Head Coach Robert Warzycha’s first-team selection on Sunday against the Portland Timbers provided Crew fans a chance to see more than half of the squad include in-state talent.
The special Ohio ties have gained some local attention as many were originally featured ahead of the 2013 home-opener at Crew Stadium in an issue of Columbus Alive!. Sunday marked the first time in which three Crew Homegrown Players started in a single match.
In fact, six Ohio-raised athletes managed to make their way into the starting XI, helping the Crew earn a 1-0 victory against a Timbers that entered Crew Stadium unbeaten in their last 15 matches.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Official Statistician of Major League Soccer:
48 players born in Ohio have been signed to an MLS club at some point in their career. Among that total, there are currently 20 active players around the League who hail from the Buckeye State.
13 of those 48 athletes were, at one time or other, under contract to the Crew.
That list of course only includes players that were born in the state of Ohio, and does not include players that were born elsewhere but still consider Ohio their hometowns on official rosters. For example, current Black & Gold players Konrad Warzycha (Born in Poland - raised in Dublin, OH) and Matt Lampson (Born in Tennessee – raised in Hilliard, OH) have specific Ohio ties but are not included below.
The players’ name is followed by the number of appearances they have made for the Crew and the years they called Crew Stadium home.
Chad Barson (8, 2013) Columbus, OH
Eric Brunner (39, 2008-2013) Dublin, OH
Marc Burch (7, 2006-2013) Cincinnati, OH
Brad Friedel (38, 1996-1997) Lakewood, OH
Aaron Horton* (1, 2011-2013) Lakewood, OH
Kyle Hyland (0, 2013) Bay Village, OH
Chris Leitch (37, 2002-2011) Columbus, OH
Danny O'Rourke (140, 2005-2013) Columbus, OH
Kenny Schoeni (1, 2008-2010) Cincinnati, OH
Ben Speas (14, 2012-2013) Stow, OH
Wil Trapp (1, 2013) Columbus, OH
Brandon Ward (6, 1996) Westerville, OH
Josh Williams (47, 2010-2013) Canton, OH
*Currently on loan with LA Blues of USL PRO
AN IMPORTANT TWO-MATCH ROAD SWING
After closing-out a two match homestand in the third and fourth weekends of June, the Black & Gold begin an important two-match road swing: at Sporting KC (June 29) and at LA (July 4) ... following Saturday’s match, the team will travel to LA on Sunday and train in the City of Angels ahead of the Independence Day clash on Thursday ... the seven-day trip will test the team’s road record of 3-3-2.
A TRIP TO SPORTING PARK...
The Crew travels to Sporting KC’s beautiful home, Sporting Park, for the club’s third- ever visit ... the Crew fell 2-1 in the team’s first visit on September 28, 2011 before securing a full three points in the Black & Gold’s only visit last year on July 28 -- a 2-1 win for the visiting Crew ... from 1996-2007, the Crew was 5-9-2 at the longtime home of the Kansas City club before posting an unbeaten (3-0-0) record at Community- America Ballpark from 2008 through 2010 before Sporting’s new venue opened.
TOP GOAL-SCORERS BATTLE FOURTH STRAIGHT MATCH
For the fourth straight week, the Crew and its opponent will battle in a match featur- ing two of the top five goal scorers in MLS in 2013 ... Dominic Oduro added his seventh goal of the season on Saturday, June 15 against Montreal and remained in the elite list of MLS goal-scorers in 2013 ... Oduro is tied with Sporting KC’s Claudio Bieler for fifth in MLS behind Camilo Sanvezzo and co-Budweiser Golden Boot leaders, Jack McInerney, Mike Magee and Marco Di Vaio (10 goals) ... Oduro has converted on the fewest amounts of shots on goal -- demonstrating that when the opportunity strikes, so does the Ghanaian striker.
SANCHEZ UNAVAILABLE ON SATURDAY; MIDFIELD COMPETITION...
