Finally here! 2022 edition of “Hell is Real” Derby, FC Cincinnati at Columbus Crew on FS1 tonight; Crew midfielder Aidan Morris talks rivalry

FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

The Hell is Real Derby, also known as the Ohio Derby, is a rivalry between the two Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs based in Ohio: the Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati. Under current MLS regular season scheduling, the series occurs twice per season as both teams are members of the Eastern Conference. The teams first met in 2017 in the U.S. Open Cup before Cincinnati joined MLS in 2019.

HISTORY

The two teams met for the first time in the fourth round of the 2017 U.S. Open Cup, while FC Cincinnati was still a member of the United Soccer League. Cincinnati won the match 1–0 on a goal from Djiby, knocking Columbus out of the tournament and advancing to the quarterfinals.

On August 10, 2019, the two sides played against each other in MLS league play for the first time, ending in a 2–2 draw at Mapfre Stadium. Columbus earned their first win of the series in that season’s reverse fixture with a 3–1 victory. The highest-scoring match came in 2021, when the Crew pulled off a late comeback at their new Lower.com Field; holding a 2–1 lead in the 75th minute, FC Cincinnati surrendered two late goals to lose 3–2.

SERIES NAME

The derby’s name was created by fans of both teams in 2017, prior to the first competitive meeting in the U.S. Open Cup. It is derived from a religious sign that reads “Hell is Real” and is located on Interstate 71, which connects Columbus and Cincinnati–a distance of 110 miles (180 km). The sign was installed in 2004 on a local farm in Chenoweth by a Kentucky developer who had installed similar religious signs in other states.

The Hell Is Real sign on Interstate 71 between Cincinnati and Columbus 2017 photo By Hayden Schiff from Cincinnati, USA, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

MATCH RESULTS AND STATISTICS

TOP GOAL SCORERS IN SERIES

PLAYERS WHO HAVE PLAYED FOR BOTH TEAMS

Aidan Morris
Aidan Morris Crew midfielder 7 15 2022 On Rivalry Match vs FC Cincinnati .mp3

COLUMBUS CREW CAREER

2020 SEASON

Morris was announced as a homegrown player signing by the Columbus Crew on January 14, 2020. He made his professional debut in a July 11 match during the MLS is Back Tournament, coming on late in a 4–0 trouncing of in-state rival FC Cincinnati. He made his second appearance for the Crew on July 16, coming off the bench for an injured Darlington Nagbe in the 67th minute of a 2–0 win against New York Red Bulls. He made his first start for the Crew in October 2020. Overall, Morris made eleven appearances for the Crew during the 2020 MLS season. To cap off the season, on December 12, 2020 he became the youngest player in league history to start in MLS Cup as he helped guide the Crew to a 3–0 win over the Seattle Sounders.

2021 SEASON

Morris started the first game of the 2021 season for the Crew, a 4–0 win against Real Estelí in the round of 16 of the CONCACAF Champions League. Morris again started the second leg against Real Esteli, however, he left the game in the fourth minute of what was a 1–0 victory for Columbus with an ACL injury that sidelined him for the entirety of the 2021 MLS season.

COURTESY COLUMBUS CREW COMMUNICATIONS & WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

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