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‘Crew SC’ Articles

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





Deportivo Saprissa provides International Friendly match opponent tonight for Columbus Crew SC



Soccer ball, Adidas Telstar style, 2009 photo By Pallo_valmiina.jpg Christopher Bruno, CC BY SA 3.0, https

Black & Gold host Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica’s First Division tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET


Tuesday’s contest will be Crew SC’s 23rd all-time international friendly, as well as the fifth time the Black & Gold will face Saprissa. Similarly, tomorrow’s match will mark Saprissa’s third visit to MAPFRE Stadium.

Crew SC holds a 1-1-2 all-time record against Saprissa. The Black & Gold suffered a 2-0 defeat in Costa Rica on April 4, 2001, while drawing 1-1 in Columbus on April 11, 2001 during a two-leg CONCACAF Giants Cup series. Additionally, the teams met in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League group stage, with Crew SC defeating Deportivo Saprissa 1-0 at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa on September 16, 2009, before playing to a 1-1 draw at MAPFRE Stadium on September 29, 2009.

Deportivo Saprissa was founded in 1935 and has competed in the Liga de Futbol de Primera Division –  Costa Rica’s First Division – since 1949. Over that span, Saprissa has won 34 First Division titles – more than any other club in Costa Rica – as well as the CONCACAF Champions League on three occasions (1993, 1995, 2005) and the UNCAF Interclub Cup – a Central American soccer tournament – on five occasions (1972, 1973, 1978, 1998, 2003).

Saprissa most recently won the 2018 Clausura tournament and is set to represent Costa Rica in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League.

2018 will be the eighth consecutive summer that an international opponent has visited MAPFRE Stadium. Crew SC has an all-time record of 12-6-3 in international friendlies at home, last facing Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt from Germany in 2017 in a match that the Black & Gold won by a score of 1-0.


Crew SC back home tonight for match with Western Conference opponent Real Salt Lake, 7:30 pm




COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC returns home to take on Real Salt Lake at MAPFRE Stadium, Saturday, June 30, for the lone regular-season meeting between the two clubs in 2018. The match kicks-off at 7:30 p.m. ET and is set to be televised regionally on CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports and BCSN2 featuring Neil Sika, Dwight Burgess and Alex Stec on the call. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET. Post-match coverage is set to follow exclusively on Spectrum Sports in Ohio. Tomorrow’s match also airs locally on the radio on CD102.5 FM in English, featuring simulcast audio from the television broadcast. The club’s official website,, is set to stream the English-language radio broadcast online as well as host the Spanish-language audio broadcast with Juan Valladares behind the microphone.

There will be post-match fireworks after the final whistle.

Crew SC is looking for a victory after a loss at Los Angeles Football Club last Saturday. After allowing two quick goals from LAFC, Crew SC defense buckled down to hold LAFC to just three shots on target. Despite the creation of promising attacks, Crew SC was unable to produce a goal.

Real Salt Lake saw their six-match home win streak end on Saturday in a draw against the San Jose Earthquakes. Real Salt Lake opened the scoring in the 54th minute only to get a response from San Jose just 10 minutes later. RSL had a chance to take home three points on the final play, but a header hit the bar on a bounce.

In their last meeting, Crew SC earned a 2-2 draw at Real Salt Lake thanks to a brace from forward Ola Kamara. Kamara slotted his first goal to the top of the net with an assist from midfielder Connor Maloney. RSL equalized on a penalty kick and, shortly after, scored a go-ahead goal but Kamara completed the draw with a rebound strike after a shot by Ethan Finlay.

Columbus is 8-1-1 at home against Real Salt Lake, with the only loss dating back to 2006. The last three matches have seen at least four goals combined between the two clubs. Columbus is 11-5-4 all time against Real Salt Lake.

Columbus Crew SC vs. Real Salt Lake

Saturday, June 30 – 7:30 p.m. ET – MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, OH)

Regional Television: CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2
International Television: Abu Dhabi Sports (Abu Dhabi Sports), DSports (India), BeIN Sports (Australia, Asia)

Crew SC Radio: CD102.5 FM (English) (Spanish). English radio broadcast also simulcast on



Atlanta United tough on Crew SC again in 2-0 win



Atlanta United FC goalkeeper Brad Guzan was tough to beat as he shut down the potent Crew SC offense ( photo)



Brad Guzan Atlanta United FC goalkeeper shutout Columbus 2-0 6 13 2018


Columbus Crew SC concluded its fourth home match in 12 days falling into a 2-0 loss to Atlanta United FC. The Eastern Conference leaders snapped Crew SC’s nine-game unbeaten streak and, in turn, goalkeeper Zack Steffen’s club leading shutout streak.

The Crew SC defense continued its strong season-long performance, limiting Atlanta’s chances and creating many counters that led to its own. However, the final breakthrough went missing, along with the eventual points for the Black & Gold.

Atlanta United FC controlled most of the tempo during the game. It prompted Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter to say ” he was not pleased with the team’s effort; they got outplayed and played with no real urgency!”

Crew SC has typically had trouble with Atlanta United FC, a second-year team in MLS. Overall, they are 0-3-0 vs. the team from the Peach State. However, in the MLS Playoffs last season, they won a key game at Atlanta.

Atlanta was on the board first via a header goal from Golden Boot leader Josef Martinez off of a corner kick. Crew SC’s Artur attempted to mark him, but Martinez committed to the play, injuring himself in the process by colliding with Artur. Atlanta struck again in the 82nd minute, leaving little time for Columbus to find a goal.

