Blog menu


01 December 5:49 pm

by Kevin Noonan

Importance: Steve Clark recorded multiple penalty shot saves over the course of the 2014 season. This stop on Marco Di Vaio occurred in the 91st minute, after Columbus had built a 2-0 lead with goals from Ethan Finlay and Federico Higuain.

While the stop wasn’t the difference in whether the Crew would earn one or three points from the game, it did give Steve Clark his fourth shutout victory of the season.


Difficulty: Simply put, Clark had to be nearly perfect to get in front of Di Vaio’s attempt. Di Vaio aims for the left side of the net, but is unable to get it past the diving Clark.

30 November 11:43 am

by Kevin Noonan

Importance: Of all the incredible saves Steve Clark made over the course of the 2014 season, perhaps no other save ranks as high when combining the importance and difficulty of the stop as his save on New England’s Charlie Davies in late September at Crew Stadium.

With both teams firmly entrenched in the Eastern Conference playoff race, a win for either side would be crucial in securing a postseason berth.

After a scoreless first half, Federico Higuain converted a free kick in the 48th minute to give the Crew a 1-0 lead. From that point forward, both teams had a number of great chances, but none better than Davies’ attempt on Clark. The 1-0 scoreline proved to be the final score and the Black & Gold’s playoff chances skyrocketed with an important win.

Difficulty: Who could better explain the difficulty of Clark’s save than Charlie Davies himself?

Following the game, Davies said, “I would have bet anything on it that it was going to hit the back of the net. Kudos to Steve Clark to make such a great save when his team needed him.”

Davies appears to have the equalizer in the 82nd minute to give the Revs a hard earned point on the road. Clark manages to just get his fingertips on the ball to steer it just wide of the post. Considering all of the spectacular saves Clark made over the course of the year, this one might be hard to top.

29 November 11:40 am

by Kevin Noonan

Importance: Steve Clark’s save of this Landon Donovan cross did not affect the result of the match. However, it served as an important moment in the Crew’s 4-1 statement victory over the surging LA Galaxy, arguably the Crew’s best home win of the year.

This victory was the start of the Black & Gold’s six-game home winning streak to conclude the regular season. During that six-game stretch, Columbus outscored its opposition 15-2, while Clark recorded four shutouts.

Difficulty: Trailing late in the contest, Donovan looks to create any type of offense that he can for his team. The cross is sent in for Gyasi Zardes, however, it's out of his reach. Clark is still needed to parry the ball before Waylon Francis is able to send the ball behind the touchline for a corner kick.



28 November 11:36 am

by Kevin Noonan

Importance: Looking to win consecutive matches for the first time since the first three weeks of the season, the Crew found itself matched up with a New England Revolution team that had lost each of its previous seven League contests.

Columbus opened the scoring on a Federico Higuain goal in the 43rd minute. Trailing 1-0 at the half, New England found the equalizer off an A.J. Soares header in the 50th minute. It appeared the Revs were set to take the lead, but Steve Clark managed to save a Lee Nguyen shot and punch away a rebound attempt before it could find the feet of Kelyn Rowe. Ethan Finlay scored his fifth goal of the season in the 84th minute to give the Crew a decisive 2-1 victory.

Difficulty: Similar to the previous week’s game against Montreal, Clark was needed to stop two attempts at net within seconds of one another. While Rowe did not record an official shot on target, Clark’s heads up punch of the ball allowed the Black & Gold to clear.


Diego Fagundez did an excellent job of threating down the left-hand side of the pitch and finding Lee Nguyen despite a number of Crew defenders in the area. Nguyen had enough room to create a solid attempt at the net, but Clark was just a bit better in ensuring the game stayed level.

27 November 11:32 am

Importance: The Crew entered their 19th match of the season against Montreal with a 4-6-8 record and had been winless in seven consecutive games. Needless to say, picking up a win against a Montreal team that sat in 10th in the Eastern Conference was paramount for the team’s success moving forward.

The Impact opened the scoring in the 35th minute thanks to Marco Di Vaio’s nice footwork and a strong finish into the bottom left corner. The Black & Gold answered in the second half, however, as Bernardo Anor leveled the game in the 56th minute. Clark’s pair of sensational saves in the 64th minute along with Bernardo Anor’s winner in the 75th minute gave Columbus its first League win in 56 days.

The victory also marked the beginning of the Crew’s 10-4-2 record to close the season.

