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Archive for September 12th, 2020

Blue Jackets loan several players to teams in Finland’s Professional League

BLUE JACKETS LOAN RW EMIL BEMSTROM, C ALEXANDRE TEXIER AND G VEINI VEHVILAINEN TO TRIO OF FINNISH LIIGA CLUBS

 

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have loaned right wing Emil Bemstrom to HIFK Helsinki, center Alexandre Texier to KalPa and goaltender Veini Vehvilainen to JYP Jyvaskyla, all of Finland’s top professional league (Liiga), club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced on Tuesday.  Bemstrom, Texier and Vehvilainen will rejoin the Blue Jackets prior to the start of the 2020-21 National Hockey League season.

 

Bemstrom, 21, recorded 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points with eight penalty minutes in 56 games with the Blue Jackets in 2019-20.  He tied for the NHL league among rookies in game-winning goals (four) and ranked fourth-T in power play goals (five) and led club rookies in goals, points, power play goals and game-winning goals.  The 6-0, 190-pound forward also skated in five contests during the 2020 postseason.

 

A native of Nykoping, Sweden, Bemsrom was selected by Columbus in the fourth round, 117th overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft.  He led the Swedish Hockey League in goals and power play goals in 2018-19 with 23-12-35 and 10 power play tallies in 47 appearances with Djurgardens IF, earning SHL Rookie of the Year honors.  He registered 23-12-35, eight penalty minutes and was +9 in 52 career SHL games with Djurgardens IF and Leksands IF from 2016-19.

 

Texier, who turns 21 on September 13, collected 6-7-13 with 10 penalty minutes and a +3 plus/minus rating in 36 games this season prior to suffering a back injury during the December 31 game vs. the Florida Panthers.  The injury sidelined him for the final 30 games of the 2019-20 regular season.  He returned to action during the NHL’s Return to Play and collected 0-4-4 and two penalty minutes, while averaging 21:52 of ice time in 10 postseason contests.

 

The Blue Jackets’ second round pick, 45th overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft, Texier has notched 7-7-14 with 10 penalty minutes and a +6 plus/minus rating in 38 career regular season NHL games.  The St. Martin D’heres, France native spent two seasons with KalPa from 2017-19 before coming to North America late in the 2018-19 season.  In 108 games, the 6-1, 192-pound forward notched 27-36-63 and 74 penalty minutes and led KalPa in assists and points in 2018-19 with 14-27-41 in 55 outings.

 

Vehvilainen, 23, made his North American professional debut in 2019-20, going 10-18-4 with a 2.76 goals-against average, .901 save percentage and three shutouts in 33 outings with the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters.  He ranked seventh-T in the AHL in shutouts.

 

The Jyvaskyla, Finland native was selected by the Blue Jackets in the sixth round, 173rd overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft.  The 6-0, 181-pound netminder has posted a 64-30-21 record with a 1.83 GAA, .926 SV% and 13 shutouts in 119 career Liiga outings with Karpat, Sport and JYP from 2015-19, including a 17-12-6 record with a 2.09 GAA, .922 SV% and three shutouts in 37 career contests with JYP from 2015-17.  He captured the Urpo Ylonen Award as Liiga’s best goaltender with Karpat in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS COMMUNICATIONS

 

Columbus Crew SC visits Soldier Field in Chicago; new home to Fire FC for awhile

 

Soldier Field aerial view in 1988. Downtown Chicago skyline and Navy Pier in background. By Dale Fisher, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Currently standing atop the Supporters’ Shield race, Columbus Crew SC (7-1-2, 23 pts.) looks to become just the second team in MLS history to record nine shutouts in its first 11 regular-season matches as Columbus gets set to face off against Chicago Fire FC on Saturday at Soldier Field [3:30 p.m. ET / Univision, TUDN, Twitter (@TUDNUSA) / 97.1 The Fan & 971TheFan.com (English), ColumbusCrewSC.com (Spanish)].

Chicago (2-6-2, 8 pts.) is coming off a 2-1 home loss to the New England Revolution, while Crew SC handed FC Cincinnati their second #HellisReal defeat of the season, via 3-0 scoreline.

Columbus last met Chicago on Aug. 20 at MAPFRE Stadium and cruised to a 3-0 victory behind goals from Derrick Etienne Jr.Darlington Nagbe and Gyasi Zardes.

Chicago Fire FC

The Fire suffered their first defeat in their new home stadium, done in by a Teal Bunbury brace as the Revs left the Windy City with a rare victory Sunday night. Chicago found the equalizer in the 22nd minute through Fabian Herbers, who was the beneficiary of a miscued strike from Miguel Navarro. And they had chances off set pieces early in the second half with the game level, but  Boris Sekulic and Francisco Calvo were unable to put their headers on frame.

