Neck-and-neck in the Eastern Conference Standings, much-improved Nashville SC visits the defending MLS champion Columbus Crew tonight

Lower.com field looking towards downtown (courtesy Columbus Crew)

The Crew and Nashville SC are sixth- and fifth-place in the Eastern Conference, respectively, and depending on how other mid-week matches around the League shake out, it could be a considerable swing for the short-handed Black & Gold as they look to extend their win streak against Nashville SC to three and overall unbeaten streak to five come Wednesday at Lower.com Field (7:30 p.m. ET, Bally Sports Ohio, 97.1 FM The Fan).

This will be the third meeting between Columbus and Nashville, with the Crew winning each of the first two matches, 2-0, at home, including in extra time in last season’s playoffs. Pedro Santos opened the scoring in both matches with each goal assisted by Gyasi Zardes while Zardes added the second goal in both games as well.

Following Saturday’s 2-1 win over New York City FC at Lower.com Field, Columbus has won 18 of their last 21 home matches (D2 L1) dating back to the last match of the 2019 season (including playoffs). The Crew’s 56 points from those 21 home matches equals the most by any team in a 21-game home span in the post-shootout era (since 2000).

In that match against NYCFC, Lucas Zelarayan scored the game-winning free kick, his fourth direct free kick goal of the season (his third against NYCFC). Only Sebastian Giovinco (7 in 2017, 5 in 2015) has scored more goals from direct free kicks in a single season since 2010.

As for Nashville, the 2020 expansion team scored a club-record five goals in its 5-1 win over Chicago on Saturday. The four-goal margin of victory was also the largest in club history.

Notably, Hany Mukhtar scored a hat-trick in a six-minute span in the first half vs. Chicago. Only Harut Karpetyan (5 minutes for LA Galaxy on June 4, 1998) has done so in a shorter time span in MLS history.

Kickoff on Wednesday night is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

MLS 2021 Game Ball

COURTESY COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS

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