The Dutch Lions' backline had a decidedly Columbus feel to it last Saturday against the Colorado Rapids Reserves, as both Ben Sweat and Matt Wiet started and played the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 Dayton loss. It was Sweat's second consecutive match for the Dutch Lions. The Black & Gold's 2014 first-round MLS SuperDraft pick recorded one shot in the contest.
Elsewhere in USL-PRO, goalkeeper Brad Stuver played three matches over a five-day span for Wilmington Hammerheads FC. The Crew loanee started in goal against Sacramento Republic FC on Wednesday, August 20 and followed that up with starts at Orange County Blues FC on Saturday, August 23 and at LA Galaxy II on Sunday, August 24. Stuver played every minute of the busy slate for the Hammerheads, earning a victory against Orange County and a draw vs. LA Galaxy II.
Photo Credit: Jeremi Blurton
The Crew's second-straight three-goal victory led to another strong showing in the weekly Power Rankings. The Black & Gold rose two additional spots in each of the three major national polls.
See below for this week's ranks with last week's position indicated afterward:
MLSsoccer.com: 8 (10)
ESPNFC: 10 (12)
SI.com: 9 (11)
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images
TheCrew.com's Ashleigh Ignelzi joins Matt Finkes on 95.5 The Game's The BIG Show every Monday to talk all things Black & Gold.
Notching a goal and an assist for the second week in a row, Crew winger Justin Meram was named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week following the club's 3-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo. Despite the convincing win in Week 24, Meram is the Black & Gold's lone representative on the Team of the Week. Goalkeeper Steve Clark was named Honorable Mention.
Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter meets with media regarding transfer rumors concerning Giancarlo Gonzalez ahead of Saturday's match versus the Houston Dynamo.
After taking an early 2-0 lead against LA, the Crew earned a crucial trio of points at home in a 4-1 victory last Saturday. With the win, the Black & Gold are unbeaten (5- 0-3) in 2014 when leading at halftime.
Last Saturday saw a four-goal performance for the Crew behind a couple of season-high statistics on the shooting side. The 21 total shots matched a season high from the June 4 draw against Real Salt Lake, while the 12 shots on goal are a new season benchmark as the Black & Gold buried one-third of their total shots on frame for goals.
The Crew’s Steve Clark, Giancarlo Gonzalez and Tony Tchani were named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week following Saturday’s 4-1 win over the LA Galaxy. With three players on the list in Week 23, it’s the Black & Gold’s highest total of the season. Justin Meram was named honorable mention.
The Crew still has plenty of regular-season action to go in the current campaign, but fans already enjoying the new era of Black & Gold soccer can look ahead to locking in their seats for the 2015 campaign by purchasing or extending a season ticket membership. Fans interested in pricing and membership benefits should check out TheCrew.com/membership to be a part of #OurCrew2015.
GREAT HOME CROWDS
The Crew completes a three-match homestand on Saturday with a visit from Houston, looking to build-off the home attendance success in recent weeks ... over the last two weeks, the Crew has averaged 19,275 fans per game ... last Saturday’s attendance of 20,729 marked the Crew’s third sellout of the season ... that attendance marks the 30th largest all-time crowd in Crew Stadium history dating back to 1999, which includes MLS regular-season, MLS Cup Playoffs, an MLS Cup and U.S. Soccer matches.
DOMINATING THE DYNAMO IN COLUMBUS
Houston arrives in Columbus for its 10th trip to Columbus Crew Stadium since 2006 ... Crew Stadium has not been kind to the Dynamo ... since a June 10, 2007 victory for Houston in Columbus, the Crew is unbeaten (4-0-3) against Houston at home ... in that span, the Crew has outscored Houston, 13-6 and has shut-out the Texas side four times.
Four different Crew players scored in Saturday’s 4-1 win over the LA Galaxy ... it was the Crew’s first four-goal performance of the season and first since the 4-2 win at FC Dallas on September 29, 2013.
A FIRST FOR SPEAS, GONZALEZ
On Saturday against LA, Ben Speas recorded his first goal of the season in the 75th minute to give the Crew a 3-1 lead and Giancarlo Gonzalez scored his first goal in his MLS career in the 84th minute in the match’s final strike of the evening ... Gonzalez became the first Crew defender to score in 2014 ... for Speas, it was the second career goal for the midfielder ... Speas scored his first strike in D.C. last season in a tally that earned him the club’s Goal of the Year award, voted by the fans.