Much like it did last month when Columbus welcomed Landon Donovan for his last trip to Crew Stadium, the Crew will do the same on Sunday when Southern California soccer staple Chivas USA visits the Arch City one final time. After joining Major League Soccer in 2005 as an expansion franchise, the club will be rebranded under a new name and identity as MLS searches for new ownership for the organization in 2015.
All-time, the Crew has met with Los Rojiblancos 16 times to compile a 6-6-4 record over nine seasons. Similar to the .500 record against the Goats, the Crew has outscored Chivas USA by a slim 22-21 margin, book-ended by 3-0 wins on September 3, 2005 and March 2, 2013 in Carson, Calif. Crew legend Guillermo Barros Schelotto leads the all-time series with four goals and four assists, followed Ante Razov's three tallies.
The Black & Gold have earned wins in the past two match-ups with the Goats in 2012 and 2013. Justin Meram provided the magic in a 1-0 victory on September 19, 2012 at Crew Stadium with an 89th-minute winner at the death to keep the Crew in postseason contention. To open the 2013 season, the Black & Gold exploded for three goals at the StubHub Center as Federico Higuaín, Josh Williams and Dominic Oduro found the net.
Perhaps the highlight of the Crew's 16 matches all-time against Chivas USA is a 4-3 thriller at Crew Stadium on April 12, 2008 on the club's way to the MLS Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup that season. Schelotto and Sacha Kljestan traded goals in the first half before Alejandro Moreno gave the Black & Gold a 2-1 edge at halftime. The second half of the match was full of fireworks as Robbie Rogers scored to give the home side a two-goal advantage, only to have Jesse Marsch gain one back for the Goats a minute later. Paulo Nagumura equalized from a Kljestan assist six minutes later, giving Chivas USA the opportunity to steal a point on the road. However, it was Rogers in the 82nd minute netting his second of the night from a rare Danny O'Rourke 65-yard switched-ball assist to lift the Crew to the win at home.
Sure, the Crew and Chivas USA were never traditional rivals by any means. But make no mistake, MLS will feel a little different in 2015 without Los Rojiblancos.