New England Soccer Today

Get to Know: #CrewSC

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Following their first road win of the season, the Revs (2-2-1, 7 points) return to Gillette Stadium to face a longtime Conference foe, the Columbus Crew (1-2-0, 3 points), at 3:00 pm on Saturday.

Here are a few things to know about the Crew going into Saturday’s match:

*After playing only once over the last three weeks, the Crew are about to embark on a grueling, two-game road set that’ll take them to opposite ends of the continent within a span of four days. Columbus will kick off late Wednesday at 10 pm ET against the Western Conference-leading Vancouver Whitecaps, before traveling coast-to-coast to New England to face the Revolution on Saturday afternoon.

* Seven players for the Crew have started all three matches, and four players have played every minute of those matches. With the short rest and potential fatigue after Wednesday’s match, one big question is how will Crew manager Gregg Berhalter manage his preferred lineup, and if there will be changes against the Revolution.

*Columbus likes to dominate possession with 56.0 percent possession through three games, which leads MLS. The Crew also lead the league in shots per game with 18 and are second in MLS with 5.7 shots on target per game and a pass completion rate of 80.3 percent.

*Speaking of the Crew’s tactics, they have played the same 4-2-3-1 formation that we see from the Revolution and Jay Heaps, which the locals also faced on Saturday against the Rapids.

*Columbus has a much stronger offensive lineup compared to the Rapids, however, with Kei Kamara as the lone striker up top for the Crew. Kamara is returning to MLS after a season with Middlesbrough, but has 53 goals in 196 appearances in MLS, including 37 goals in 107 appearances (93 starts) with Kansas City from 2010 to 2013 and one goal through three games in 2015. Behind Kamara are Federico Higuain and Ethan Finlay, who are goalless so far in 2015, but scored 11 goals each in the 2014 campaign.

*The Crew are also strong in the back and are led by former Revolution player and Providence, Rhode Island native, Michael Parkhurst. After departing the Revolution for a career abroad in 2008, Parkhurst returned to MLS and ended up with Columbus after the Revolution traded his rights before the season. Parkhurst started 32 games in 2014 and started in MLS All-Star Game. Parkhurst has played every minute of the Crew’s three matches in the 2015 season.

*Columbus is off to a disappointing start of their season, with a lone home win against Toronto FC and two losses, including a 2-1 home defeat to the New York Red Bulls.

*The Crew are looking for their first road points on the season, as they lost their only road game of the 2015 season, a 1-0 loss at Houston on March 7th.

*Gregg Berhalter coaching record with the Crew currently stands at 15-13-10. Berhalter also has experience as a player internationally, in MLS, and with the US national team. This is Berhalter’s second managerial job after leading Hammarby (Sweden) to a record of 18-12-16 from December 2011 through July 2013.

*Berhalter’s record against the Revolution is 2-3-0, which includes two losses in his first MLS playoff appearance as manager. After a 2-1 victory at Gillette Stadium on July 26th and a 1-0 win in Columbus on September 20, Columbus lost three straight to the Revolution including a 2-1 loss in Foxboro and both legs of the Eastern Conference semi-finals by the scores of 4-2 and 3-1.

*Here are some highlights from Columbus’ last match at Gillette, which saw the Revolution advance to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2014 MLS playoffs:

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