Columbus Crew News: Game Notes for road match at Atlanta today, 3:30 pm

COLUMBUS
CREW
2021 REGULAR SEASON:
(5-3-6, 21 pts.)

ATLANTA
UNITED
2021 REGULAR SEASON:
(2-4-8, 14 pts.)

Date: Saturday, July 24
Match Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Kickoff: 3:38 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, Georgia)
National TV: ABC Jon Champion Taylor Twellman
97.1 The Fan [Radio]: Chris Doran (play-by-play Neil Sika (analyst) Jordan Angeli (analyst)
ColumbusCrew.com Spanish Audio Stream: Juan Valladares (play-by-play)

OHIOHEALTH PLAYER AVAILABILITY REPORT

OUT: Artur – R Hip Injury Aidan Morris – L Knee Injury Milton Valenzuela – R Thigh Injury Vito Wormgoor – R Thigh Injury
QUESTIONABLE: Josh Williams – L Ankle Injury
Health and Safety Protocols

A player may be listed as “Questionable” or “Out” due to Health and Safety Protocols
for the following reasons:
• Quarantine due to participating in high risk behavior. • Quarantine related to being a high risk close contact. • Pending COVID-19 test results. • An inconclusive COVID-19 test result. • A positive COVID-19 test or a confirmed case of COVID-19.

LAST MATCH RECAP

COLUMBUS CREW BATTLES NASHVILLE SC TO A DRAW
On Wednesday, Columbus Crew hosted Nashville SC at Lower.com Field
in a rematch of the 2020 MLS Eastern Conference Semifinals that took
place on November 29, 2020. Much like that match, the score remained
0-0 at the end of 90 minutes. Goalkeeper Eloy Room made one save on
the way to recording his fourth clean sheet of the 2021 regular-season,

the Club’s fifth of the regular-season, and his sixth across all competi-
tions this year for Columbus. Forward Erik Hurtado made his first start

as a member of the Crew, playing the first 45 minutes. Midfielders Kevin
Molino and Derrick Etienne Jr. made their returns from international duty,
with Etienne Jr. starting and Molino appearing as a substitute.

COLUMBUS CREW VS. ATLANTA UNITED AT A GLANCE

Columbus Crew record: 4-4-0 (10 GF, 12 GA)
Home games: 2-2-0 (4 GF, 5 GA)
Road games: 2-2-0 (6 GF, 7 GA)*
*Includes MLS Is Back Tournament
09/14/2019 CLB 3 vs. ATL 1 W Mercedes-Benz Stadium
07/21/2020 CLB 1 vs. ATL 0 W ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
11/08/2020 CLB 2 vs. ATL 1 W Historic Crew Stadium

THE CREW FACES ATLANTA UNITED ON SATURDAY
Columbus Crew travels to Atlanta, Georgia to face Atlanta United on Saturday,
July 24. The match is set to be the ninth all-time regular-season meeting
between the two sides. The Crew is undefeated in its last four matches against
Atlanta United and has outscored Atlanta 8-2 over that span.

LAST REGULAR-SEASON MEETING
Columbus Crew and Atlanta United met twice during the 2020 regular

season. The two sides initially met in the Group Stage of the MLS Is Back Tour-
nament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida (July

21). Columbus took a 1-0 win, with midfielder Youness Mokhtar scoring the
game’s only goal. Additionally, the clubs faced off at Historic Crew Stadium
for Decision Day 2020 presented by AT&T (November 8). The Crew concluded
their 2020 regular-season with a 2-1 win, following goals scored by midfielder

Lucas Zelarayan and forward Gyasi Zardes. Atlanta United midfielder Mar-
celino Moreno scored a penalty kick to half the deficit, but Atlanta was unable

to equalize.

