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August 2019
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Crew SC puts 5-game unbeaten streak on line in Trillium Cup game against Toronto FC


(courtesy Crew SC)



With its 2-2 draw against FC Cincinnati on Saturday, Crew SC extended its undefeated streak to five consecutive matches in regular-season action dating back to a 2-2 draw on the road against the Chicago Fire (July 17). Over that span, the Black & Gold have posted a record of 2-0-3. In addition to the aforementioned results, the Crew has also registered wins against the Montreal Impact (July 20) and the New York Red Bulls (July 27), while also drawing against the San Jose Earthquakes (August 3).


Crew SC is on the verge of reaching a milestone in regular-season home victories. The Black & Gold currently have 199 regular-season home wins. With its next regular-season victory at home, the Crew would become one of only six MLS clubs to have won 200 or more regular-season matches at home dating back to the 1996 season. For a list of the other teams on this list, see the table to the right.


Pedro Santos’ goal against FC Cincinnati on Saturday was his eighth goal of the 2019 MLS regular season, setting a new single-season career-high for the midfielder in League play. Previously, Santos’ largest goal-scoring output was seven tallies, which he scored during the 2015-2016 Liga NOS campaign. In 2019, Santos has made 25 regular-season appearances (23 starts), while providing three assists (three game-winning assists) to go with his eight goals (two game-winning goals).


Forward Gyasi Zardes scored his ninth goal of the 2019 regular season during Saturday’s home contest against FC Cincinnati. The goal came in the 45th minute, when Zardes converted a penalty kick attempt following a foul inside FC Cincy’s box. The goal was Zardes’ second tally in as many matches, as he had previously scored in the previous week’s road match against the San Jose Earthquakes (August 3). Zardes finished the night with seven shots (four on target) and created one goal-scoring chance. Notably, Zardes has scored on both of his penalty kick attempts in 2019, having previously converted a penalty kick during a home contest against New York City FC (June 1).


Midfielder Youness Mokhtar made his MLS and Crew SC debut in Saturday’s contest against FC Cincinnati. Mokhtar came into the match as a substitute for Luis Diaz in the 53rd minute. In his 36 minutes of action, Mokhtar registered two shots and created three goal-scoring chances. The midfielder joined the Crew from Stabaek of the Norwegian First Division on July 19 of this year. Prior to joining the Black & Gold, Mokhtar made 170 First Division appearances across the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, while scoring 28 goals and providing 31 assists.








Improving Crew SC hosts Trillium Cup rival Toronto FC tonight












The Trillium Cup (courtesy Columbus Crew SC)


The Columbus Crew (7-14-5) plays host to Toronto FC on Saturday, Aug. 17 to round out a two-match homestand.

Kickoff on Saturday is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET and fans can follow on SportsTime Ohio, or tune in on 97.1 FM The Fan or for live English & Spanish play-by-play.

Headlined by Designated Players Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Pozuelo, Toronto (9-10-6) currently sits in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings, though tied on points (33) with seventh-place Montreal and eighth-place Orlando City.

Offensively, Altidore and Pozuelo have each tallied a team-high nine goals, as Toronto stands as one of only four teams to host two players with nine-plus regular-season tallies. However, only four of their 18 total goals have come away from BMO Field, including just one from Pozuelo who signed with the club in early March.

Those two, in addition to midfielder Michael Bradley and recent defensive acquisition Omar Gonzalez will come in fresh on Saturday after not playing in Toronto’s most recent 3-0 win over Ottawa Fury FC on Aug. 14 as part of Leg 2 of the Canadian Championship semifinal.

In TFC’s last five regular-season road matches, the club has posted just one win, which came on July 13 vs. Montreal, while getting shut out in all three of their losses.

As for the Crew, the Club heads into Saturday with two goals in four of the last five matches, including coming back from a 2-0 deficit to draw FC Cincinnati 2-2 last week. The match marked the fifth straight occasion in which the Crew posted a second-half goal, continuing a trend of response goals.

“We know we can always come back because we believe in ourselves and we believe in the coaching staff as well, and the message they always give to us,” said defender Harrison Afful. “We make sure we go to the pitch and make sure we deliver.”

As for areas of improvement come Saturday, midfielder Luis Argudo emphasized cleaning up self-inflicted wounds and capitalizing on chances.

“At the end of the day, if we are not scoring, we are not going to win,” Argudo said. “I think just being [calmer] in the final third and eliminating those silly mistakes that we gave up [vs. FCC] – set pieces or run of play.”

Keeping up the mentality and the scoring pace will be key as Toronto ranks top-10 League-wide in chances created (258), shots on target (125), and shot conversion rate (15 percent), in addition to scoring the sixth-most goals in the East with 49 overall.

“You know, every game is big, so we just have to go in with the right mentality and make sure that we stick to the game plan and make sure that we take our chances,” Afful said.

On the plus-side for Crew SC, inconsistency has plagued TFC away from BMO Field, as they hold a 3-6-2 road record and are tied with a League-low 11 away goals scored while conceding 18 goals on 51 shots-on-target faced.





Columbus Crew SC vs. Toronto FC


  • Columbus: 12 wins
  • Toronto: 5 wins
  • 8 ties


  • Higuain: 7 goals
  • Osorio: 2 goals


  • Higuain: 7 goals
  • 3 tied: 2 goals


  • The name of the trophy they play for was picked by the supporters themselves – the trillium is the official flower of the province of Ontario and the state of Ohio. Other names up for vote back then? “The Great Lakes Cup” and “The Buck-Loonie.”
  • Columbus represented the nearest road trip for Toronto FC faithful before the Montreal Impact joined the league in 2012.
  • Columbus have taken six of the eight Trillium Cups so far, including in 2015.



