Before the Crew hosts Seattle Sounders FC in the only meeting between the two sides in 2013 on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio), let's look back at last year's clash in Seattle.
Having never beaten the Sounders, the Crew silenced the 38,000-plus fans at CenturyLink field following Justin Meram's first-half diving header to give the Black & Gold an early advantage. Andy Gruenebaum and the Crew backline fended off an onslaught of attempts from the Seattle attack before Emilio Rentería added some insurance in the 76th minute to secure the victory with a looping shot from outside the box to beat 'keeper Bryan Meredith. Rentería's stunning strike wouldn't be needed, however, as Gruenebaum made six saves to lift the Crew to its first victory over former coach Sigi Schmid.
After netting a brace for the second straight match, Crew Captain Federico Higuaín was named to MLSSoccer.com's Team of the Week for Week 25. With four goals over the last two matches, the Argentine is now tied with Dominic Oduro for the team-scoring lead with nine tallies in 2013. In 37 matches since joining the Crew in August 2012, Higuaín has scored 14 goals and registered 13 assists while donning the Black & Gold.
On the heels of Saturday's Trillium Cup win over Toronto FC, the Crew now prepares for a tough task in facing Supporters' Shield leader Real Salt Lake on the road. Before the Black & Gold take on Real for the first and only time this year, here is a look back at the clubs' only meeting last season.
Delayed two hours after severe thunderstorms ravaged Central Ohio the night before, the Crew came out firing against the Western Conference leaders from the opening whistle as Tony Tchani and Eddie Gaven scored first-half goals to lift the home team to victory. Andy Gruenebaum recorded one of his career-high eight shutouts, making three saves on the evening before the largest crowd of the season at Crew Stadium. Danny O'Rourke returned to the lineup after missing four matches to patrol the midfield in the win for the Black & Gold.
The Crew hosts Toronto FC in the third -- and deciding -- match of the 2013 Trillium Cup presented by Scotts on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET / TICKETS). Before the Black & Gold welcome their rival to the North, here is a look back at the meeting in Toronto back on July 27.
With a chance to clinch the Trillium Cup, the Crew gained an early lead from Dominic Oduro's strike from outside the box in the 17th minute. That score would hold for most of the match, but late goals from Jonathan Osorio and Andrew Wiedeman would earn Toronto FC its first win on home soil over the Black & Gold. The Reds' 2-1 victory makes Saturday's game all the more important as the Crew aims to retain the Trillium Cup.
Crew Captain Federico Higuaín and veteran defender Chad Marshall were named to MLSSoccer.com's Team of the Week for their roles in the Black & Gold's 2-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls. Higuaín scored both goals in the match, while Marshall anchored the Crew backline to the shutout. The Black & Gold joined the Philadelphia Union and Sporting Kansas City as the only clubs with multiple players on the Team of the Week.
To little surprise, Federico Higuaín's wonderful chip of New York Red Bulls' goalkeeper Luis Robles is nominated for Week 24 AT&T Goal of the Week honors. Higuaín is up against Vancouver Whitecaps FC's Camilo, Montreal Impact midfielder Felipe Martins, Sporting KC winger Kei Kamara and the LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan.
To vote for the Crew Captain text G1 to 22442 or click the link below.
After willing his team to a 2-0 victory over the first-place New York Red Bulls with two goals to his name on Saturday, Crew Captain Federico Higuaín has been nominated for MLSSoccer.com's Top 3 Performers for Week 24. Higuaín also completed nearly 72-percent of his passes, including seven key passes in the attacking third against the Red Bulls.
Higuaín is up against the Philadelphia Union's Conor Casey, FC Dallas' Blas Perez, Sporting Kansas City's Kei Kamara and the LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan -- all of whom scored multiple goals over the weekend -- among others.
Crew Chairman Anthony Precourt was properly introduced to the Black & Gold's faithful supporters Friday night, making stops to see the Crew Union at Fourth Street Bar and the Hudson Street Hooligans at Hendoc's Pub. Precourt and Crew President and General Manager Mark McCullers mingled with supporters, taking in the fans' thoughts on the club.
As a token of his appreciation, Precourt bought everybody at both bars a round of drinks.
After a training session to prepare for Saturday's match against the New York Red Bulls, the Crew hit the links at Pinnacle Golf Club in Grove City for the Crew Soccer Foundation Golf Classic. LPGA pro and fellow Barbasol/Pure Silk team member Natalie Gulbis was the guest of honor, answering fan inquiries in a question-and-answer session and teaching the trade secrets in a short game clinic. Over 120 golfers participated in the event, with proceeds benefitting the Crew Soccer Foundation's Kirk Urso Memorial Fund.
The Urso Fund provides a platform to develop and support youth heart health research and programming to honor Urso's memory. The Crew midfielder passed away suddenly at the age of 22 of an Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy on August 5, 2012.
During Tuesday night's Killers' concert at the LC Pavilion, lead singer Brandon Flowers gave the local soccer club a shoutout in the band's song "Prize Fighter." Check it out around the 45-second mark.