COACHES
Caleb Porter: 95-75-71 (Portland Timbers: ‘13 – ’17; Columbus Crew: ’19 – Present) vs.
Rob Valentino*: 0-0-1 (Atlanta United ’21 – Present)
Records listed are MLS regular-season totals *Interim Head Coach

2021 REGULAR-SEASON SNAPSHOT

COLUMBUS CREW ATLANTA UNITED FC

2021 MLS Regular Season: 2021 MLS Regular Season:
Points: 21 Points: 14
Points Per Game: 1.5 Points Per Game: 1.00
Eastern Conference: Sixth Eastern Conference: 10th
Home: 4-0-3 Home: 2-1-3
Away: 1-3-3 Away: 0-3-5
Goals For: 15 Goals For: 14
Goals Against: 12 Goals Against: 17
+/-: 3 +/-: -3
2021 Regular-Season Leaders
Goals: Zelarayan (5) Goals: Moreno (3)
Assists: Santos (3) Assists: Mulraney (3)
Shots: Zelarayan (36) Shots: Moreno (29)
Shots on Goal: Zelarayan (14) Shots on Goal: Moreno (10)
Fouls Suffered: Zelarayan (30) Fouls Suffered: Moreno (51)
Fouls Committed: Santos (23) Fouls Committed: Sosa (30)
Yellow Cards Issued: Three players tied (3) Yellow Cards Issued: Sosa (6)
Saves Leader: Room (30) Saves Leader: Guzan (37)
GAA Leader: Room (0.83) GAA Leader: Guzan (1.18)
Wins: Room (4) Wins: Guzan (2)

BLACK & GOLD NOTES

WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN
Saturday’s road match against Atlanta United begins at 3:30 p.m.
ET and is set to be nationally televised on ABC. Jon Champion
and Taylor Twellman are slated to have the call in English. Locally,
the contest is available in English on 97.1 The Fan, as well as via
stream on 971TheFan.com, with Chris Doran, Neil Sika and Jordan

Angeli on the call. A Spanish audio stream is available on Colum-
busCrew.com, with Juan Valladares on the call.

ROOM RECORDS FOURTH SHUTOUT OF REGULAR-SEASON,
SIXTH ACROSS ALL COMPETITIONS
Goalkeeper Eloy Room made one save in Wednesday’s match
against Nashville SC as he registered his fourth shutout and the
Club’s fifth shutout of the 2021 regular-season. Additionally, the
clean sheet was Room’s sixth shutout across all competitions this
season, having anchored both scoreless legs of the Round of 16
against Nicaraguan side Real Esteli FC in the Concacaf Champions
League earlier this year.

HURTADO MAKES FIRST START FOR COLUMBUS CREW
Forward Erik Hurtado made his first start for the Crew in Wednes- day’s match against Nashville SC. Hurtado has made three
appearances (one start) since joining the Black & Gold in a trade
from CF Montreal on July 8. With CF Montreal this season, Hurta- do made seven appearances (two starts) and provided one assist.

NAGBE COMPLETES SECOND PERFECT PASSING ACCURACY
PERFORMANCE OF 2021 REGULAR SEASON
Midfielder Darlington Nagbe recorded perfect passing accuracy
in Wednesday’s match against Nashville SC, completing all 76 of
his passes. The performance marked the second time this season

that Nagbe completed every pass in a single match, having previ-
ously accomplished the feat in the Club’s draw at CF Montreal

(May 1). This year, Nagbe has registered over 90 percent passing
accuracy in all of his regular-season performances and currently
leads the League in the category.

COLUMBUS CREW DEFENSE SETTING HIGH STANDARDS
Through 14 matches in 2021 MLS regular-season action, the Crew
has conceded the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference and the
second fewest goals in the League (12). Additionally, the Club is
tied for the second-fewest shots on target allowed in the League
(45), while registering the most blocks in the Eastern Conference
and is tied for the second most blocks in the League (57).

CREW EXTENDS UNDEFEATED STREAK AT HOME
With its draw on Wednesday against Nashville SC, Columbus Crew

extended its undefeated streak at home to 16 consecutive match-
es across all competitions. The streak dates back to a 3-1 win over

New York City FC on October 18 of last year. Over that span, the

Black & Gold has posted a record of 13-0-3, while outscoring op-
ponents 31-12. Notably, the Crew has also posted seven shutouts

over that span.

