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Crew SC hosts Orlando City SC tonight; team still searching for consistency

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COLUMBUS— Columbus Crew SC (5-10-2, 17 pts.) hosts Orlando City SC (5-8-3, 18 pts.) at MAPFRE Stadium tonight, Saturday, June 29. The match begins at 7:30 p.m. ET and is set to be televised regionally on FOX Sports Ohio and streamed on FOX Sports GO, featuring Neil Sika, Dwight Burgess and Katie Witham on the call. Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET. Tonight’s match also airs locally on the radio in English on 97.1 The Fan and streaming online via “Listen Live” at 971TheFan.com, featuring Chris Doran broadcasting the contest. The club’s official website, ColumbusCrewSC.com, is set to stream Spanish-language audio broadcast with Juan Valladares behind the microphone. The match against Orlando City SC is the first of two regular-season meetings between the clubs in 2019. Additionally, the Black & Gold is set to induct the late Sigi Schmid into the Crew SC Circle of Honor during a halftime ceremony. The first 7,500 fans to enter MAPFRE Stadium will receive a Circle of Honor commemorative scarf.

Columbus Crew SC (5-10-2, 17 pts.) rounds out a three-home-match month of June with a Saturday showdown against Orlando City SC on June 29 at MAPFRE Stadium.

Historically, the Black & Gold have fared well against Orlando City at home. Since the Purple Lions joined Major League Soccer in 2015, they are 0-3-1 at MAPFRE Stadium.

“We cannot be wasting any more points,” midfielder Artur said, “especially at home. We need to make other teams respect us at home because it is our home. We need to make them fear us and be more confident and aggressive.”

Key to continuing Crew SC’s positive home trend versus Orlando is by scoring the first goal, as the Cub is 5-0-1 this season after netting the game’s opener.

The Black & Gold are coming off of a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, June 23. Crew SC put up a solid performance in the first half but was unable to respond to a 48th-minute goal by Felipe Gutierrez.

As for Orlando City (5-8-3, 18 pts.), the Purple Lions are coming off a midweek 1-0 loss to D.C. United on Wednesday, June 26. With the rest advantage, Crew SC must continue to prepare as they do for any other match but also be aware of player rotation, Head coach Caleb Porter emphasized.

“I think they have to prepare more for that than we do,” said Porter. “We don’t know what they are going to do but they probably are going to have to rotate some.”

One player that Crew SC must prepare to defend is 2019 MLS All-Star, Nani. Currently, he has eight goals on the season and four assists.  Defender Gaston Sauro spoke on the importance of closing down space early to limit Nani and Orlando’s chances.

“Nani is going to be dangerous if we give him space,” he said. “We have to reduce the space and be smart and be very aggressive.”

Saturday’s match also provides Crew SC with an opportunity to cover some ground in the Eastern Conference standings. With a win on Saturday, Crew SC would pass Orlando, who currently sits in ninth in the East and be within striking distance of the playoff line.

“I think that it is important for us to get everything behind against Orlando,”  Sauro said. “They are also on the edge of the playoff. We can catch them.”

Columbus Crew SC vs. Orlando City SC
Saturday, June 29 – 7:30 p.m. ET – MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)

Regional Television: FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports GO (Stream) | Coverage begins: 7:00 p.m. ET
Regional Television Channel Guide: https://www.ColumbusCrewSC.com/broadcast
Crew SC Radio: 97.1 The Fan and streaming online via “Listen Live” at 971TheFan.com. (English); ColumbusCrewSC.com (Spanish).
Promotional Schedule: Circle of Honor – Sigi Schmid | Infohttp://bit.ly/2JPgR8c

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 The Haslam Family. 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 2019 campaign is the Crew’s 24th season in MLS and the 20th season at historic MAPFRE Stadium – the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States. The Club has qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs in four of the last five seasons, including winning the Eastern Conference Championship in 2015.

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

 

GAME PREVIEW WRITTEN BY Logan Agin; COURTESY OF COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS