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.
Winger Ethan Finlay joined CD102.5 FM's Joe Jewett in-studio on Thursday morning to preview Saturday's match against the Houston Dynamo on 614 Night.
Saturday's 4-1 triumph over the LA Galaxy perpetuated a positive statistic for the Columbus Crew: the club is unbeaten (5-0-3) when leading at halftime this season. In those eight matches, the Crew has scored 13 first-half goals and has notched exactly three shots on target per first half. Compare that to 1.3 shots on target per first half in the 16 matches that the Crew has been tied or trailing after the first 45 minutes, and you can see the importance of an early start.
Beyond starting quickly, the statistic is also a testament to the Crew's ability to get results from positive positions. Consider Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter's opinion on the second half against LA:
"The second half was, to me, more of an exercise in counter-attacking. You saw it. We had guys running in the counter-attack. They switched to three in the back ... and it hurt them. There was a lot of open space."
When asked if he thinks his team's style lends itself well to burying teams that have to chase the game against the Crew, Berhalter said that he hopes so. The evidence supports it, and the Crew will be looking for more of the same against Houston on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images
Writing ahead of the annual MLS "24 Under 24" series, Top Drawer Soccer's Will Parchman highlighed four such players who have caught his eye this season, one of whom was Crew midfielder Wil Trapp. Here's an excerpt of what Parchman had to say about the Homegrown Player.
"Wil Trapp has a higher ceiling than any player on this list, and I don’t stop shy of saying that. I think it’s a combination of his positional strides over the past year paired with his unbelievable calm in the midfield. The things he does at times don’t make any general kind of sense in the moment. It’s only when you rip out the machinery to see where he connected the solenoids that you understand how he did what he did. And even then, it doesn’t make sense."
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images