COLUMBUS CREW SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CAPS
Player National Team Caps Last Appearance
Liam Fraser Canada 7 7/18/21 vs. United States (Concacaf Gold Cup)
Luis Diaz Costa Rica 6 7/16/21 vs. Suriname (Concacaf Gold Cup)
Waylon Francis Costa Rica 7 3/22/19 vs. Guatemala (friendly)
Eloy Room Curacao 40 6/15/21 vs. Panama (FIFA World Cup qualifier)
Harrison Afful Ghana 77 9/08/18 vs. Kenya (AFCoN qua.)
Jonathan Mensah Ghana 60 6/29/19 vs. Cameroon (AFCoN)
Derrick Etienne Jr. Haiti 31 7/18/21 vs. Martinique (Concacaf Gold Cup)
Kevin Molino Trinidad & Tobago 53 7/18/21 vs. Guatemala (Concacaf Gold Cup)
Perry Kitchen United States 5 10/11/16 vs. New Zealand (friendly)
Darlington Nagbe United States 25 3/28/18 vs. Paraguay (friendly)
Gyasi Zardes United States 59 7/18/21 vs. Canada (Concacaf Gold Cup)

COLUMBUS CREW LEADS LEAGUE IN GOALS SCORED
OUTSIDE OF THE 18-YARD BOX
The Black & Gold currently lead Major League Soccer in goals
scored outside of the 18-yard box during the regular-season,
having scored six goals from that area. Additionally, midfielder
Lucas Zelarayan leads the League with five goals scored from
the range – single-handedly scoring more goals than any other
club. For a list of team and player goals scored outside of the 18-
yard box, please see the table below.
2021 GOALS SCORED FROM OUTSIDE OF THE BOX*
TEAM GOALS

  1. Columbus Crew 6
    T-2. Colorado Rapids 4
    T-2. FC Cincinnati 4
    T-2. Nashville SC 4
    T-2. New York Red Bulls 4
    T-2. San Jose Earthquakes 4
    2021 PLAYER GOALS SCORED FROM OUTSIDE OF THE BOX*
    PLAYER GOALS (OUTSIDE BOX)
    Lucas Zelarayan (CLB) 5
    Nani (ORL) 3
    Javier López (SJ) 2
    Cristian Cásseres Jr (NYRB) 2
    *2021 MLS regular season (as of 7/22/2021)

COLUMBUS CREW RANKED THIRD IN THE LEAGUE IN PASSING
ACCURACY BY TEAM
Through 14 matches, the Crew are currently ranked third in the
League in passing accuracy by team, having completed 84.48
percent of its passes. For a list of the top five teams by passing
accuracy, please see the table below.
2021 PASSING ACCURACY BY TEAM*
TEAM PASSING ACCURACY
Sporting Kansas City 85.63
Austin FC 85.02
Columbus Crew 84.48
LA Galaxy 84.31
Atlanta United 84.3
*2021 MLS regular season (as of 7/22/2021)

COLUMBUS CREW TO HOST 2021 CAMPEONES CUP AGAINST
CRUZ AZUL AT LOWER.COM FIELD
On July 19, Major League Soccer and Liga MX confirmed that the
Crew will host Mexican side Cruz Azul in the 2021 Campeones
Cup. The match is set to be held on September 29 at Lower.com
Field, with kickoff scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2, TUDN,
and Univision. Cruz Azul will represent Liga MX, having defeated
Club Leon in the 2021 Campeon de Campeones. This will be the
third edition of the Campeones Cup to be held, and is the first
international sporting event hosted at Lower.com Field.

