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Crew SC hosts Toronto FC in MLS Eastern Conference Finals 1st Leg tonight

FIRST LEG OF AUDI 2017 MLS CUP PLAYOFFS EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
Winner of two-legged series on aggregate score advances to 2017 MLS Cup

For Immediate Release: November 21, 2017

COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew hosts Toronto FC at MAPFRE Stadium tonight, Tuesday, November 21 in the First Leg of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Championship. The contest kicks-off at 8:00 p.m. ET and is set to be televised nationally on ESPN with Adrian Healey (play-by-play), Taylor Twellman (analyst) and Julie Stewart-Binks (sideline) on the call. Tonight’s match also airs locally on the radio on CD102.5 FM in English, with Neil Sika and Dwight Burgess on the call. La Mega 103.1 FM has the match airing in Spanish, with Juan Valladares behind the microphone. The Spanish radio calls are also set to be streamed in Spanish on the LaMega1 App and via Tunein Radio as WVKO-FM. The club’s official website, ColumbusCrewSC.com, is set to stream the English-language radio broadcast online.

MLS GAME NOTES PACKAGE: http://bit.ly/2017GameGuides

Crew SC earned a berth in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Championship after facing New York City FC in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Black & Gold advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship after winning the two-leg series 4-3 on aggregate-score. This is the seventh time in club history that the Black & Gold have reached the Eastern Conference Championship, having reached the same stage in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2008 and 2015. Crew SC won the Eastern Conference Championship in 2008 and 2015 en route to reaching MLS Cup on both occasions. Additionally, this is the second time in four years under Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter that Columbus reaches the Eastern Conference Championship, as Berhalter previously led the Black & Gold to the 2015 MLS Cup.

Tonight’s match against Toronto FC marks the first time that Crew SC has faced the Canadian side in an MLS Cup Playoffs match. Last year, Toronto FC reached the 2016 MLS Cup before falling to Seattle Sounders FC via penalty shootout (4-5). The Black & Gold have an all-time regular-season record of 13-8-10 against Toronto dating back to 2007. Over that span, Crew SC has posted a regular-season home record of 9-4-4 against Toronto FC, outscoring the Reds 31-23. Moreover, Toronto FC is now the third consecutive opponent that Crew SC faces for the first time in an MLS Cup Playoffs match. Previously, Columbus faced expansion side Atlanta United FC in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round before taking on New York City FC in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Black & Gold are undefeated over their last eight home matches across all MLS competitions with a record of 7-0-1, dating back to a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union at MAPFRE Stadium on July 22. Over that span, Crew SC has outscored its opponents 18-6 at home while recording three shutouts. Moreover, 11 of those 18 goals have been scored by either Justin Meram or Ola Kamara, with Meram registering six strikes and Kamara tallying five goals. Notably, Federico Higuain has recorded eight assists in Crew SC’s last five home matches, with four of those being game-winning assists.

During the international break, two Crew SC players saw action on the international stage, as Harrison Afful and Ola Kamara played for their respective national teams. Afful started for Ghana in a FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifying match against Egypt on November 12, captaining the Black Stars to a 1-1 draw as he earned his 76th cap for Ghana. Meanwhile, Kamara made a start for Norway in a friendly against Macedonia on November 11, playing 79 minutes. This was Kamara’s first appearance for Norway since a playing in a friendly against England on September 3, 2014. Kamara also earned his ninth cap in Norway’s friendly against Slovakia (November 14).

 

Columbus Crew SC vs. Toronto FC
Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Championship, First Leg

Tuesday, November 21 – 8:00 p.m. ET – MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)

National Television: ESPN (Coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. ET)
International Television: Abu Dhabi (Middle East and North Africa), BeIN Sports (Asia, Australia), DSports/ATR (India), EuroSport (Pan Europe), FOX Sports Africa (Sub-Saharan Africa), Fuji TV (Japan), Sky Sports (United Kingdom), Sportscast (Taiwan) and StarHub (Singapore)
Crew SC Radio: CD102.5 FM (English); La Mega 103.1 FM (Spanish), Spanish radio broadcast also simulcast on LaMega1 App and via TuneIn Radio as WVKO-FM, English radio broadcast also simulcast on ColumbusCrewSC.com

 

 

GAME PREVIEW WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS