The Crew's possession-based system requires players comfortable on the ball all over the pitch. That can even be extended back to the goalkeeper position. Holding the ball often means playing it back, and Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark has been an asset this season in helping the Crew do that.
Among all goalkeepers this season, nobody has more ball touches than Clark, and nobody has passed to a higher percentage than the Crew 'keeper. A full list of all MLS goalkeepers with 1000 or more touches is below:
|Goalkeeper||Touches||Successful Passes||Passes Attempted||Passing Percentage|
Tony Tchani notched two assists against Philadelphia last weekend, taking his season total to five helpers. That amount represents a new career-best for the Cameroonian in the category, exploding past the three assists he recorded in 2010 with the New York Red Bulls. The two-assist performance also marked the first multi-assist match in Tchani’s career.
The Crew’s three-goal outburst in Philadelphia represented the third time in the 2014 regular-season that the club registered three or more goals in a road match, joining March 8 at D.C. United and May 17 at Portland. The Black & Gold have not had three separate three-goal road performances in a single year since their 2008 MLS Cup Championship season, when they also had three such games. All-told, the Crew has achieved this milestone in six different seasons, with the most such matches coming in 2002, when the club had five three-goal road performances.
Ethan Finlay sparked the Crew’s comeback in Philadelphia by scoring the first of the club’s three successive goals that fueled the 3-2 victory. The goal was Finlay’s 10th of the season, extending his career-best single-season total. Finlay also became the only American player to notch 10 goals for the Crew in a single season since 2005. Previ- ously, the Marshfield, Wisconsin native was tied with Edson Buddle (9, 2005) and Eddie Gaven (9, 2012) for the club record over that span.
CRUCIAL ROAD TRIP CONCLUDES
After claiming six points from a two-match homestand, the Crew began a three-match road swing and thus far has captured three additional points from the first two matches ... after hitting a snag in a defeat away to New England on October 4, the club completed a two-goal comeback in defeating Philadelphia last weekend ... the trip concluded this weekend with the club’s second trip to Red Bull Arena in 2014 ... following this match, the Crew is set to close-out its 2014 regular season with a home date against the Union on Sunday, October 26.
Discovery Signing Emanuel Pogatetz made his club debut last weekend in Philadelphia, recording seven minutes off the bench to help the Black & Gold close-out the 3-1 victory ... a veteran of the Austrian National Team, the Barclays Premier League and the German Bundesliga, Pogatetz signed with Columbus on September 9.
LOCKED AND LOADED
By virtue of Justin Meram’s goal in Philadelphia, the Crew became one of just five MLS clubs to boast three players with eight goals each in 2014 ... the full list is below:
|Columbus Crew||Higuain (11), Finlay (10), Meram (8)|
|FC Dallas||Perez (10), Castillo (10), Michel (8)|
|Seattle Sounders FC||Martins (17), Dempsey (14), Neagle (8)|
|Portland Timbers||Valeri (11), Adi (9), Urruti (9)|
|LA Galaxy||Keane (19), Zardes (16), Donovan (10)|
Crew Homegrown Goalkeeper Matt Lampson recently announced his non-profit the LampStrong Foundation, Inc. is officially an 501(c)(3) as recognized by the IRS.
This Sunday, Crew staff, family and friends are running the Columbus Marathon in support of the LampStrong Foundation. The team has already raised over $2,500 towards the goal ahead of the race. Click here to check out more about the Team LampStrong Marathon Team.
If you would like to support the team on Sunday, wear Crew gear, or -- if you prefer -- LampStrong T-shirts are available in the Crew Gear Store for a $25 donation to support Team LampStrong runners who will be running in lime green LampStrong Foundation tech shirts.
Lampson and the Crew thanks all runners and others who have supported the LampStrong Foundation.
Saturday's comeback victory in Philadelphia put Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter's Crew one step closer to the MLS Cup Playoffs -- in fact, the Black & Gold are about as close as you can possibly be to in without having officially clinched. Should the Crew officially qualify, Berhalter would set a club record in becoming the first Head Coach in club history to make the playoffs in his first full season as the Crew boss without any prior experience with the Black & Gold.
The full list of all full first-year Crew Head Coaches to make the postseason is below:
|Year||Coach||Record||Place||Previous Experience with Crew|
|1997||Tom Fitzgerald||15-17-0||Fourth (out of five)||1996 (10 matches as Interim Head Coach)|
|2002||Greg Andrulis||11-12-5||Sixth (out of 10)||2001 (20 matches as Interim Head Coach)|
|2009||Robert Warzycha||13-7-10||First (out of seven)||2005 (16 matches as Interim Head Coach)|
|2014||Gregg Berhalter||12-10-10 (in progress)||TBD||N/A|
Matt Lampson continued his LLS Hero program during the month of September by meeting with many special Heroes and their families. To date, Lampson has honored 26 Heroes at Crew matches.
Continuing the Hero program that Lampson started during the 2013 season, the goalkeeper works with LLS to invite a child and his or her family to every home and away match during the 2014 season.
Although the Crew moved little in this week's Power Rankings, the national media had complimentary words about the Black & Gold's comeback, with ESPNFC calling it "impressive."
See below for this week's ranks as well as last week's position indicated afterward.
MLSsoccer.com: 8 (7)
ESPNFC: 8 (8)
SI.com: 10 (10)
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images