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November 2018
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‘Crew SC’ Articles

In Playoff drive mode, Crew SC hosts Philadelphia Union tonight at 7:30 pm; honoring 2008 MLS Championship team at halftime














Columbus Crew SC (13-9-8) returns to MAPFRE Stadium to host the fifth-place Philadelphia Union (14-12-4) on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. ET, in an Eastern Conference match-up that is bound to have significant playoff implications on the line.

As part of the match, Crew SC will be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the 2008 MLS Cup Championship, which will include a halftime ceremony honoring members of the MLS Cup-winning squad.

At training on Tuesday, Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter spoke on Philadelphia’s recent momentum, having won five of their last seven road games and seven of their last nine overall.

“I think Philly is a team that, as they got their group together, as they consolidated, as guys got used to the League, their quality is coming out,” said Berhalter.

“Highlight guys like Dockal and Medunjanin, Picault is doing a great job, Burke has really come on and they have a good group of young defenders. CJ Sapong is always dangerous. So, I think they just got used to playing with each other and they got used to the League. It’s a team with quality and I think either way they’re going to come here extremely motivated.”

As the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs quickly approach, Saturday’s match will be pivotal in deciding post-season contention and positioning. Columbus currently sits at fourth in the East with 47 points, just one point ahead of Philadelphia, as both have played 30 games, though Columbus’ plus-one goal differential stands above Philadelphia’s minus-two. All-time, the Black & Gold are 12-8-2 against the Union.

Last Saturday, Columbus collected its fifth straight home victory after defeating the Colorado Rapids, 2-1, thanks to respective goals from Gyasi Zardes and Federico Higuain.

Zardes opened the scoring in the 17th minute, notching his 50th career MLS regular-season goal and tying his personal career-high with 16 regular-season goals. Meanwhile, Higuain provided the helper on Zardes’ tally to go along with the game-winner in the 57th minute en route to Team of the Week honors. The Argentine now stands fourth all-time in Club history with 12 game-winning goals.

Columbus Crew SC vs. Philadelphia Union
Saturday, September 29 – 7:30 p.m. ET – MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, OH)

Regional Television: CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2. Post-match coverage is set to follow exclusively on Spectrum Sports in Ohio.
Regional Television Channel Guide:

Crew SC Audio: (English and Spanish)





Crew SC looks to take advantage of struggling Chicago Fire tonight at 7 p.m.



Columbus Crew SC (11-8-6) hits the road for the second time this week, heading north to face the Chicago Fire (6-15-5) as the two clubs meet for the third time this season on Thursday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. ET.

In their last meeting on May 12, Crew SC defeated Chicago 3-0 at MAPFRE Stadium. A penalty kick opener from midfielder Federico Higuain and a brace from forward Gyasi Zardes helped Columbus extend its then-unbeaten streak to five matches.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Fire are coming off of a late defeat at Montreal last Saturday, suffering their ninth straight loss in Major League Soccer. In that fixture, the Fire featured a 3-4-2-1 lineup with Bastian Schweinsteiger starting at center back, a glimpse of their versatility and willingness to change things up.

“They like to move guys into position in a more controlled manner, and I think Schweinsteiger is the tempo-bearer for them,” Trapp said. “[Schweinsteiger] and Dax McCarty as well are always trying to get on the ball and create things for those ahead of them, and they have a striker in Nikolic who last year was the Golden Boot winner and can score a lot of goals. So it’s just about making sure we’re in good defensive positions, posturing side to side, and winning balls when we can.”

With the Fire in the midst of a downturn, every match is a must-win opportunity for Chicago. For Crew SC, Thursday’s match stands as a way to continue solidifying a top-six Conference finish as we approach the final two months of the regular season.

“For them, it’s one of those games they have to win, and for us, it’s also a huge match for us, so we feel like we can hurt them in a lot of ways, it’s just executing with high intensity, high tempo, and just executing the chances we get,” Trapp said.

Chicago holds the all-time series record, 24-19-18, while each time has totaled two wins in the last four match-ups. Additionally, Chicago ranks tied for last in MLS in total shots (261) while conceding the second-most goals in the League with 51, including 23 at Toyota Park.

Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter mentioned how Crew SC’s attitude is critical to coming away from Toyota Park with a positive result.

“I think it’s our mindset,” Berhalter said on Columbus’ chances for success come Thursday. “Understanding what the opponent’s going to be like mentally. Understanding that they will bring the intensity, they will be in a mode where they want to get a win and we have to match that – I think that’s the key to the game.”

