After opening the season on the road for five of its first seven matches, the Crew returns to Columbus for the first of three straight matches at Crew Stadium. Beginning Saturday against United -- and continuing on May 4 against New York -- the Black & Gold take on two Eastern Conference opponents before a Western Conference tilt against Colorado on May 11. The May 4 match (4:00 p.m. ET) is the second time the Black & Gold appear on the national stage as the Crew looks to remain unbeaten (1-0-0) this season on the NBC Sports Network.
Andy Gruenebaum made a season-high six saves against the Fire last Saturday. The feat was one short of his career-mark of seven saves in a match, which he has done seven times. Gruenebaum has made four or more saves in five straight matches this season dating back to March 16 against San Jose.
While the current four-man backline of Tyson Wahl, Glauber, Chad Marshall and Josh Williams has remained the same through seven games, last year Robert Warzycha used three different backline variations through the same number of games. Chad Marshall and Sebastian Miranda started all seven games while Danny O’Rourke (2 backline starts), Eric Gehrig (3), Josh Williams (2) and Shaun Francis (5) made starts through seven games.
The Black & Gold are looking for their first win in the month of April after two draws and a loss. The month of April has been a fickle stretch for Columbus in the last two seasons: the Crew went unbeaten (3-0-2) in five April matches in 2011 but went winless (0-3-1) in April of 2012.
The number of corner kicks the Black & Gold took in their 1-0 loss to Chicago last Saturday. It marked the first time this season that the Crew was held without a corner kick and was only the second time in 20 career matches that Federico Higuain did not record a corner kick for the Crew. Prior to last Saturday, the last time the Black & Gold (and Higuain) did not take a corner kick in a regular-season match was October 20, 2012 at D.C. United.