“Look, I’m sitting here again and I have to say the same thing, if we wouldn’t create, if we wouldn’t have a plan, if I wouldn’t see that the guys are trying and actually playing well, I would have to doubt and I would have to say I question things,” Fire FC coach Raphael Wicky said after the match. “That’s not the case in my eyes, so I will have to say the same thing over: we have to keep working and keep believing in what we do. We are creating chances, we are a good team and we have to keep doing that.”

Columbus Crew SC

Zardes struck for another brace against FC Cincinnati, increasing his goal total against them to seven, as Crew SC celebrated another Hell is Real victory. With Lucas Zelarayan picking up a knock in training during the week, Nagbe assumed the No. 10 role and excelled in that role, finishing with 100-percent passing accuracy.

Whether or not we see Zelarayan back in the Starting XI on Saturday, we know Nagbe’s care for the ball will be second-to-none.

“I said it some time ago…for me, I call him General,” Harrison Afful said of Nagbe. “He’s the boss on the ball and he takes good care of the ball. The ball is like his baby. Whenever we are in difficult spots, we just have to find him and give him the ball. With Darlington, I mean, I’m just proud and happy to be on the same team with him.”

On the other side of the ball, goalkeeper Eloy Room is approaching a Club record for consecutive shutout minutes. Room, who missed the last MLS is Back Tournament Group Stage match and the ensuing two regular-season matches, has not conceded a goal in 461 consecutive minutes, with the Club’s individual goalkeeper record standing at 525 minutes (Steffen).

As big of a presence Room is between the pipes, the Black & Gold have conceded the fewest shots on goal by far with 27, six less than the next lowest total (Toronto FC – 33), as it continues to be a lesson in the power of the collective, according to Head Coach Caleb Porter.

“I think we do everything as a team. We defend as a team, we attack as a team. When you look at our group, I think what sets us apart is we have a true team concept,” said Porter.

“We have every single player that defends, and they know their role defensively. We don’t drop off, we press high and we’re aggressive, which is why we don’t give up goals. It’s not because we drop in and play low block and try to protect our goal, it’s because we attack the opponent without the ball, and we do it with every single player.”

 

MATCH PREVIEW STORY WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

 

 

PREVIEW BREAKDOWN: Crew SC tries to continue winning ways on road against Chicago Fire FC Saturday afternoon

COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC travels to face Chicago Fire FC as part of Phase One of the continuation of play schedule at Soldier Field on Saturday, September 12 [3:30 p.m. ET / Univision, TUDN, Twitter (@TUDNUSA) / 97.1 The Fan & 971TheFan.com (English), ColumbusCrewSC.com (Spanish)]. Saturday’s nationally televised match marks the second regular-season meeting between the two sides in 2020.

2020 MLS Regular Season – Week 11
Chicago Fire FC vs. Columbus Crew SC
Soldier Field – Chicago
September 12 – 3:30 PM ET

Chicago Fire FC are looking to snap a three-match winless streak when they host a Columbus Crew SC side that sits atop the Eastern Conference table Saturday afternoon at Soldier Field.

Fire FC (2W-6L-2D) are coming off a 2-1 home loss to the New England Revolution, while Crew SC (7W-1L-2D) handed FC Cincinnati another Hell is Real defeat.

This is the second meeting this season, with Columbus cruising to a 3-0 home victory August 20. Derrick Etienne Jr., Darlington Nagbe and Gyasi Zardes scored in the win.

Chicago Fire FC

Fire FC suffered their first defeat in their new home stadium, done in by a Teal Bunbury brace as the Revs left the Windy City with a rare victory Sunday night. Chicago found the equalizer in the 22nd minute through Fabian Herbers, who was the beneficiary of a miscued strike from Miguel Navarro. And they had chances off set pieces early in the second half with the game level, but  Boris Sekulic and Francisco Calvo were unable to put their headers on frame.

“Look, I’m sitting here again and I have to say the same thing, if we wouldn’t create, if we wouldn’t have a plan, if I wouldn’t see that the guys are trying and actually playing well, I would have to doubt and I would have to say I question things,” Fire FC coach Raphael Wicky said after the match. “That’s not the case in my eyes, so I will have to say the same thing over: we have to keep working and keep believing in what we do. We are creating chances, we are a good team and we have to keep doing that.”