Reid Ryan, son of Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, has been inducted into Round Rock Express Hall of Fame


Reid Ryan 2014 photo By EricEnfermero - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https


August 16, 2019


HOUSTON, TX – The Round Rock Express will induct Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryaninto their Hall of Fame prior to tonight’s 7:05 p.m. game vs. Oklahoma City at Dell Diamond.

Ryan will become the sixth member of the Round Rock Express Hall of Fame and the first executive to be inducted.

Ryan, who has served as Astros President of Business Operations since May of 2013, was the Founder and original CEO of the Express, playing an instrumental role in acquiring the Jackson Generals franchise and relocating that club to Round Rock to become the Express in 2000. As the Double-A affiliate of the Astros, the Express would win the Texas League title in their first year of existence (2000).

After five successful seasons leading the Express as the Astros Double-A affiliate, Ryan played a significant role in founding the Corpus Christi Hooks, who became the Astros new Double-A affiliate in 2005, while the Express moved up to the Pacific Coast League as the Astros Triple-A affiliate. Ryan would enjoy success as the CEO of both clubs for several years, as both were recognized as two of the best franchises in minor league attendance, ballpark satisfaction and franchise value.

In September of 2018, as Astros President, Ryan was instrumental in bringing the Express, who had become an affiliate of the Texas Rangers in 2011, back to the Astros as their Triple-A affiliate. The 2019 season has been a success thus far for the Express, who are in first place in the American Southern Division with a 73-48 record, which is tops in the PCL.

Read more: Houston Astros


MLB suspends four minor leaguers for drug violations

August 16, 2019


The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that four Minor League players have been suspended following their violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Atlanta Braves Minor League pitcher Luis Diaz, Chicago Cubs Minor League pitcher Marcos Encarnacion and Seattle Mariners Minor League pitcher Eliezer Mejia, each of whom are currently on their organization’s Dominican Summer League affiliate, have received a 72-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Program. Minnesota Twins Minor League pitcher Ian Krol, who is currently on the roster of the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings of the International League, has received a 50-game suspension without pay following a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Program. The suspensions of all four players are effective immediately.



Texas Rangers give update on Globe Life Field construction project


(courtesy Texas Rangers & HKS )

August 16, 2019


Construction of Globe Life Field is approximately 72% complete.

Construction Status:

Roof Steel:

· Work is ongoing on the 5.5 acre retractable roof. The final section of the second retractable truss was installed last week. The second truss was moved to its parked position on Wednesday.

· Construction on the third retractable roof truss has started on the field. The first piece of the third section will be installed next week.

· There are a total of five retractable roof trusses. Steel work for the retractable roof is expected to be complete by the end of October.

· The east fixed roof truss was decentered last week, allowing the truss to completely carry its weight.

· The roof will use a total of 19,000 tons of steel. Roof construction started in late fall 2018, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

Additional Roof Work:

· Planar trusses are complete on both the east and west side of the ballpark. Steel infill was completed last week.

· Metal decking and roofing is complete over the west portion of the ballpark. Decking on the eastern portion is 80% complete.

· Eight of 20 total bogies, the housing for the wheels and motors for the operable roof, have been installed. Four more bogies will be installed next week. The bogies weigh 114,028 pounds each.

Concrete work:

· Concrete work is ongoing on the service level of the ballpark, including the hyrdrotherapy pool area and batting cages.

· Poured on-site concrete is complete in all areas with the exception of the service level.

Internal Work:

· Restrooms and showers have been tiled in the home clubhouse areas.

· Drywall is 75% complete in the ballpark. Drywall on the club and concession areas is currently in progress.

· Cabinets have been installed on the Founders Suite Level.

· Carpentry work is ongoing on the exterior suite areas.

· Concession and restroom tile work on all levels, including the suite level, is ongoing.

· Installation has started for the retractable glass on the lower suites.

External Work:

· Granite and Lueders stone work is ongoing on both the interior and exterior columns of the ballpark. Brick work is ongoing on the interior columns.

· Construction is ongoing on the southwest entry, one of five main entry gates to Globe Life Field. Concrete columns were completed earlier this week and steel work has started.

· Glass installation on the north side of the ballpark is ongoing.


· Preliminary air conditioning function has been established in limited areas of the ballpark, including the service level and lower concourse. Air function was also established in the office building this week.

· Seat rails are in the process of installation on the main concourse.

· Work on the concession fronts is ongoing.

· Kitchen equipment is being set throughout the building.

· Restroom fixtures, including toilets, and sinks, are in process of installation.

· Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical work is ongoing.

· 13 escalators have been installed on-site. Five of 24 total elevators are in the process of installation.

· The four-story office building, located on the southeast side of the site, is 80% complete.

Structural Steel:

· Bowl steel was completed in mid-February, using a total of 16,000 tons of steel to construct. The final piece was installed on the upper concourse area of centerfield, the northeastern portion of the site.

· The bowl steel construction started in June of 2018, taking nine months to complete.

Facts and Figures:

· HKS is the design architect for the project and Manhattan Construction Company is the Construction Manager.

· Approximately 1,400 workers are on-site daily.

· The official groundbreaking for Globe Life Field took place on September 28, 2017 with construction beginning the following week.

· The new 1.8 million square foot ballpark is located on 13 acres just south of the current Globe Life Park in Arlington.

· Seating capacity is approximately 40,300 for Globe Life Field, which will open in March 2020.

Read more: Texas Rangers


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