Difficulty: Simply put, both saves from Clark are highlight reel material. Di Vaio aims to get a brace by mimicking the effort of his first goal, but Clark is just able to get a piece of the ball which lands on the feet of Andres Romero.

Romero looks to curl a shot past the outside post, but again, Clark is able to parry the ball away forcing the corner. Given the momentum the Black & Gold just picked up from Anor’s goal just seven minutes earlier, an Impact goal in this situation could have deflated a Crew team looking to bounce back. Instead, Clark’s two huge saves propel Columbus to a much-needed victory and the start of a tremendous run.

26 November 10:49 am

by Kevin Noonan

Save Importance: While Steve Clark recorded multiple six-save efforts over the course of the 2014 season, June 28th saw him face just one shot the entire game. Despite only needing to make one save, it was rather important given the context of the game.

The Crew and FC Dallas had played 82 minutes of scoreless play until David Texeira took aim with a header. Clark was able to make the stop, securing his fourth shutout of the season and Columbus’ third consecutive draw in the month of June.

Save Difficulty: It might have waited until the final 10 minutes of the contest, but FC Dallas’s only attempt at net was a solid look for Texeira. Kevan George initially controls Andrés Escobar’s corner, however, Escobar is able to get a second crack at it after Stephen Keel regains possession.

The result is a headed attempt from just outside of the six-yard box. Clark’s positioning following Escobar’s cross makes the save attempt much more manageable, despite Texeira being in close proximity.

25 November 10:37 am

by Kevin Noonan

Save Importance: In the final game before the FIFA World Cup break, Columbus looked to stop a skid, which included four losses in its last six games. After 95 minutes of scoreless action between the Black & Gold and D.C. United, Bernardo Anor was whistled for a handball in the opposing penalty area, giving D.C. United a chance to take all three points.

Fabian Espindola stepped up to the spot and attempted to score on a chip, but Clark remained in position and stopped the shot with ease. Clark’s stop ensured his side would finish the last game before the break with a point.

Save Difficulty: In terms of difficulty, this save does not rank near the top in terms of stops that Clark made throughout the course of the 2014 season. However, it was a high-pressure situation and Clark remained disciplined to not only stop the shot, but also calmly catch the ball and not allow any rebound attempts.

24 November 10:34 am

by Kevin Noonan

Save Importance: Looking to maintain its spot in first place in the Eastern Conference to close April, the Crew ended the month against the high-powered attack of the New York Red Bulls. Justin Meram earned a penalty in the 39th minute, which was converted by Jairo Arrieta to give the Black & Gold a 1-0 lead.

Looking to equalize in the 50th minute, Thierry Henry fires a volley that is stopped just in time by Steve Clark, perhaps his finest of five saves in the contest. Although the game did conclude in a 1-1 draw, the Crew finished the month of April with an Eastern Conference high of 12 points, thanks in large part to another solid performance in net from Clark.

Save Difficulty: The shot on goal attempt from Henry starts from the left-hand side of the penalty area, where Roy Miller delivers a cross into the box. Giancarlo Gonzalez tries to clear the ball away, however, it ends up right at the feet of Henry.

The difficulty in this stop comes from being able to react to Henry. Having some space to work with, Henry could take a dribble, look to pass, or do what he ultimately does and fire at net with a volley. Clark’s positioning has him in a good spot, but his reaction time to parry the ball away keeps the Red Bulls off the scoreboard.

22 November 4:19 pm

by Kevin Noonan


Save Importance: After opening the season 2-0-0 on the road, the Crew looked to find another result away from Crew Stadium to keep the momentum rolling. Federico Higuain recorded the first goal of the game in the 44th minute to give the Black & Gold a one-goal advantage heading into halftime.

Just seconds after the break, Chris Wondolowski threatened to level the contest, however Steve Clark managed to parry the ball safely away to preserve the lead. While the game finished in a 1-1 draw, the first two months on the road proved to be successful, as the Crew recorded seven points in its first three road games of the 2014 season.

Save Difficulty: A midfield turnover from the Black & Gold leads to the Earthquakes gaining possession. Alan Gordon’s backheel pass finds Yannick Djaló, who plays a tidy through ball for Wondolowski.

Waylon Francis seems to have the positioning to halt Wondolowski, but a nice cutback from the latter causes Francis to slide past the Earthquakes’ forward. Having a great look at net, Wondolowski curls a left-footed shot inside the 18-yard box, only to see Clark come up with a superb save on a ball that was ticketed to find the back of the net.