In terms of recent play, Crew SC took on Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Aug. 19, falling 3-1 and snapping a three-game win streak. Zardes produced Columbus’ only goal in the 50th minute on a hard-hit strike from 20 yards out off the feed from captain Wil Trapp.


*The Fire has lost eight straight and struggling badly and three in a row at home where they used to be invincible. They are tough on Crew SC this year going 1-1-0.

*Crew SC has not won at Toyota Park, located in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview, since 2015.

*Crew SC, despite losing at Atlanta United FC on Sunday, is still in 4th place in the MLS’ Eastern Conference



Fresh from bye-week, Crew SC hosting tough, dangerous Houston Dynamo tonight at 7:30



Columbus Crew SC (10-7-6) continues Major League Soccer regular-season action on Saturday, Aug. 11 after a Week 23 bye, as the Black & Gold return to MAPFRE Stadium to host the Houston Dynamo (7-9-6) at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Columbus is currently unbeaten in its last two home games, scoring a total of five goals. On July 21, Columbus stunned Orlando City SC with a 35-yard rocket from captain Wil Trapp two minutes into extra time to secure a 3-2 victory at MAPFRE Stadium.

Saturday will be the first match in the month of August for Crew SC while Houston is seeing their third match in just eight days. On July 28, Columbus traveled to face the New York Red Bulls and took home an important three points, becoming one of only two teams to beat the Red Bulls at home this season.

Three first-half goals from — one each from Jonathan Mensah and Patrick Mullins in addition to an own goal from Red Bull’s Sean Davis — led Columbus to its 10th win of the season. The Red Bulls found two goals in the second half but were unable to secure an equalizer.

Houston currently sits in 10th-place in the Western Conference and is second in shots on target (133) amongst the League. The Dynamo are also seventh in goals (39), while having the fifth-lowest save percentage in MLS (64.52 percent). Crew SC holds a 7-6-10 all-time record against Houston.

In their last meeting, Columbus suffered a 3-1 loss to Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium in week two of the 2017 MLS regular season. The Black & Gold dominated every statistical category but could not produce a victory. However, Ola Kamara shut down the possibility of a Houston shutout with a clean finish from Jukka Raitala and Justin Meram in the 93rd minute.

As for Houston, the Dynamo are coming to the end of a long week after seeing a regular-season loss to Sporting Kansas City on Aug. 4 and an Open Cup semifinal victory against LAFC on Aug. 8. Against LAFC, Houston won 3-3 (7-6 – PKs) to clinch a showdown with the Philadelphia Union in the Open Cup final.

Last Saturday, the Dynamo suffered a late 1-0 loss to Sporting KC. Houston saw 4 red cards on the night, including one shown to Dynamo manager Wilmer Cabrera. In the 14th minute, Houston was down a man as Alejandro Fuenmayor was shown a straight red card. Two additional red cards were shown in stoppage time to Houston’s Darwin Ceren and Alberth Ellis.


Crew SC builds up early 3-0 lead; holds off Red Bulls for road win in New York



HARRISON, N.J. – Key saves and a bulldog-like approach offensively lifted Columbus Crew SC (10-7-6) to a 3-2 victory over the New York Red Bulls (13-6-2) on Saturday at Red Bull Arena.

Defender Jonathan Mensah struck first in the seventh minute on a corner kick from Pedro Santos and a set-up tap from Patrick Mullins, who earned his first start with the Black & Gold.

Goalkeeper Zack Steffen totaled four saves on the night, including a diving, one-handed effort to keep it a 1-0 margin.

Mullins eased the tension just 17 minutes after Crew SC’s first tally with a left-footed finish on the counter-attack. Harrison Afful delivered a perfectly weighted through ball off the pass from defender Milton Valenzuela as Mullins scored his first goal for the Black & Gold.

Seven minutes later, Santos delivered a curling ball into the box, with Josh Williams providing pressure before the Red Bulls’ Sean Davis ultimately knocked it in for an own goal.

The Red Bulls came back in the final 45 minutes, capitalizing on an own goal from Mensah in the 50th minute before making it a one-goal deficit in the 69th minute on a finish from Daniel Royer.

Columbus held on for the half’s remainder, including four minutes of stoppage time, to claim its first win at Red Bull Arena since 2014 and come within five points of the Red Bulls, who remain in third-place in the Eastern Conference standings with 41 points, followed by Crew SC with 36.

On the day, the Red Bulls outshot Crew SC 13-10 while maintaining 53 percent of the possession.


