Since midfielder Eddie Gaven joined the team in 2006, the Columbus Crew have lost just once in 29 games when he's scored.
The Crew have to like their chances of remaining perfect against the Vancouver Whitecaps if Gaven's performance Saturday night in Columbus is anything like his last one.
Acquired from New York prior to the 2006 season, Gaven has scored 30 goals, including the postseason, for the Crew. Columbus (2-3-1) improved to 22-1-6 in those matches after Gaven tied a career high with two goals in last Saturday's 2-all draw versus Houston.
The Crew had scored just four times, none of them from Gaven, in their first five matches.
"Eddie is very important in this team," defender Sebastian Miranda told the Crew's official website. "When he is level, you can see it. The team needs Eddie. Today was good for him. When he plays good, the team also plays good."
Columbus' lone defeat when Gaven scored was a 3-1 home loss to FC Dallas on Oct. 6, 2007.
Gaven hasn't scored in two meetings with the Whitecaps, but the Crew won both, including 1-0 at Vancouver on July 6, and 2-1 in Columbus last April 30.
"We need to go in (to Columbus) and play our game and do what we've been doing on the road, barring a 10-15 minute spell in San Jose (a 3-1 loss April 7)," said goalkeeper Joe Cannon, who has four shutouts this season.
Cannon made five saves in last Saturday's 1-0 victory over Dallas after giving up six total goals in the previous two matches.
The Whitecaps (3-2-2) are hoping for continued production from Camilo after he scored his second goal of the season last Saturday. The Brazilian striker, the team leader with 12 goals last season, was a second-half substitute the previous two games due to a quadriceps strain.
"Camilo's a crafty player, as you can tell by the goal he scored," Crew defender Danny O'Rourke told the team's official website. "So we're going to have to keep an eye on him, and (Sebastien) Le Toux, as was evident last year with Philadelphia, he works really hard, he gets in the right spots and he's a really good finisher."
Le Toux has three goals in his last four games against the Crew.
Whitecaps midfielder Michael Nanchoff could make his season debut after suffering a heel injury in the preseason.
"I feel good, and I'm pushing as hard as I can to earn that spot, so we'll see," said Nanchoff, a native of North Royalton, Ohio, who led the University of Akron to its first NCAA College Cup title in 2010.
Nanchoff missed the Whitecaps' first visit to Columbus with a groin injury.
Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum is expected to make his first start in this series. He's allowed seven goals in the last three matches following back-to-back shutouts versus Montreal and Toronto.
This is the only match between these clubs this season.