BERHALTER DEBUT FOR BLACK & GOLD
The Crew takes the field on Saturday under the leadership of Gregg Berhalter as the Sporting Director and Head Coach begins his MLS coaching career after coaching Swedish side Hammerby IF.
CREW BEGINS 19TH MLS CAMPAIGN
The Columbus Crew begins its 19th MLS season and enters the year with an overall regular-season record of 233-222-105 ... Saturday’s match (March 8) marks the sec-ond earliest Crew season start date in club history, six days after last season’s March 2 opener ... as a point of reference, the latest the Crew started a season was its inaugural campaign – alongside nine other charter teams – when Columbus opened play on April 13, 1996.
SEASON-OPENER: FEAST OR FAMINE
The Crew has shut out their opponents in season openers six times and have been held scoreless in the first 90 minutes four times ... the largest margin of victory was the Crew’s first-ever game – a 4-0 win against D.C. on April 13, 1996 ... the team’s largest deficit was a 5-1 loss at Tampa Bay on March 18, 2000 ... the Crew stormed to a 3-0 defeat of Chivas USA last season on March 2 in Carson, Calif.
PAPA DOM WILL BE OUT FOR SEASON-OPENER
Fans of Freaky Fast Dominic Oduro must wait until the Crew’s Opening Match at Crew Stadium on March 22 to see the Ghanaian speedster ... Oduro was issued a red card for a foul in the 90th minute of the regular-season finale against New England on October 27 of last year and is set to serve the mandatory one-game suspension on Saturday in the club’s first tilt of 2014 ... the red card was the first of his career.
It's no surpise that three of Major League Soccer's most prolific scorers in Jeff Cunningham, Jaime Moreno and Brian McBride have done the most damage in the long-standing rivalry between the Columbus Crew and D.C. United. During his time with the Black & Gold, McBride tallied 11 times against United in the rivalry's early days. Moreno was always a thorn in the Crew's side for United, finding the net 15 times in 37 career regular season matches with D.C. against Columbus. As MLS' all-time leading scorer, Cunningham scored five times against D.C. United while playing with the Crew. In total, Cunningham scored 11 times against United.
Eddie Gaven leads all active Crew players with two goals in the rivalry. Gaven also tallied twice against United with the NY/NJ MetroStars, including his first career goal coming on a game-winner against D.C. after entering the match as an emergency goalkeeper. Both of Gaven's goals for the Black & Gold have come in the Crew's last five matches against United.
On the D.C. side, forward Carlos Ruiz has scored 10 times against the Black & Gold. In his first season with United, he has yet to score against the Crew for the Black-and-Red. Six current United players have each scored one goal in the rivalry.
All-Time Leading Scorers vs. D.C. United
*Active player, Played for Crew
|3||Brian McBride (11 with Crew)||12|
|4||Jeff Cunningham (5 with Crew)||11|
All-Time Leading Scorers vs. Columbus Crew
*Active player, Played for D.C. United
|2||Jaime Moreno (All with D.C.)||15|
|3||Raul Diaz Arce (5 with D.C.)||12|
|5||Carlos Ruiz* (0 with D.C.)||10|
While reading a blog entry about life in Montreal written by Impact rookie Andrew Wenger on a Duke University website for a Soccer and Politcs class, I stumbled upon a well-written research paper by current Crew midfielder Cole Grossman written during his time as a Blue Devil about soccer in Africa. Written in 2009, Grossman looks at the future of soccer on the African continent following the 2010 World Cup.
Check it out here.
Photo courtesy of Duke Athletics.