The history of tonight’s Crew SC opponent, Deportivo Saprissa has 82 years of winning soccer in



Deportivo Saprissa is a Costa Rican sports club, mostly known for its football team. The club is located in San Juan de Tibás, San José, and play their home games at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá. The team’s signature colours are purple (burgundy) and white. The club was founded in 1935 and has competed in the Costa Rican first division since 1949. The name of the team comes from one of the club’s main founders, Ricardo Saprissa. One of the most popular nicknames for the team El Monstruo Morado (The Purple Monster) can be traced back to 1987, when the Costa Rican newspaper Diario Extra gave the team the nickname during a derby, because of the club’s enormous following. A reporter commented that the sea of fans in the stands at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá in Tibás wearing purple, and the tremendous noise they were generating, made him feel like he was “in the presence of a thousand headed monster”. Saprissa immediately adopted the nickname El Monstruo Morado.

Saprissa won 34 Primera División de Costa Rica championships, including six consecutive national titles in the 70s. It stands as one of the more successful teams in the CONCACAF region as well, having won the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup three times – in 19931995, and 2005. Saprissa has also won five Central American crowns in 1972, 1973, 1978, 1998, and 2003.

For the period 1 September 2007 to 31 August 2008 the club was ranked the 106th best team in the world by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics, an organization recognized by FIFA.

Saprissa has regularly appeared in the CONCACAF Champions Cup finals in recent decades, with three first-place finishes and four runners-up finishes. One of the club’s most notable moments came in 2005 when Saprissa became the second club in CONCACAF to finish third in the FIFA Club World Cup together with the Mexican club Necaxa who accomplished it in 2000 (and were joined in 2012 by another Mexican club, Monterrey).

The team is named after this gentleman, Ricardo Saprissa 1932 photo By Efegé - http hallofameperico.wordpress, Public Domain, https

The club was chosen by the IFFHS as the CONCACAF team of the 20th Century. This event gave Saprissa worldwide recognition. Their main partner is a Costa Rican Investment Consortium named Horizonte Morado (Purple Horizon), composed mainly of Juan Carlos Rojas Callán, Edgar Zurcher, Alberto Raven Odio, and Televisora de Costa Rica.


Further information: History of Deportivo Saprissa

Deportivo Saprissa was founded on July 16, 1935 by Roberto Fernández who named his team after the man who sponsored their uniform, Don Ricardo Saprissa Aymá. The club entered the Costa Rican Third Division as Saprissa F.C. They were promoted to the Primera División de Costa Rica, making their debut in the top flight on 21 August 1949. One of the most notable achievement of their early years, was to win the third and second division titles undefeated. The club has remained in the Costa Rican top flight ever since.

Team Colours

Even though the very first colours were red and white, the team is known by their purple-burgundy colour. Red and white were utilised very briefly, and Ricardo Saprissa’s influence from the Polo Club of Barcelona had the team try red and blue instead, even though this is the origin of the colour used throughout all of its history. When the new kit for 1937 (red and blue) was being manufactured, some of the threads got mixed evenly along the sides of the jerseys, producing a type of purple, resembling a burgundy/maroon colour. This new colour went down well with everyone involved, it reflected class and originality, and it was selected as the team’s official colour. It was decided that the team’s shield would appear on the chest of the uniform, with a notable bold white letter “S”.

Saprissa utilizes a purple/burgundy jersey with white and grey details, and white shorts with burgundy and grey details for home games. For away games, a white jersey with burgundy and grey details is used, and white shorts with burgundy and grey details.



1952-53, 1953–54, 1957–58, 1962–63, 1964–65, 1965–66, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1982–83, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007 Invierno, 2008 Verano, 2008 Invierno, 2010 Verano, 2014 Verano, 2014 Invierno, 2015 Invierno, 2016 Invierno, 2018 Verano
  • Costa Rican Short Championships: 8
1997-98 Clausura, 1998–99 Apertura, 1998–99 Clausura, 2003–04 Apertura, 2005–06 Apertura, 2005–06 Clausura, 2006–07 Apertura, 2006–07 Clausura
  • Costa Rican Cup: 8
1950, 1960, 1963, 1963, 1970, 1972, 1976, 2013


Winners (3)199319952005
Runners-up (4)1970197320042008
Winners (5)19721973197819982003
Runners-up (7)1971197419961997200120042007
Runners-up (2): 1993, 1995
  • CONCACAF Central American Champions: 1 appearance
Winners (1)1970
  • US Camel Cup: 1 appearance
Winners (1): 1985
Third Place (1)2005

Deportivo Saprissa a member of Liga FPD





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