Matías Sánchez will miss Saturday’s match as the Argentine serves a mandatory one- game suspension for yellow-card accumulation after picking-up his fifth caution last Saturday against Chicago ... other midfielders that have seen action this year include- Kevan George, Tony Tchani, Agustín Viana and Konrad Warzycha.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE BATTLE OF CORNER KICK LEADERS
Saturday’s contest also features the League’s top two corner kick leaders thus far in 2013 as Federico Higuain (71) faces Graham Zusi (70) of Sporting KC ... the Crew only had three corner kicks in last Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Chicago, but Higuain took all three for the club ... Zusi took all four of Sporting’s corner kicks in the 2-2 draw against FC Dallas last weekend, leaving the midfielder just one behind the Crew play- maker entering this weekend.
IT FEELS LIKE JUST LAST THURSDAY
Following the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round affair on June 13 , the Crew and the Fire meet for the second time this season in regular-season play when the Fire comes to Columbus ... the match -- just nine days after the U.S. Open Cup contest -- is the first of two trips for the Fire to Crew Stadium, as the Black & Gold host Chicago on June 22 (8:00 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio) before welcoming The Fire again on Saturday, September 21.
WHERE WE LEFT OFF
The Columbus Crew suffered a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on June 13 in the Fourth Round of the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Konrad Warzycha gave the Black & Gold the early lead in the 22nd-minute on a header off of a Ben Speas free kick. Chicago’s Mike Magee answered just six minutes later on a pass from Gonzalo Segares. The Fire would take the lead for good in the 78th-minute on Patrick Nyarko’s goal from Chris Rolfe in the fourth-ever meeting between the two clubs in the tournament named after the Crew’s founder, dating back to 1998.
SEEING BOTH SIDES OF THE RIVALRY...
Since 1998, 16 players have suited-up for both the Crew and the Fire in their careers ... the list includes: Brian McBride, Ante Razov, Jon Busch, Dominic Oduro, Dilly Duka, Matt Chulis, Leonard Griffin, Andy Herron, Richie Kotschau, Manny Lagos, Brian Plotkin (never played for Crew but was rostered), Tony Sanneh, Tim Ward, Andy Williams and John Wolyniec.
... ODURO’S HOUSEWARMING PARTY ON SATURDAY
On Saturday, Crew forward Dominic Oduro gets a chance to host the team that traded him to the Black & Gold in February ... Oduro scored 18 goals in 66 matches for the Fire in 2011 and 2012 ... while with the Fire, he recorded one goal in five appearances against the Crew ... the 27-year-old also made five appearances and recorded one assist against the Crew while a member of FC Dallas (2006-2008) and made two appear- ances against Columbus while with Houston from 2009-2010.
SPEAKING OF DOM AT HOME
Dominic Oduro’s next match at Crew Stadium will be his 15th contest in the house of the Black & Gold ... his statistical numbers indicate that he much prefers suiting-up in the Crew dressing room ... in his first seven matches at Crew Stadium from 2006- 20012 (all as a visiting player) Oduro recorded a single assist ... last Saturday against Montreal was Oduro’s seventh home match at Crew Stadium this year while in a Crew jersey -- a match in which he added a goal and an assist -- giving him three goals and one assist in seven home matches in 2013.
CREW AND YOUNG BARSON GET SOME LOVE FROM NATIONAL PUNDITS
Soccer By Ives named the Columbus Crew its “MLS Team of the Week” following its 2-0 victory over the Montreal Impact on Saturday ... Soccer By Ives also named Black & Gold defender Chad Barson its “MLS Rookie of the Week” ... with injuries plaguing the Crew backline, Barson, “stepped up to the task, playing 90 minutes and effectively shutting-out Justin Mapp and Marco Di Vaio.”
