Romain Gall's run at the 2014 Marbella U-21 International National Teams Football Tournament began in spectacular fashion on Wednesday, as the Crew midfielder bagged two goals in a 4-3 U.S. U-20 Men's National Team victory over Russia's U-21 side.
Gall, who was making his fourth international appearance for the U-20s, scored the opener for the Americans to tie the score at 1-1 in the 19th minute. After back-and-forth second-half action, Gall converted a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time while his side was down a man to snap a 3-3 deadlock and give the U.S. a 4-3 victory.
The U.S. next plays on Saturday against the Republic of Ireland (9:00 a.m. ET kickoff) at San Pedro Stadium.
Photo Credit: U.S. Soccer
Kevan George's Trinidad and Tobago defeated Curacao in its first match of the 2014 Caribbean Cup. Behind a brace from Cardiff City striker Kenwyne Jones and a game-winner from Orlando City SC man Kevin Molino, the Soca Warriors overcame a 1-0 deficit to win and go atop Group A after the first round of matches.
Rihairo Meulens and Gianluca Maria scored for Curacao in the defeat.
George did not make an appearance for the Soca Warriors, but the Crew midfielder was on the bench for the contest.
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images
In a convincing win over Real Salt Lake's Joao Plata, Crew leftback Waylon Francis is on to the Round of 16 in Latino del Año voting on FutbolMLS.com. In the Round of 16, the Costa Rican is up against Chivas USA striker Erick "Cubo" Torres, who topped Francis' teammate Federico Higuaín in the Knockout Round.
Polls close on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 11:59 pm ET. The player who receives the most votes in each pairing will advance to the Grand Finale, which will be composed of the last four players battling for the 2014 Latino del Año crown.
Justin Meram addresses the media about his first call-up to the Iraq National Team.
Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter, Assistant Coach Josh Wolff and Crew Brand Ambassador Frankie Hejduk joined Local Matters for its fourth annual Harvest Ball to help raise over $100,000 for its critical, life-changing programs.
Local Matters has six years’ experience transforming communities in Columbus, Ohio through increased access to, affordability of and education about healthful foods. They have impacted over 15,000 lives with our life-changing programs to decrease obesity and diet-related disease, and combat food insecurity.
In 2015, Local Matter plans to expand its life-changing programming to reach over 10,000 individuals annually, who are at-risk of hunger and diet-related disease.
With Justin Meram and Federico Higuain each recording their first MLS Cup Playoff goals in the first leg against New England, they join a club of 24 members of the Black & Gold to score in the postseason. In total, the Crew has scored 51 all-time goals in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Brian McBride paces the way with nine goals, closely followed by Stern John’s eight tallies. Other current active MLS players to have scored for the Crew in the postseason include Chad Marshall, Robbie Rogers, Brad Evans and Steven Lenhart.
In order to advance to the Eastern Conference Championship without invoking the away goals tiebreaker, the Crew needs to win by three or more goals, or win by two goals while scoring at least five times. All-time, the Crew has achieved this type of result on the road 11 times in club regular-season history, including this season’s 3-0 win at D.C. United (March 8). To send the match to extra time, the Black & Gold need exactly a 4-2 road win: something they have done three times in club regular-season history.
Steve Clark became the eighth goalkeeper to appear in a postseason match for the Black & Gold in making his MLS Cup Playoffs debut in the first leg against New England. Clark joins the following group: Brad Friedel, Juergen Sommer, Mark Dougherty, Tom Presthus, Jon Busch, Andy Gruenebaum and William Hesmer. Clark made five saves against the Revolution, continuing the trend that each goalkeeper to ever appear in a postseason game for the Crew has, at one point, notched a five-save performance for the Black & Gold in the Playoffs.
CREW IN THE POSTSEASON
The Crew is appearing in its first MLS Cup Playoff series since 2011 ... last Saturday, the Black & Gold hosted their first home postseason match since 2010 ... all-time, the Crew is 15-17-4 in the postseason, with a record of 9-6-1 at home and 5-11-3 away from Columbus.
AWAY GOALS COUNT ...
For the first time in League history, MLS will use the away goals rule as the first tiebreaker in deciding two-legged aggregate series ... the competition format is at follows: the four Conference Semifinals will be decided by two-game aggregate series, with the lower seed hosting the first leg and the higher seed hosting the second leg ... if the aggregate score is tied after 180 minutes of play, the away goals rule will apply so as to be consistent with CONCACAF and FIFA practice ... if the series remains tied, two 15-minute extra time periods will be played in their entirety, followed by penalty kicks, if necessary ... the away goals tiebreaker will not apply to overtime in the second leg of any two-legged playoff series.
... SO THREE IS THE TARGET
Due to the away goals rule, the Crew enters Sunday’s match needing the following to advance to the Eastern Conference Championship: a victory by at least three goals, or a two-goal victory in which the Crew scores at least five goals ... a 4-2 win for the Black & Gold would send the series to extra time.