight Burgess and Duncan Oughton will have the call.