ONE-GOAL GAMES ARE BECOMING A THEME IN CREW-FIRE TILTS
The previous six meetings between the longtime rivals have resulted in one-goal matches, providing plenty of drama in regular-season play ... Chicago is 5-1-0 in the current span, with the Black & Gold securting a 2-1 win on May 26, 2012 at Crew Stadium ... the teams played to a 1-0 finish in Chicago when the two clubs last met on April 20 ... should the match remain close again this weekend, both teams will look to secure points in another crucial one-goal game situation as Chicago is 2-4-0 while Columbus is 2-3-0 in those tightly-contested situations.
NOT ALLOWING MUCH FROM THE FIRE
Chicago may have the Crew’s number in the last six overall meetings (5-1-0) but the Black & Gold have been solid at home against their rivals, securing points in four of the last five meetings at Crew Stadium (2-1-2) dating back to 2008 ... in those five meetings, Chicago has only scored two goals twice -- in the first two meetings of the five-match clip -- and the Fire has been held to one goal in each of the previous three meetings at Crew Stadium dating back to 2010.
Black & Gold veteran defender Chad Marshall has been a part of every Crew Fest the Black & Gold have hosted since 2005. Marshall again signed autographs and took pictures with fans and he enjoyed the opportunity to give back to the fans this year.
“It’s great. They are spending their hard-earned money to come and support us so anything we can give back to them, whether it be our time or anything, is cool,” said Marshall.
“It’s always great to interact with the fans, you couldn’t pick a better day than this, 75 and sunny, and it’s awesome to be out here.”
Every member of the team joined Marshall on the field at Columbus Crew Stadium, some of whom participated in the individual events. Midfielders Tony Tchani and Kevan George showed their gamer skills in the EA Sports’ FIFA 13 tournament, Matias Sanchez competed in a two-on-two tournament, and defenders Eric Gehrig and Drew Beckie were repeatedly submerged in water at the Crew Fest Dunk Tank.
CREW UNBEATEN IN LAST THREE
The Crew enters Wednesday’s match at Philadelphia riding a modest three-match unbeaten streak (1-0-2) dating back to May 18 at Toronto ... a win at Toronto followed by the pair of draws has allowed for crucial Eastern Conference points as the Black & Gold play their next four matches against foes within their conference.
BUSY STRETCH CONTINUES
The Crew completes a stretch of four matches in 11 days when the Black & Gold travel to Philadelphia to take on the Union on Wednesday ... previously in this stretch, the Crew is unbeaten (0-0-2) in two MLS matches and also secured a Third Round victory over the Dayton Dutch Lions in U.S. Open Cup action ... the 11-day test began with the 2-2 draw on May 26 at New York before the May 29 Open Cup clash ... back in action after a 1-1 draw against Houston on June 1, Wednesday’s meeting at Philadelphia is followed by rest for the team ahead with bye weekend on June 8.
ALL EYES ON US...
The Crew and Union will have all eyes of Major League Soccer on the two clubs as Wednesday’s match is the only mid-week contest scheduled in League play ... this is the Crew’s first mid-week match in 2013 League play, but it is the second straight week of Wednesday action following the 2-1 win against the Dayton Dutch Lions on May 29 in U.S. Open Cup play ... the Black & Gold will get set for another mid-week match on Thursday, July 4 when the team travels to face the LA Galaxy, but the next Wednesday match for Columbus is not until Wednesday, September 4 against Houston at Crew Stadium.
PLENTY OF BROTHERLY LOVE FOR UNION MATCHES
The Crew plays its second and final match in the regular-season series against Philadelphia, looking to build off of its three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) against the Union dating back to 2012 ... the Crew defeated the Union 2-1 in its first-ever trip to PPL Park on August 5, 2010 and after the Union shut-out the Crew 1-0 in an April 14, 2012 clash back at PPL Park, the Crew responded with the beginning of the three-game unbeaten streak with a 2-1 win over the home side Union on August 29, 2012.
ANOTHER ROAD TEST FOR CREW...