COLUMBUS CREW PLAYERS ON INTERNATIONAL DUTY
Columbus Crew saw five players make international caps
during the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup: Liam Fraser (Canada),
Derrick Etienne Jr. (Haiti), Kevin Molino (Trinidad & Tobago),
Gyasi Zardes (United States) and Luis Diaz (Costa Rica). Fraser
has made two appearances (one start) for Canada. Etienne Jr.
made two appearances (two starts) for Haiti in the Gold Cup
qualifying stage, scoring a goal and providing two assists to

help Haiti advance to the Group Stage. In the Group Stage, Eti-
enne Jr. made three appearances (all starts), adding two as-
sists. Molino made two appearances (two starts) for Trinidad

and Tobago in the Gold Cup qualifying stage, scoring two goals
and providing an assist as Trinidad and Tobago advanced to

the Group Stage. In the Group Stage, Molino made three ap-
pearances (one start). Zardes has made three appearances

(two starts) for the United States, scoring a goal and provid-
ing an assist. With the assist against Haiti on July 11, Zardes

became the second fastest United States men’s national
team player to reach the double-digit goals and assists mark,

reaching the mark in his 57th cap. Diaz has made two appear-
ances (one start) for Costa Rica and added one assist.

NAGBE AND HAIRSTON: PASS MASTERS
Through 14 matches in the 2021 MLS regular season, midfielders
Darlington Nagbe and Marlon Hairston are among the League
leaders in passing accuracy among players who have attempted
50 or more passes. Nagbe has made 13 starts while completing

648 of his 670 attempted passes for a passing accuracy per-
centage of 96.72%, while Hairston has made six appearances

and completed 191 of his 205 attempted passes for a passing
accuracy percentage of 93.17%. For a list of the five MLS players
with the highest passing accuracy this season, please see the
table below.
2021 PLAYERS WITH HIGHEST PASSING ACCURACY*
PLAYER ATT. COMP. %

  1. Darlington Nagbe (CLB) 670 648 96.72
  2. Marlon Hairston (CLB) 205 191 93.17
  3. Adam Saldana (LA) 230 214 93.04
  4. Anibal Godoy (NSH) 547 508 92.87
  5. Andy Polo (POR) 79 73 92.41
    *2021 MLS regular season (50 or more passes only, as of 7/22/2021)

BLACK & GOLD QUOTES

ON SEEING THE EVOLUTION OF THE CREW’S PERFORMANCES
“I think today was a good example of what it should look like – the
second half, anyway. I think that’s what it should look like. I think
we’ll be alright. The squad is too good. I just think we need to be
putting in performances every week and I think the attackers – G
[Gyasi Zardes] is gone, we’ve got to put some of those goals on our
shoulders and try to get some goals and finish off good plays.”

  • BRADLEY WRIGHT-PHILLIPS
    ON HIS FEELINGS AFTER THE CLUB’S DRAW VERSUS NASHVILLE SC
    “I think it’s one of those where our standards are so high now that
    if we don’t win we’re going to be disappointed, and I think it’s that
    simple. Even if we’re playing a Nashville [SC], one of the best teams
    in the League, and I think that’s the expectation we have now. That’s
    the standards we’ve created and we’re not going to lower the bar.
    We have to keep pushing, we have to keep grinding and now we
    have to go win on the road.”
  • CALEB PORTER

MILESTONES ON THE HORIZON

CALEB PORTER
• Has won 95 MLS regular-season matches as a head coach and is five wins away
from reaching 100 all-time.
HARRISON AFFUL
• Has made 146 regular-season starts for the Crew and needs four more to reach
150.
DERRICK ETIENNE JR.
• Has made 95 MLS regular-season appearances and needs five more to reach
100.
ERIK HURTADO
• Has made 143 MLS regular-season appearances and needs seven more to reach
150.
KEVIN MOLINO
• Has made 93 MLS regular-season starts and needs seven more to reach 100.
DARLINGTON NAGBE
• Has made 298 MLS regular-season appearances and needs two more to reach
300.
JOSH WILLIAMS
• Has made 149 regular-season appearances for the Crew and needs one more to
reach 150.
GYASI ZARDES
• Has made 92 regular-season appearances for the Crew and needs eight more to
reach 100.
• Has scored 48 regular-season goals for the Crew and needs two more to reach
50

The home of Atlanta United FC, Mercedes-Benz Stadium 2017 photo By Atlanta Falcons, Construction Time-Lapse – August 2017.webmPlay media, CC BY 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

COURTESY COLUMBUS CREW COMMUNICATIONS

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