Before the Crew hosts Seattle Sounders FC in the only meeting between the two sides in 2013 on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio), let's look back at last year's clash in Seattle.
Having never beaten the Sounders, the Crew silenced the 38,000-plus fans at CenturyLink field following Justin Meram's first-half diving header to give the Black & Gold an early advantage. Andy Gruenebaum and the Crew backline fended off an onslaught of attempts from the Seattle attack before Emilio Rentería added some insurance in the 76th minute to secure the victory with a looping shot from outside the box to beat 'keeper Bryan Meredith. Rentería's stunning strike wouldn't be needed, however, as Gruenebaum made six saves to lift the Crew to its first victory over former coach Sigi Schmid.
Chad Marshall started his 240th career match last Saturday in the tilt against Toronto FC. Marshall, also a member of the 20,000 minutes club (21,382), became the 15th defender all-time to join a list of players that have made 240 or more career regular- season starts and recorded 20,000+ minutes of action. That list of 38 total field players features six active defenders. Marshall has made 20 starts this season for the Crew and leads that list of six active defenders as the only player that has averaged 20 or more starts in a season for 10 consecutive seasons. In fact, in his 10-year career, Marshall (to date) has averaged 24 starts a season -- all with the Black & Gold.
With back-to-back matches of two goals, Federico Higuain has made his way up the club’s charts for multiple-goal games. In fact, Higuain’s fourth multiple-goal game in 37 career matches ties him with Guillermo Barros Schelotto for sixth on the list as Schelotto had four multiple-goal games in 102 career games. Stern John leads all Crew players with 12 multiple goal games in just 55 contests and Pipa now trails Dante Washington’s fifth-place spot by just a single multiple-goal game. Washington recorded five multiple-goal performances in 76 matches.
Danny O’Rourke is less than a match away from moving up the club’s all-time list for regular-season minutes played. Entering this weekend, O’Rourke is eighth on the list with 12,074 minutes played for the Black & Gold, trailing Robert Warzycha by 75 minutes for seventh on the list. A 76-minute performance would give O’Rourke sole possession of the seven spot. In his nine-year career that included stops in San Jose (2005) and New York (2006), O’Rourke has recorded 15,524 career minutes of regular- season action in 185 appearances. He’s still looking for that elusive first career goal, but has nine career assists.
PIPA IN AUGUST
With two more matches remaining this month, it’s scary to think how many goals Higuain may have to his name in the month of August ... after all, following his arrival to the Crew in August 2012 and exploding onto the scene, Higuain has made this month his most successful one ... in seven games played in his Crew career in August, Pipa has seven goals and four assists, averaging a goal per game and 0.57 assists per game ... from March all the way through October, there is not a single month of the season in which Higuain has gone without contributing at least an assist.
A YEAR UNDER HIS BELT
August 19 marked the one-year anniversary of Federico Higuain’s first match in MLS with the Crew ... in a 365-day span, Higuain has had a busy year ... per MLS, his 14 goals in that span are tied for fifth most in MLS (with Jack McInerney) and his 12 assists are tied with Robbie Keane and Sebastien Le Toux for best in MLS.
LAMPSON GETTING IT DONE...
Matt Lampson made his fourth overall start on the season on August 17 in place of Andy Gruenebaum ... Lampson now has back-to-back shutouts in consecutive starts ... the effort was his third career shutout and third clean sheet of the 2013 campaign ... in his three starts at Crew Stadium this year, Lampson is 3-0-0 with a 0.00 goals against average and three shutouts.
... AND THE 23-YEAR-OLD ‘KEEPER CLIMBS THE CLUB CHARTS
With his third career shutout in his fifth career start, Matt Lampson climbed up the Crew’s all-time goalkeeping charts ... his three career shutouts are now in sole possession of 10th place on the club’s list, passing Bo Oshoniyi who had two shutouts in 13 appearances.
With half a day to go in the latest AT&T MLS Goal of the Week race, the field is essentially down to two.
The candidates? The New England Revolution's Juan Agudelo, whose audacious chip is currently in the lead, and Houston's Giles Barnes, who had two AT&T Goal of the Week candidates in a comprehensive victory at home against Seattle.
Higuain, Marco Di Vaio and Robbie Keane follow in that order, but it's going to take a massive charge to catch up with Agudelo and Barnes.
Here’s how the voting stands at 11 am ET on Thursday, with 15 hours left to cast your vote.
- Juan Agudelo (NE) 30.94%
- Giles Barnes (HOU) 27.12%
- Federico Higuain (CLB) 20.30%
- Marco Di Vaio (MTL) 17.03%
- Robbie Keane (LA) 3.61%
The winner is determined by the total number of votes cast online and in text voting and will be announced on Friday.
Vote online or text goal code to 22442.
Voting runs until 11:59 pm PT on Thursdays. For complete coverage of the AT&T MLS Goal of the Week — including an archive of all of this season's winners — click here.
After netting a brace for the second straight match, Crew Captain Federico Higuaín was named to MLSSoccer.com's Team of the Week for Week 25. With four goals over the last two matches, the Argentine is now tied with Dominic Oduro for the team-scoring lead with nine tallies in 2013. In 37 matches since joining the Crew in August 2012, Higuaín has scored 14 goals and registered 13 assists while donning the Black & Gold.
Player of the Week Robbie Keane takes #1 spot in the Top 3 Performers for Week 25, joined by Columbus Crew attacker Federico Higuain and Montreal Impact forward Marco Di Vaio.
Crew midfielders Kevan George and Tony Tchani volunteered at Faith Mission Community Kitchen, near Crew Stadium Monday afternoon. The players assisted in serving lunch, as well as preparing future meals for local families in need.
For the second-straight week, Crew Captain Federico Higuaín is up for Goal of the Week honors. Like last week, this week's tally come via a second-half chip from outside the box to put the Black & Gold up 2-0. Higuaín faces stiffer competition this week in his attempt to retain the Goal of the Week crown, however, as New England's Juan Agudelo and LA's Robbie Keane each scored fantastic goals over the weekend.
A winner will be chosen on Friday, so vote early and often.
On the heels of Saturday's Trillium Cup win over Toronto FC, the Crew now prepares for a tough task in facing Supporters' Shield leader Real Salt Lake on the road. Before the Black & Gold take on Real for the first and only time this year, here is a look back at the clubs' only meeting last season.
Delayed two hours after severe thunderstorms ravaged Central Ohio the night before, the Crew came out firing against the Western Conference leaders from the opening whistle as Tony Tchani and Eddie Gaven scored first-half goals to lift the home team to victory. Andy Gruenebaum recorded one of his career-high eight shutouts, making three saves on the evening before the largest crowd of the season at Crew Stadium. Danny O'Rourke returned to the lineup after missing four matches to patrol the midfield in the win for the Black & Gold.