The Crew returns to the road for Wednesday’s match at Philadelphia before a pair of home matches on June 15 (against Montreal) and June 22 (against Chicago) ... on the road this season, the Black & Gold have secured points in five of their first seven matches (3-2-2) ... the Crew’s winning percentage of .571 on the road is currently tied with Sporting KC for third-best in MLS behind only Montreal (.583) and League- leading Portland (.643).
... AND ANDY’S ONE OF THE BEST ON THE ROAD
Andy Gruenebaum has been the Crew’s starting ‘keeper in the first 13 matches of 2013 ... the Crew has seen success on the road (3-2-2) with plenty of thanks to Gruenebaum’s road performances in the first seven tilts away from Crew Stadium ... of the nine MLS goalkeepers in 2013 that have started at least seven road contests, Gruenebaum’s 1.00 road goals against average is second in the League behind only KC’s Jimmy Nielsen (0.86 GAA, 7 games played) ... two of Gruenebaum’s three shutouts this season have been on the road.
BUSY STRETCH CONTINUES
Following the May 26 test against New York and Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup clash, the Crew continues a stretch of four matches in 11 days as the club resumes MLS action at Crew Stadium when the Black & Gold host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, June 1 (7:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio) ... that stretch continues through June 5 when the Black & Gold travel to Philadelphia to face the Union before a bye weekend on June 8.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE VERY FEW PROBLEMS
The Crew resumes MLS action this weekend with an Eastern Conference test from the visiting Houston Dynamo ... the Crew has had Houston’s number since 2009 as the Black & Gold are unbeaten (3-0-5) in their last eight contests against the Dynamo ... the last three matches between the two clubs dating back to 2011 have resulted in a draw ... the Crew is unbeaten (3-0-2) in five previous meetings against the Dynamo in Columbus dating back to April 26, 2008.
GLAUBER AND ARRIETA AVAILABLE...
Crew centerback Glauber is available on Saturday after serving a mandatory one- match suspension following his fifth caution of the season that he picked-up on May 18 in Toronto ... Glauber made the start on Wednesday in U.S. Open Cup action ... following an MLS Disciplinary Committee suspension of two matches, Crew striker Jairo Arrieta is also available for selection, as the Costa Rican was away on National Team duty earlier this week and missed the 2-1 win against the Dayton Dutch Lions.
... AND JAIRO FOUND A SCORING TOUCH WITH COSTA RICA
Jairo Arrieta has missed the last two League matches while serving a two-game suspension handed down by the MLS Disciplinary Committee, but the Crew forward remained sharp during his international call-up for Costa Rica against Canada in a friendly in Edmonton on Tuesday ... Arrieta converted a 16th-minute penalty kick to give the Ticos a 1-0 win ... Tuesday’s match was Arrieta’s 10th cap with Costa Rica and third goal after scoring twice during the 2013 Copa Centroamericana.
ODURO GETS HIS SIXTH
The Crew was held scoreless in the first two matches of the month but Dominic Oduro still managed to score in the final two May contests to lead the Black & Gold in scoring with two strikes on the month ... his game-winning goal at Toronto on May 18 was followed by his second-minute goal against the Eastern Conference-leading Red Bulls on May 26, accounting for 66% of the team’s scoring on the month ... Oduro has scored in each month of the season in his first year with the Crew ... the Crew remains unbeaten (3-0-3) in 2013 when Oduro finds the back of the net.
FIRST GOAL IS KEY FOR CREW
The Crew struck first on May 26 at New York and managed to secure a point on the road ... it was the sixth time this season the Black & Gold have gotten on the scoreboard first and in those matches, Columbus is 4-0-2 ... the Crew went 10-4-2 last season when scoring the first goal and went 5-8-3 in 2012 when the club’s opponent got on the board first .
