Summer's dog days are a great time to visit the movie theater. They're also an awesome time to check up on the Crew, which is in the midst of a tight race for the Eastern Conference crown.

Summer's dog days are a great time to visit the movie theater. They're also an awesome time to check up on the Crew, which is in the midst of a tight race for the Eastern Conference crown.

Saturday's home game versus New England offers a chance to get acquainted. Allow me to introduce this year's new faces and update you on familiar figures by comparing them to some of the year's biggest films.

"Bridesmaids": Chad Marshall, whose stout defense continually goes overlooked by the U.S. national team.

" Rise of the Planet of the Apes " : Tom Heinemann, who is big and hairy.

"X-Men: First Class": Rich Balchan, Justin Meram, Bernardo Anor, Cole Grossman and Eric Gehrig, rookies whose growing mastery of their powers is helping to save a season that could have been disastrous.

"Super 8": Santiago Prim, Korey Veeder and Aaron Horton, much-heralded youths who haven't made the expected impact; unlike J.J. Abrams' predictable flick, they still have time to find breakout success.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides": In previous years this would have gone to Gino Padula; now that he's moved on, it goes to Shaun Francis, who is from the Caribbean and is injured often enough that he might as well have a peg leg - or Eddie Gaven, who looks like a weary fisherman.

"Thor": Julius James, Sebastian Miranda and Josh Gardner, new additions who throw around their bodies like axes in defense of the Crew goalmouth.

"Captain America: The First Avenger": The resurgent Robbie Rogers, who got called into U.S. camp for Wednesday's international friendly versus Mexico.

"The Hangover Part II" : Andres Mendoza, who - despite leading the team in goals - often plays like he just woke up from a very rough night.

"Transformers: Dark of the Moon": Former winger Emmanuel Ekpo, who has successfully converted to a central midfielder.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows : Part 2": Jeff Cunningham, who is putting the finishing touches on a long, mostly successful career with his second stint in Columbus.

"The Change- Up": Tony Tchani, who recently was acquired in a trade.

"Just Go With It": Andy Gruenebaum, who is stuck backing up William Hesmer in goal despite the fact that he could start for another team.

"Cowboys & Aliens": Emilio Renteria, whose play when healthy is big, dumb, explosive entertainment.