DOM’S STILL ON PACE
Dominic Oduro has scored eight times through 20 matches this year and is still on-pace to top his career-high 12 goals that he set back in 2011 ... the Crew’s forward -- if he keeps the current pace of 0.40 goals per game -- he could score 13 goals this season.
MARSHALL-O’ROURKE PAIRING STEADY AT CENTERBACK
After making 13 appearances -- including 12 starts -- at central midfield, Danny O’Rourke made his first start at centerback on July 4 alongside Chad Marshall and the two have paired together in the last three matches (and one international friendly) ... the centerback pairing of O’Rourke and Marshall -- who were paired together when the club won MLS Cup in 2008 -- became the fifth centerback pairing Head Coach Robert Warzycha has used in 2013, joining: Marshall/Glauber, Gehrig/Glauber, Gehrig/George and Marshall/Williams.
Jairo Arrieta returned to the Crew following the conclusion of Costa Rica’s run in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup ... Arrieta joined Costa Rica following the Crew’s 3-2 defeat to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, June 29 – a match in which Arrieta scored his second MLS tally of the season ... Arrieta scored one goal in three starts in group play, tallying in the 3-0 win against Cuba (July 9) and started in the knockout-round match against Honduras on July 21 ... in 2013, has made 11 international appearances -- including nine starts -- and has scored four goals ... in 2013 for the Crew, Arrieta has recorded two goals and two assists in 12 appearances, including nine starts.
FOURTH TRIP NORTH OF THE BORDER
Saturday’s trip to Toronto is the Crew’s fourth of five trips to Canada in 2013 and 13th overall regular-season match north of the border ... although the Black & Gold fell 2-1 to Vancouver on March 9, the Crew has secured points in 10 of the 12 previous meetings up North and is 4-2-6 in those Canadian-hosted matches ... Columbus is unbeaten (3-0-5) in eight matches at Toronto FC, has a 1-1-0 record at Vancouver and the Crew’s 1-1 draw at Montreal on April 13 improved the Crew’s record at Montreal to 0-1-1 ... additional Ohio ties to Canada include rookie defender Drew Beckie who was born in Regina, Saskatchewan.
BLACK & GOLD LOVE BMO FIELD
The Crew is 3-0-5 in its first eight visits to BMO Field in Toronto dating back to 2007 ... although the Black & Gold have only won three times there, the venue has quickly become 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 which the Crew have seen the fewest road losses are listed below as BMO Field is the only active stadium on that list:
BMO Field (Toronto, Canada). Home of TFC 2007-Present. Crew Record (3-0-5)
Robertson Stadium (Houston) Home of Houston Dynamo 2006-2011. Crew Record (1-1-4)
Raymond James Stadium (Tampa) Home of Tampa Bay Mutiny 1999-2001. Crew Record (3-3-0)
Tampa Stadium (Tampa) Home of Tampa Bay Mutiny 1996-1999. Crew Record (3-3-0)
(Minimum: 5 games played)
PIPA TAKES ON TORONTO
Federico Higuain has recorded three goals and two assists in just three meetings with Toronto FC ... before assisting Dominic Oduro on the game-winning goal on May 18, the Crew playmaker recorded a brace in the final meeting between the two teams in 2012 on October 28 ... Pipa has been quite efficient against the Reds as he’s scored all three goals on just five shots on frame in 256 minutes.
GOALS COULD RETURN ON SATURDAY
The Crew was unable to find the back of the net against New England last Saturday but the Black & Gold have history on their side with an upcoming tilt at BMO Field ... in all eight previous meetings at BMO Field, the Crew has scored in every match, totalling nine goals and six assists as a team.
PLENTY OF ONE-GOAL GAMES IN THE SERIES
The last four meetings between the Crew and Toronto FC have resulted in one-goal affairs ... the Crew is 4-0-0 in those matches and has shut-out Toronto twice in those matches ... the contests have been close, though, as the Crew has scored two goals twice in those four matches and have been held to single goals two additional times.
DAY MEN ... CHAMPIONS OF THE SUN
This weekend’s afternoon tilt is just the fourth match to be played before 5:00 p.m. local time this season and first since May 4 against New York (4:00 p.m. ET) ... overall, the Crew is 1-1-1, but the Black & Gold are unbeaten on the road (1-0-1) when playing a matinee match.