Crew Kicks off Three-Match Homestand Starting with D.C. United
After playing five of its first seven matches of the season on the road, the Crew returns home Saturday against D.C. United (7:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio) to kick off a three-match homestand at Crew Stadium. The Black & Gold will look to pick up their first win at home in 2013 to rebound from last week's defeat in Chicago.
"It's really important, because already this season we've played five games out and just two at home," defender GlÃ¯Â¿Â½=A1uber said of the team's return to Crew Stadium. "We feel much better when we play at home and we need to win. The first win here is important to make confidence to start the sequence where we have three games here."
The Crew drew its first two home matches of the season, both 1-1 results against San Jose and Philadelphia, and will count on its fans to help the team defeat United on Saturday. Since Robert Warzycha took over as Head Coach of the Black & Gold in 2009, the team is 39-11-16 in front of its home support.
"We've been working hard this whole week," midfielder Eddie Gaven said. "We still haven't won here at home, so we're hoping to earn our first one this weekend against D.C."
"When the support is coming, it is really important," GlÃ¯Â¿Â½=A1uber added. "We need the fans' help and we need them at the stadium on Saturday to help us to get three points.
"They are the 12th player on the field and they help us a lot."
CHANGES ON THE HORIZON?
Head Coach Robert Warzycha has been tight-lipped on any lineup changes against D.C. this weekend after last week's disappointing performance in Chicago. The Black & Gold mustered only six shots against the FIre last week, none of which were on target. A change in the Crew attack could be in the cards.
As is the case every week, Warzycha has seen the best of his players in training.
"Training is good and intense every day," the Head Coach said. "I'm happy with the intensity the players bring every day. The guys come here to work."
Since returning from World Cup Qualifying duties with Costa Rica, striker Jairo Arrieta has seen his minutes decrease due to the emergence of Dominic Oduro in his absence. Arrieta tied for the team scoring lead in 2012 with nine tallies in just 18 appearances as a midseason acquisition. The Costa Rican has found the net once this season, and Warzycha hasn't ruled out the possibility of Arrieta and Oduro leading the front line ahead of playmaker Federico HiguaÃ¯Â¿Â½ - n.
"Jairo is a good player and sooner or later, he is going to be on the field," Warzycha explained. "I think everything is a possibility, it just depends on what you want from your team. You have to ask yourself, 'Who is going to defend, and who are you playing against?'
"Anything can happen, it just depends on who you're playing against."
MARSHALL TO BE HONORED
Defender Chad Marshall will be honored in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday night for surpassing the 20,000 minutes played mark on April 6 against the Philadelphia Union. Marshall became the 46th outfield player in MLS history to reach the milestone. The defender is also just the fourth player to only play for one team and reach the mark.
Last season, Marshall surpassed Mike Clark for first-place on the Crew's all-time appearances, starts and minutes played lists.
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