BLACK & GOLD LOVE BMO FIELD
The Crew is 2-0-5 in its first seven visits to BMO Field in Toronto dating back to 2007 ... although the Black & Gold have only won twice there, the venue has quickly be- come the destination for the fewest Crew blemishes (losses) on the road ... of all MLS venues past and present in which the Crew has played a minimum of five matches, BMO Field is the only stadium in which the Crew is unbeaten ... other venues in
Columbus Crew record: 8-1-7 Home games: 6-1-2 (18 GF, 11 GA) Road games: 2-0-5 (8 GF, 6 GA)
CREW TO TAKE ON TFC, DUNCAN OUGHTON
Saturday’s match at BMO Field is the first of three regular-season meetings between the two teams in their quest for the Trillum Cup ... the Crew swept Toronto by going 3-0-0 against TFC in 2012 ... this is the 17th regular-season meeting in the all-time season series between the two teams dating back to 2007 ... Columbus holds an 8-1-7 overall advantage .... the Crew is unbeaten (2-0-5) at BMO Field against the Reds ... this will also be Duncan Oughton’s first match as a member of the TFC coaching staff since departing the Black & Gold last week.
Federico Higuain recorded a brace with goals on either side of halftime as the Crew finished the 2012 campaign on October 28 with a 2-1 win against Toronto at Crew Stadium ... with his 62nd-minute penalty kick, Higuain finished the 2012 campaign with five goals and seven assists in just 13 matches with the Crew after joining the Black & Gold mid-season.
CREW HELD SCORELESS, BUT NOT TIME TO PANIC...
After scoring three goals in the first half of the April 27 match against D.C., the Black & Gold have not scored a goal in the two and a half matches since the 2-0 shutout loss to Colorado last Saturday ... the 225-minute scoreless streak is the 10th-longest in MLS this season ... as a point of comparison, three teams with winning records in 2013 -- New York (309 minutes) LA (253 minutes) and Montreal (234 minutes) have all witnessed scoring droughts at some point this season longer than the Crew’s current stretch.
... AND GOAL RELIEF COULD BE ON THE WAY SATURDAY
The Crew enters Saturday with a 225-minute scoreless streak but the Black & Gold have history on their side with an upcoming tilt at BMO Field ... in seven previous meetings at BMO Field, the Crew has scored in every match, totalling eight goals and five assists as a team.
A NEW CENTRAL MIDFIELD DUO
Tony Tchani has made three consecutive starts in the central midfield for the Black & Gold ... joining him last Saturday against Colorado was central midfielder Matias Sanchez, who made his first MLS start after making four appearances in the first nine mathces of 2013 ... The Tchani-Sanchez duo is the third central midfield pairing Head Coach Robert Warzycha has used in 2013 ... the primary duo of Agustin Viana and Danny O’Rourke started the first seven matches of 2013 while Tchani has made three straight starts with Viana out with a hamstring injury ... Sanchez made his starting lineup debut with O’Rourke nursing an ankle injury last weekend.
GAVEN SUFFERING PLENTY OF FOULS...
Eddie Gaven suffered three fouls last Saturday against Colorado ... Gaven is the second-most fouled player in MLS this year and has been fouled 27 times in eight matches, trailing only FC Dallas’ David Ferreira who has been fouled 35 times in 10 games played ... Gaven has been fouled five times in a match three times this season including the May 4 contest against New York -- adding to identical amounts from the March 2 match at Chivas USA and the April 20 clash at Chicago.
... AND GAVEN’S ABOUT TO BECOME THE MOST-FOULED CREW PLAYER
With 407 fouls suffered in a Crew uniform in 207 games played for the Black & Gold, Eddie Gaven is one foul suffered away from becoming the most-fouled Crew player in club history ... Gaven enters Saturday tied with Brian McBride (407 fouls suffered, 161 games played) ... the Crew midfielder is the only active member on the club’s all-time list for fouls suffered.
MLSsoccer.com's Greg Lalas and Matt Doyle preview the Trillium Cup presented by Scotts match coming up this weekend as Toronto host the Columbus Crew, kicking off at 5pm ET on Saturday.