  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Jeremiah Gutjahr (M) – knee injury
    • OUT: Johan Kappelhof (D) – hip flexor
    • OUT: Kenneth Kronholm (GK) – knee injury
    • OUT: Luka Stojanović (M) – knee injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Elliot Collier (F) – undisclosed injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: Fabian Herbers (M)
  • International duty: None

Columbus Crew SC

Zardes struck for another brace against FC Cincinnati, increasing his goal total against them to seven, as Crew SC celebrated another Hell is Real victory Sunday night at MAPFRE Stadium. With Lucas Zelarayan picking up a knock in training during the week, Nagbe assumed the No. 10 role and excelled in that role.

Columbus have remarkably conceded just two goals, tied for the least amount in league history through 10 games and are also tied with the 2000 Kansas City Wizards and 2010 LA Galaxy for most shutouts (8) through the first 10 games of a season. The secret?

“I think we do everything as a team,” Caleb Porter said. “We defend as a team, we attack as a team. When you look at our group, I’ve watched a lot of the other games as well, and I think what sets us apart is we have a true team concept. We have every single player that defends, and they know their role defensively. We don’t drop off, we press high, and we’re aggressive, which is why we don’t give up goals. It’s not because we drop in and play a low block and try to protect our goal, it’s because we attack the opponent right off the ball, and we do it with every single player. So, that’s the key.”

  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Vito Wormgoor (D) – ankle injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Lucas Zelarayan (M) – undisclosed injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Series Matchup at Fire FC

  • Fire FC: 16 wins, 51 goals
  • Crew SC: 6 wins, 39 goals
  • 12 draws

Officials

  • Referee: Jon Freemon
  • Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski, Ian McKay
  • 4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
  • VAR: Edvin Jurisevic

 

 

Previous Meetings

Current Form

Chicago 

L
L
W
L
D
L
Columbus 

W
W
L
D
W
W

Season Stats

Chicago Fire FCColumbus Crew SC
10 Games Played 10
2 Wins 7
6 Losses 1
2 Draws 2
9 Goals 16
16 Goals Conceded 2
102 Shots 84
45 Shots on Target 41
148 Fouls committed 125
116 Fouls suffered 141
16 Offside 17
57 Corners 50

 

Goals Scored

0 1 2 3 4+ Total Avg
CHI 5 4 0 1 0 9 0.9
CLB 5 3 0 2 0 16 1.6

 

Goals Conceded

0 1 2 3 4+ Total Avg
CHI 5 1 2 2 0 16 1.6
CLB 8 2 0 0 0 2 0.2

 

ABOUT COLUMBUS CREW SC
Columbus Crew SC (Soccer Club) is the first club in Major League Soccer. Crew SC is operated by The Edwards Family and Haslam Sports Group. The Black & Gold won their first MLS Cup championship in 2008 and also won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. The 2020 campaign is the Crew’s 25th season in MLS and the 21st season at historic MAPFRE Stadium – the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States.

Website: ColumbusCrewSC.com | Twitter: @ColumbusCrewSC | Instagram: @ColumbusCrewSC | Hashtag: #Crew96 | Facebook.com/columbuscrewsc | Snapchat: ColumbusCrewSC | Stadium: MAPFRE Stadium | Training Facility: Crew SC Training Center at Obetz | Future Training Facility (2021): OhioHealth Performance Center | New, downtown stadium coming July 2021.

 

MATCH PREVIEW WRITTEN BY Dylan Butler; COURTESY OF COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS

American Athletic Conference News: Memphis Tigers Brady White named Davey O’Brien QB of the Week

 

Brady White (courtesy Memphis Athletics)

 

09.09.20

 

FORT WORTH, Texas  — Memphis senior Brady White has been selected as the season’s first Davey O’Brien National Quarterback of the Week following his efforts in the team’s season opener on Saturday.

White completed 26 of 36 passes (72.2 percent) for 275 passing yards and four touchdowns in a 37-24 victory over Arkansas State. He also rushed for a career-high 39 yards on six carries. It was the fifth time in his career he threw for at least four touchdowns.

The native of Santa Clarita, Calif., is a member of the 2020 Davey O’Brien Award Watch List and was a semifinalist for the award a year ago.

The junior QB started his career at Arizona State and was regarded as one of the highest rated recruits in the history of ASU Football. As a freshman White was injured and missed most of his first and all of his second season.

On January 16, 2018, White announced his decision to transfer to the University of Memphis. In May 2019, he was granted an extra year of eligibility due to his injury at Arizona State.

The Davey O’Brien Foundation was created in 1977, and the National Quarterback Award, the oldest and most prestigious college quarterback award, was first issued in 1981. Over its time, the Davey O’Brien Foundation has given away more than $1 million in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field into leadership in life.

