BLACK & GOLD LOVE BMO FIELD
The Crew is 2-0-5 in its first seven visits to BMO Field in Toronto dating back to 2007 ... although the Black & Gold have only won twice there, the venue has quickly be- come the destination for the fewest Crew blemishes (losses) on the road ... of all MLS venues past and present in which the Crew has played a minimum of five matches, BMO Field is the only stadium in which the Crew is unbeaten ... other venues in
Columbus Crew record: 8-1-7 Home games: 6-1-2 (18 GF, 11 GA) Road games: 2-0-5 (8 GF, 6 GA)
CREW TO TAKE ON TFC, DUNCAN OUGHTON
Saturday’s match at BMO Field is the first of three regular-season meetings between the two teams in their quest for the Trillum Cup ... the Crew swept Toronto by going 3-0-0 against TFC in 2012 ... this is the 17th regular-season meeting in the all-time season series between the two teams dating back to 2007 ... Columbus holds an 8-1-7 overall advantage .... the Crew is unbeaten (2-0-5) at BMO Field against the Reds ... this will also be Duncan Oughton’s first match as a member of the TFC coaching staff since departing the Black & Gold last week.
Federico Higuain recorded a brace with goals on either side of halftime as the Crew finished the 2012 campaign on October 28 with a 2-1 win against Toronto at Crew Stadium ... with his 62nd-minute penalty kick, Higuain finished the 2012 campaign with five goals and seven assists in just 13 matches with the Crew after joining the Black & Gold mid-season.
CREW HELD SCORELESS, BUT NOT TIME TO PANIC...
After scoring three goals in the first half of the April 27 match against D.C., the Black & Gold have not scored a goal in the two and a half matches since the 2-0 shutout loss to Colorado last Saturday ... the 225-minute scoreless streak is the 10th-longest in MLS this season ... as a point of comparison, three teams with winning records in 2013 -- New York (309 minutes) LA (253 minutes) and Montreal (234 minutes) have all witnessed scoring droughts at some point this season longer than the Crew’s current stretch.
... AND GOAL RELIEF COULD BE ON THE WAY SATURDAY
The Crew enters Saturday with a 225-minute scoreless streak but the Black & Gold have history on their side with an upcoming tilt at BMO Field ... in seven previous meetings at BMO Field, the Crew has scored in every match, totalling eight goals and five assists as a team.
A NEW CENTRAL MIDFIELD DUO
Tony Tchani has made three consecutive starts in the central midfield for the Black & Gold ... joining him last Saturday against Colorado was central midfielder Matias Sanchez, who made his first MLS start after making four appearances in the first nine mathces of 2013 ... The Tchani-Sanchez duo is the third central midfield pairing Head Coach Robert Warzycha has used in 2013 ... the primary duo of Agustin Viana and Danny O’Rourke started the first seven matches of 2013 while Tchani has made three straight starts with Viana out with a hamstring injury ... Sanchez made his starting lineup debut with O’Rourke nursing an ankle injury last weekend.
GAVEN SUFFERING PLENTY OF FOULS...
Eddie Gaven suffered three fouls last Saturday against Colorado ... Gaven is the second-most fouled player in MLS this year and has been fouled 27 times in eight matches, trailing only FC Dallas’ David Ferreira who has been fouled 35 times in 10 games played ... Gaven has been fouled five times in a match three times this season including the May 4 contest against New York -- adding to identical amounts from the March 2 match at Chivas USA and the April 20 clash at Chicago.
... AND GAVEN’S ABOUT TO BECOME THE MOST-FOULED CREW PLAYER
With 407 fouls suffered in a Crew uniform in 207 games played for the Black & Gold, Eddie Gaven is one foul suffered away from becoming the most-fouled Crew player in club history ... Gaven enters Saturday tied with Brian McBride (407 fouls suffered, 161 games played) ... the Crew midfielder is the only active member on the club’s all-time list for fouls suffered.