With Atlanta’s 30th minute goal, Steffen’s individual goalkeeper shutout streak ended at 8th all-time in Major League Soccer. The 23-year-old racked up 525 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal this season. During the game, he passed Nick Rimando and Kevin Hartman.

Columbus finished the match with 13 shots, three on target. The Black & Gold were neck-and-neck with Atlanta in passing accuracy (82 percent) but out-passed in the final third by 68 percent.

Atlanta United FC lead the MLS’s Eastern Conference at 10-3-3 for 33 points. While Crew SC drops to 7-4-6 with 27 points.

The Black & Gold take a 10-day break before continuing the season on the road at Los Angeles FC on Saturday, June 23. The match kicks off at Banc of California Stadium at 10:30 p.m. ET.


Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter

On if their performance was ‘flat’ tonight

I think so. I think it was. I think that’s a good way to categorize it. It was a flat performance by us. We got beat tonight by a better team on the night. It’s frustrating. I think they didn’t have much going either, but they get the goal, and then they continued to push and they get the late goal again. But I just think for us it was not a great performance.


On what didn’t go well tonight for Crew SC

I think we set up a little bit differently and I’ll take responsibility maybe for the guys being out of sorts. I think we had a plan and the plan was to move the ball quickly to a certain area, and I didn’t think we executed that well. I didn’t think we were clean enough on the ball. I didn’t think our passing decisions were good enough. When you look back on it, you think, ‘okay, there’s a number of things that could have been better for sure.’


On if Crew SC created enough scoring chances

Yeah, I don’t think we created enough to be honest. I know the shots say 13, but I wasn’t happy with it. I wasn’t happy with the ball circulation. It’s not what we had in mind. It’s not what we envisioned. There was some pockets of space that we wanted to attack, and I don’t think we did that well. You still have to give a team like Atlanta credit for not having much, but being able to capitalize on a corner kick to get the goal. We had a couple of chances that didn’t go in, but overall, we could have been much better tonight.


On the conclusion of a tough three-match stretch

Well I think the Eastern Conference is difficult. Games are going to be really tough, and I think that’s what this homestand showed. You look at Toronto who is a desperate team. I think Red Bulls is a very good team. Atlanta is a quality team… Probably one of the better teams in the League. So, you know games are going to be very tight. You know they are going to be decided by very little. You know you might not have a ton of opportunities and you have to capitalize when you do have them, and that wasn’t there. That wasn’t there in this game tonight.


On Crew SC’s mindset moving forward

We’ll give them a couple of days off after tomorrow. I think they’ve earned it – it’s been a busy stretch – and then prepare. I mean it’s not like there’s faith lost in this group. It’s a very good group. It’s a very good group. We lost a game tonight and we have to move on. It’s as simple as that. My philosophy is to make players better, and to keep improving, and that’s not going to change.


On Wil Trapp’s performance

I’m not going to comment about an individual in a critical way. I don’t think that’s fair. Wil [Trapp] was a guy that wanted to be on the field that was in Europe a couple of days ago. He had to come back and battle jet lag. I don’t think it’s appropriate to discuss his performance.


On if Mike Grella was off the Gameday 18 for rest

Yeah it was. When you look at – Ricardo [Clark] started the last game and he wasn’t in the 18. Josh Williams started the last game and he wasn’t in the 18… and Mike [Grella]. It was just a case of rotating guys out and getting some new guys in. To be honest, I don’t think I got the selection right tonight. If I’m completely honest, I think we came up short in a couple of areas, and I think it could have been maybe different with a couple of other selections.


On if he considers the defense successful in limiting Atlanta’s offense

No. No. Again, I’m not pleased with the performance. I think it’s a subpar performance. I think our standard is higher than that. I think maybe a couple of individuals performed well defensively, but overall it’s not what we drew up.


On what he wanted from the 64th minute substitutions

Well I think we wanted to bring the ball centrally to get the ball wide. That was the idea. So, then we pushed our full backs higher. We brought pocket players in, and we thought we’d be either combining through the midfield or opening up space wide. If you see the chance when Harry [Harrison Afful] switches all the way to Milton [Valenzuela], and he goes across the front of the goal, that was a good example of that. Just, there team trying to combat the numbers in the middle and opening space wide.

Defender Milton Valenzuela


On Crew SC’s first loss since April 14

It has been a while since we lost, like four or five games. We’ve been winning, we’ve been doing well. At the same time, even though we lost today we are a team that always likes to force the action, we’re not going to sit back. We’re going to keep our heads high and get back at it again.


On Crew SC’s rhythm

It was a very even game, it was very even. It was mostly battled out in the midfield. What you saw was two teams that were attacking and they [Atlanta United FC] made the most out of [their] chances, we were not able to make the most out of our chances because, even though there weren’t any clear-cut chances, we did get chances but couldn’t convert them.


On the importance of the upcoming break

Yeah, it will be nice to get a break this weekend and we will be able to rest our legs as well as our minds.

Midfielder Artur

On whether Crew SC met its own expectations

For sure, I think we didn’t play [like] what was expected for us. We are staying happy, this kind of game will happen, but the most important thing is we have to keep the mentality to get better and keep playing better, because of the championship is long.


On the upcoming 10-day break

We have to use this break. We need to rest and see what we have to do better.


On Atlanta United FC

They have a good team. Us, we have a good team too. We are both in the top of the League and it was a hard game.






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