In 1938, O’Brien, who was a star quarterback for TCU, became the first player ever to win the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award in the same year. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1955.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF THE AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

MLS-leading Columbus Crew SC visits Chicago Fire FC this afternoon at 3:30 pm ET

 

COLUMBUS CREW SC (7-1-2, 23 pts.)

CHICAGO FIRE FC (2-6-2, 8 pts.)

Date: Saturday, September 12, 2020 Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET Location: Soldier Field (Chicago, Illinois) National TV: Univision, TUDN, Twitter (@TUDNUSA)

97.1 The Fan [Radio]: Chris Doran, Neil Sika and Jordan Angeli ColumbusCrewSC.com Spanish Audio Stream: Juan Valladares (play-by-play)

CREW SC VS. CHICAGO FIRE FC AT A GLANCE

Columbus Crew SC record: 20-26-21 (101 GF, 91 GA) Home: 14-10-9 (62 GF, 40 GA) Road: 6-16-12 (39 GF, 51 GA) PREVIOUS REGULAR-SEASON MEETINGS 07/17/2019 CLB 2 at CHI 2 T SeatGeek Stadium 08/31/2019 CLB 1 vs CHI 1 T MAPFRE Stadium 08/20/2020 CLB 3 vs CHI 0 W MAPFRE Stadium

CREW SC FACES CHICAGO FIRE FC ON SATURDAY Crew SC faces Chicago Fire FC on Saturday, September 12 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The match is set to be the second regularseason meeting between the two clubs this season as well as their 68th all-time regular-season meeting. Notably, the Crew is undefeated in its last five regular-season matches against the Chicago Fire with a record of 2-0-3 dating back to a 3-0 home victory in 2018 (May 12).

LAST REGULAR-SEASON MEETING Crew SC hosted Chicago Fire FC at MAPFRE Stadium on August 20, 2020. The Crew took the lead in the 20th minute, when Derrick Etienne Jr. sent a ball to the right post after receiving a pass from Milton Va- lenzuela. In the second half, Darlington Nagbe doubled Crew SC’s lead when he scored a volley from outside the box after receiving a pass from Gyasi Zardes in the 81st minute. Nine minutes later, Zardes made it 3-0 after combining with Pedro Santos to put the result beyond doubt.

COACHES Caleb Porter: 85-67-62 (Portland Timbers: ‘13 – ’17; Crew SC: ’19 – Present) vs. Raphael Wicky: 2-6-2 (Chicago Fire: ’20 – Present) Records listed are MLS regular-season totals

CREW SC SOLIDIFIES LEAD ATOP MLS SUPPORTERS’ SHIELD RACE With its 3-0 victory over FC Cincinnati on Sunday night, Crew SC extended its lead atop the MLS Supporters’ Shield race. The Crew’s current record of 7-1-2 in regular-season action puts the Club five points ahead of Eastern Conference rivals Toronto FC and the Philadelphia Union (18 points each).

CREW SC OFF TO BEST START IN CLUB HISTORY Crew SC’s current record of 7-1-2 with 23 total points through the first 10 matches marks the best regular-season start in Club history. Crew SC’s previous best start through 10 regularseason matches came in 2010, when the Club posted a record of 6-1-3 while securing 21 points. Notably, the Black & Gold are undefeated at home with a record of 5-0.

ELOY ROOM LEADS MLS IN REGULAR-SEASON SHUTOUTS Goalkeeper Eloy Room registered his sixth shutout of the 2020 regular season in Sunday’s match against FC Cincinnati. Room had previously registered clean sheets against New York City FC (March 1), FC Cincinnati (July 11, August 29), the New York Red Bulls (July 16) and the Philadelphia Union (September 2). With his shutout in Sunday’s match, Room moved past FC Cin- cinnati’s Przemysław Tyton to become the 2020 MLS regularseason leader in shutouts. For a list of the 2020 MLS regularseason leaders in shutouts, please see the table below. 2020 REGULAR-SEASON SHUTOUT LEADERS* PLAYER SO 1. Eloy Room (CLB) …………………6 2. Przemysław Tyton (CIN) ……… 5 T-3. Quinten Westberg (TOR)…… 4 T-3. Sean Johnson (NYC) ………… 4 T-3. Joe Willis (NSH)……………….. 4 T-3. Andre Blake (PHI)…………….. 4 *Stats through 9/6/20

