Jairo Arrieta
USA Today Sports

Arrieta hopes to spark Black & Gold following Gold Cup

2013 has been a whirlwind of a year so far for Crew striker Jairo Arrieta. The Costa Rican has only featured in 12 of the Black & Gold's 20 matches so far this season while juggling 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying and 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup duty for his country.

Before he is likely called-up for Costa Rica's next round of qualifiers in early September, Arrieta hopes he can get on a bit of a hot streak for his club. After scoring nine goals in 18 matches last season, the striker has found the back of the net just twice in 2013 -- including a tally in his last match with the Crew in a 3-2 loss at Sporting Kansas City on June 29.

"I'm happy to be back with the team, and I'm going to give my 100-percent and work hard for the rest of the games that are coming," Arrieta said through a translator. "We have four or five games before I go back to my duties with the National Team, but I'm happy to be back and help my team."

The Black & Gold have scored just two goals in three matches in the month of July. Arrieta's return could just be the spark the Crew attack needs.

Knowing he'll be counted on to help his team back into the playoff picture, Arrieta is not feeling any pressure.

"I don't feel any pressure," Arrieta admitted. "The moment that a striker feels the pressure, it's like the goal closes for the striker. I just feel confident in what I have. I feel focused on getting the best results for the team.

"We're just looking for the win. If the goals come from my side or any other player, they're welcome. But I'm not feeling any pressure."

Since he's been gone, Head Coach Robert Warzycha has switched to a more attack-focused formation that may see Arrieta play more as a winger. Having played in that role for his country, Arrieta is confident he can contribute from the flank.

"I'm comfortable [playing on the wing]," he said. "I played like that with Costa Rica, and I've played in that position [with the Crew]. It doesn't make any change. I feel very comfortable, I'm confident. I will give it my 100-percent and just work hard to get the points that are coming ahead in the next games."

Added Warzycha: "The Gold Cup shows he can play on the wing, because that's where he played for his country. Whether he's up front or on the side, he's dangerous and can score the goals."

Arrieta is likely to return to the lineup when the Crew takes on Toronto FC on Saturday (2:00 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio).

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