Columbus Crew Starting XI vs. FC Cincinnati

(courtesy Columbus Crew Communications)

Columbus and Cincinnati kickoff from TQL Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Ohio & 97.1 FM The Fan. Check out tonight’s match notes ahead of the first rivalry match of the 2021 season.

LAST REGULAR-SEASON MEETING

Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati met four times in the 2020 regular-season. The two sides first met in the MLS is Back Tournament on July 11 in Orlando, Florida, with the Crew taking a 4-0 win through goals by Gyasi Zardes (two), Lucas Zelarayan and Youness Mokhtar. After a 0-0 draw at Nippert Stadium on August 29, Columbus added a 3-0 victory a week later on September 6 at Historic Crew Stadium, with Zardes scoring another two goals and Pedro Santos adding a third for the Black & Gold. October 14 saw another match-up at Nippert Stadium, with FC Cincinnati taking a 2-1 win. Pedro Santos scored a penalty kick for Columbus between Cincinnati goals from Yuya Kubo and Nick Hagglund.

CREW SET TO PLAY IN A NEW STADIUM FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE MATCH 

With its match at TQL Stadium on Friday, the Crew will play in its third consecutive new stadium across Major League Soccer. The stretch began on June 27 when the Club traveled to Austin, Texas for the second MLS regular-season match held at Q2 Stadium against Austin FC. This past week, Columbus opened Lower.com Field on July 3 with the Inaugural Match against the New England Revolution. The match against FC Cincinnati on Friday will be the fourth match held at TQL Stadium.

SANTOS NEARS 100 STARTS FOR THE CREW 

With his next regular-season start, midfielder Pedro Santos will reach 100 regular-season starts for Columbus Crew. Santos joined the Black & Gold during the 2017 regular-season and has made 104 appearances (99 starts), scoring 18 goals and providing 25 assists.

THE CREW: OHIO’S TEAM 

In six all-time regular-season matches against FC Cincinnati since Cincinnati’s expansion to Major League Soccer prior to the 2019 MLS regular-season, the Crew have a 3-1-2 record and has outscored Cincinnati 13-5.

TQL stadium in Cincinnati on field (courtesy FC Cincinnati)

COURTESY COLUMBUS CREW COMMUNICATIONS

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