ROOM CURRENTLY HOLDS THIRD LONGEST SHUTOUT STREAK IN CLUB HISTORY Following the 90 scoreless minutes against FC Cincinnati, goal- keeper Eloy Room brought his shutout streak to 461 minutes. Room’s current streak puts him in third place in Crew SC’s longest shutout streak standings. Should he extend his streak by 65 minutes, he would overtake former Crew goalkeeper Zack to set a new longest scoreless streak for the Club. For a list of the longest shutout streaks in Crew SC history, see the table below. PLAYER MIN START END 1. Zack Steffen 525 4/28/2018 6/13/2018 2. Zack Steffen 499 3/02/2019 4/13/2019 3. Eloy Room 461 3/07/2020 current 4. William Hesmer 414 3/19/2011 4/23/2011

CREW SC HAS CONCEDED FEWEST GOALS THROUGH 10 REGULAR-SEASON MATCHES IN MLS HISTORY Crew SC’s two goals conceded in regular-season action in 2020 is tied with the LA Galaxy’s 2010 campaign for the fewest by any team in MLS history through nine regular-season matches. For a list of the top four MLS teams with the fewest goals allowed through the first 10 regular-season matches, please see the table below. FEWEST GOALS CONCEDED THROUGH FIRST TEN MATCHES* TEAMS YEAR GA T-1. Columbus Crew SC …………2020 2 T-1. LA Galaxy ………………………… 2010 2 T-3. Sporting Kansas City ………. 2017 3 T-3. Seattle Sounders FC……….. 2012 3 *MLS regular season only

CREW SC HAS BEST GOAL DIFFERENTIAL IN 2020 MLS REGULAR SEASON Crew SC’s +14 goal differential in 2020 regular-season action currently leads all MLS teams. This season, Crew SC has only conceded two goals. Seattle Sounders FC has the next best goal differential, at +7. For a list of the best goal differential in the 2020 MLS regular season, please see the table below. 2020 MLS REGULAR SEASON: BEST GOAL DIFFERENTIAL* TEAMS GP GF GA GD 1. Columbus Crew SC …………….10 16 2 +14 2. Seattle Sounders FC…………… 9 16 9 +7 3. Philadelphia Union……………… 10 15 9 +6 4. Toronto FC ………………………….. 10 16 11 +5 5. Sporting Kansas City………….. 10 20 15 +5 6. Orlando City SC…………………… 10 17 12 +5 *Stats through 9/6/20

GYASI ZARDES AMONG MLS GOLDEN BOOT RACE LEADERS With his two goals in Sunday’s match against FC Cincinnati, Gyasi Zardes is now in second place in the 2020 MLS Golden Boot standings with seven goals. The forward – who is scoring at a rate of 0.84 goals per 90 minutes – sits behind only Los Angeles FC’s Diego Rossi (nine goals). For a list of the current MLS 2020 Golden Boot leaders, please see the table below. 2020 REGULAR-SEASON GOLDEN BOOT STANDINGS* PLAYER G 1. Diego Rossi (LAFC)……………… 9 2. Gyasi Zardes (CLB)……………..7 T-3. Cristian Pavon (LA) ………….. 6 T-3. Chris Mueller (ORL) …………. 6 *Stats through 9/6/20

ZARDES: TOP AMERICAN GOAL SCORER IN MLS SINCE 2018 Since the beginning of the 2018 MLS regular season, no American player has scored more goals in the League than forward Gyasi Zardes. The 29-year-old has tallied 39 goals in 71 regular-season appearances (70 starts) for Crew SC, the fourth-most goals in MLS regular-season action over that same span. For a list of the top American goal scorers in MLS since the beginning of the 2018 MLS regular season.

TOP AMERICAN MLS GOAL SCORERS SINCE 2018* PLAYER …………………………………… ………….. GOALS 1. Gyasi Zardes (CLB)………………………… 39 2. Chris Wondolowski (SJ)…………. 28 3.Teal Bunbury (NE)………………… ………….. 21 4. Dom Dwyer (ORL) ……………….. ………….. 20 5. Christian Ramirez (HOU)…….. 19 *MLS regular season only

MILESTONES ON THE HORIZON

ARTUR • He has made 97 regular-season appearances for Crew SC in MLS and needs three more regular-season appearances to reach 100 for the Club. FANENDO ADI • He has made 146 regular-season appearances in MLS and needs four more regular-season appearances to reach 150 in the League. WAYLON FRANCIS • He has made 91 regular-season appearances for Crew SC and needs nine more regular-season appearances to reach 100 with the Club. ELOY ROOM • He is currently on a 461-minute shutout streak. Should his streak extend another 65 minutes, he would set a new club record for longest shutout streak.

 

 

MATCH PREVIEW WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS

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