Crew Soccer Academy midfielders George Braima and Ben Swanson were recently called-up to represent the United States at the U-17 and U-18 levels, respectively.
Braima and the U-17 U.S. Men's National Team head to Bosnia-Herzegovina for the Josip Katalinski International Tournament and two international friendlies in Zagreb, Croatia. In the Katalinski Tournament, the U.S. takes on Montenegro and Sarajevo Select before wrapping up play in the tournament against either the Bosnia U-17 National Team, Belgrade Select or the Macedonia U-17 National Team in a placement match. In Zagreb, the U.S. plays Croatia on April 8 and April 10.
Swanson and the U.S. U-18 squad will stay stateside for a camp that includes a friendly with Canada on April 8 and another against Mexico on April 12. Swanson recently trained with the Crew First Team following the Copa del Atlantico in the Canary Islands.
Following Saturday's dramatic 2-1 victory in Seattle, the Crew is at the top of ESPNFC and Sports Illustrated's Planet Fútbol Power Rankings this week. On MLSsoccer.com's list, Gregg Berhalter's side is in the number two spot just behind FC Dallas. Through three matches this season, the Black & Gold are the only club with a perfect record in MLS.
See the full rankings below.
MLSsoccer.com: 2 (4)
ESPNFC: 1 (7)
SI's Planet Fútbol: 1 (10)
Chad Marshall won't be the only one seeing old friends as oppostion on Saturday when the Crew takes on Seattle Sounders FC. Defender Tyson Wahl was selected by the Sounders in the 2008 MLS Expansion Draft and made 39 appearances in three seasons for the club before being picked up by the Montreal Impact in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft.
Saturday's match will mark the first time Wahl has returned to CenturyLink Field despite having played for three clubs since his departure in 2011.
"It's definitely one you circle on the schedule," Wahl said of his return. "I have fond memories of being here. It's definitely been a while. Last year, we didn't travel out here. My previous team's just didn't go. It's exciting. It's nice to be around the city and I'm definitely excited to step out on the stadium field again."
Wahl helped Sounders FC to three-straight Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups during his time in the Emerald City.
Chad Marshall owns nearly all of the Crew's club records win it comes to longevity, having played in more minutes (22,220), matches (253) and seasons (10) than anyone else in the team's 19-year history. For the first time on Saturday, the two-time MLS Defender of the Year will face his former club since being traded to Seattle Sounders FC in December.
"I think a change was needed," Marshall told SoundersFC.com. "I enjoyed my time in Columbus very much. Ten years is a long time. I feel like I grew up there, coming [into MLS] as a teenager. "
Though it will surely be strange for Marshall to see so many of his former teammates as opposition this weekend, the centerback admits it will be "just another soccer game."
"It'll probably be a little different to see the black and yellow on the other side, but there are a lot of players in this League who've played against old teams and teammates." he said. "Once the whistle blows, it's just another soccer game."
The Crew kicks off against the Sounders at 10:00 p.m. ET on Saturday night (Time Warner Cable SportsChannel / 95.5 The Game / 103.1 La Mega).
Wil Trapp was just a high schooler when the Crew claimed its 2008 MLS Cup title anchored in part by Brian Carroll's play in central midfield. While it was Guillermo Barros Schelotto's playmaking magic that caught Trapp's eye at the time, the 21-year-old looks back now at Carroll's presence on the field in admiration as he gets set to face the Black & Gold's former midfield stalwart, now with the Philadelphia Union, for the first time as a pro on Saturday (6:00 p.m. ET / TICKETS).
"I guess I didn't watch him as much as I should've back then, I was more focused on guys like Schelotto," Trapp admitted at the Crew's media day on Thursday. "Now that I look back, I think his leadership qualities and the way he gets the ball, moves it and keeps the tempo and rhythm in the game is huge. He did that for the team that won in 2008.
"I think that's something I can bring to the table, but I can also improve on."
Carroll missed the Union's match against the New England Revolution due to illness; the 32-year-old veteran could be back in Philadelphia's lineup for Saturday's match.
Soon after the Crew's 2014 primary kit was unveiled for Season Ticket Members and media at Bar Louie in the Arena District Tuesday night, club President Mark McCullers shared his excitement for the new jersey. The new kit's homage to the team's identity as "The Yellow Soccer Team" with Crew Gold and a few new features give it a classic, yet modern feel.
"I love the new jersey," McCullers said. "The gradient diamond pattern and our classic Crew Gold with black accents, I think it's just different enough but classic enough also.
"You see the gold you know it's the Crew."
The new primary kit is now available online and at the Crew Gear Store at Crew Stadium.
Defender Josh Williams chats with TheCrew.com's Cody Sharrett about the intensity of preseason training, Gregg Berhalter's leadership style and the gelling of the Black & Gold's back four.
Crew Soccer Academy Wolves product Ahinga Selemani and CSA midfielder Ben Swanson are included in U.S. U-18 Men's National Team Head Coach Javier Perez's 18-man squad that is headed to the Copa del Atlantico in Spain, U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday. Swanson is one of just eight players born in 1997 on the roster.
The U.S. will square-off against the likes of Spain, Argentina and the Canary Islands in the tournament. The Copa del Atlantico starts on January 30 and finishes up on February 8.
Defender Chad Barson has finally caved and will be joining the Twitter world. There is just one small problem: he doesn't have a handle.
Here's where you, the fan, come in. Use the hashtag #BarsonTweets to choose a name for Chad. The most creative name will win a signed Chad Barson jersey and the bragging rights of having created the man's Twitter handle.