“Hell Is Real” Series begins tonight for 2021! COLUMBUS CREW HITS THE ROAD FOR IN-STATE BATTLE AGAINST FC CINCINNATI: Match Notes

The Crew take on Cincinnati in the first “Hell Is Real” match of 2021 after four regular-season meetings in 2020

July 9, 2021

COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew returns to action with an in-state battle this week when it faces FC Cincinnati tonight, Friday, July 9 [7:30 p.m. ET / Bally Sports Ohio / 97.1 FM The Fan & 971TheFan.com (English), ColumbusCrew.com (Spanish)]. Pre-match coverage will begin at 7:00 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Ohio.


The match is set to be the seventh all-time regular-season “Hell Is Real” meeting between the two clubs, with Columbus holding a 3-1-2 record while outscoring Cincinnati 13-5 in the process. Last season, the Black & Gold faced FC Cincinnati four times in regular-season action, finishing with a 2-1-1 record and outscoring its Ohio rivals 8-2.

COLUMBUS
CREW
2021 REGULAR SEASON:
(4-3-4, 16 pts.)

FC
CINCINNATI
2021 REGULAR SEASON:
(3-5-2, 11 pts.)

Regional TV: Bally Sports Ohio Neil Sika (play-by-play) Jordan Angeli (analyst)
Brett Hiltbrand (sideline)
97.1 The Fan [Radio]: Chris Doran (play-by-play)
ColumbusCrew.com Spanish Audio Stream: Juan Valladares (play-by-play)

OHIOHEALTH PLAYER AVAILABILITY REPORT
OUT: Artur – R Hip Injury Aidan Morris – L Knee Injury Milton Valenzuela – R Thigh Injury Josh Williams – L Ankle Injury
QUESTIONABLE: Bradley Wright-Phillips – R Thigh Injury
Health and Safety Protocols
A player may be listed as “Questionable” or “Out” due to Health and Safety Protocols
for the following reasons:
• Quarantine due to participating in high risk behavior. • Quarantine related to being a high risk close contact. • Pending COVID-19 test results. • An inconclusive COVID-19 test result. • A positive COVID-19 test or a confirmed case of COVID-19. • Other illness not related to COVID-19.

MISCELLANEOUS TEAM NOTES

LAST MATCH RECAP

COLUMBUS CREW DRAWS NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
2-2 IN INAUGURAL MATCH AT LOWER.COM FIELD
On July 3, Columbus Crew hosted the New England Revolution in
the Inaugural Match at Lower.com Field. Both sides played to a 2-2
draw in the nationally televised match. After Revolution defender
Tajon Buchanan opened the scoring in the 13th minute and forward
Gustavo Bou added the team’s second in the 30th minute, the Crew
added goals from forward Gyasi Zardes in the 39th minute and an
own goal from New England defender Andrew Farrell in the 69th
minute to force a 2-2 scoreline.

COLUMBUS CREW VS. FC CINCINNATI AT A GLANCE

Columbus Crew record: 3-1-2 (13 GF, 5 GA)
Home games: 1-0-1 (5 GF, 2 GA)
Road games: 2-1-1 (8 GF, 3 GA)*
*Includes MLS Is Back Tournament

THE CREW TRAVEL TO FC CINCINNATI ON FRIDAY
Columbus Crew travels to Cincinnati for an in-state battle against
FC Cincinnati on Friday, July 9 at TQL Stadium. The match is set
to be the seventh all-time regular-season meeting between the
two sides. The Crew holds a 3-1-2 all-time regular-season record
against FC Cincinnati and has outscored Cincinnati 13-5.

LAST REGULAR-SEASON MEETING
Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati met four times in the 2020
regular-season. The two sides first met in the MLS is Back Tournament on July 11 in Orlando, Florida, with the Crew taking a 4-0 win through goals by Gyasi Zardes (two), Lucas Zelarayan and
Youness Mokhtar. After a 0-0 draw at Nippert Stadium on August
29, Columbus added a 3-0 victory a week later on September 6 at
Historic Crew Stadium, with Zardes scoring another two goals and
Pedro Santos adding a third for the Black & Gold. October 14 saw
another match-up at Nippert Stadium, with FC Cincinnati taking a
2-1 win. Pedro Santos scored a penalty kick for Columbus between
Cincinnati goals from Yuya Kubo and Nick Hagglund.

COACHES
Caleb Porter: 94-75-69 (Portland Timbers: ‘13 – ’17; Columbus Crew: ’19 – Present)
vs.
Jaap Stam: 7-19-6 (FC Cincinnati ’20 – Present)
Records listed are MLS regular-season totals

2021 REGULAR-SEASON SNAPSHOT

BLACK & GOLD NOTES

WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN
Friday’s road match against FC Cincinnati begins at 7:30
p.m. ET and is set to be regionally televised on Bally Sports
Ohio and via stream on the Bally Sports App. Neil Sika,
Jordan Angeli and Brett Hiltbrand are slated to have the call
in English. The pregame show will begin at 7:00 p.m. ET on
Bally Sports Ohio. The contest is also available in English
on 97.1 The Fan, as well as via stream on 971TheFan.com,
with Chris Doran calling the match. A Spanish audio stream
is available on ColumbusCrew.com, with Juan Valladares on
the call.

CREW SET TO PLAY IN A NEW STADIUM FOR THIRD
CONSECUTIVE MATCH
With its match at TQL Stadium on Friday, the Crew will play
in its third consecutive new stadium across Major League
Soccer. The stretch began on June 27 when the Club trav- eled to Austin, Texas for the second MLS regular-season
match held at Q2 Stadium against Austin FC. This past week,
Columbus opened Lower.com Field on July 3 with the Inau- gural Match against the New England Revolution. The match against FC Cincinnati on Friday will be the fourth match held
at TQL Stadium.

ZARDES SCORES FIRST CREW GOAL AT LOWER.COM FIELD,
FOURTH OF 2021 REGULAR-SEASON
Forward Gyasi Zardes scored the first Columbus Crew goal
at Lower.com Field with a 39th-minute goal against the
New England Revolution (July 3). The goal was assisted by
defenders Harrison Afful and Vito Wormgoor. This marked
Zardes’ fourth goal this regular season and his 48th regular-season goal for the Black & Gold since joining the Club in

  1. Notably, Zardes scored the last goal at Historic Crew
    Stadium (June 19) and put the Black & Gold on the board
    for the first time at Lower.com Field. Gyasi Zardes has now
    scored four goals in his last three home matches, having
    tallied a goal against Toronto FC (May 29) and recording a
    brace against Chicago Fire FC (June 19).

AFFUL, WORMGOOR PROVIDE FIRST ASSISTS OF THE
SEASON
Defender Harrison Afful added his first assist of the season on Gyasi Zardes’s 39th-minute goal against the New
England Revolution (July 3). He has added 17 assists since
joining the Crew during the 2015 season. Defender Vito
Wormgoor provided a secondary assist on Gyasi Zardes’s
39th-minute goal. The assist was Wormgoor’s first of the
season and the first of his Crew career. Wormgoor joined the
Crew prior to the 2020 season and has made eight appear- ances (all starts) for the Black & Gold.

COLUMBUS CREW SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CAPS
Player National Team Caps Last Appearance
Liam Fraser Canada 5 6/5/21 vs. Aruba (FIFA World Cup qualifier)
Luis Diaz Costa Rica 4 11/13/20 vs. Qatar (friendly)
Waylon Francis Costa Rica 7 3/22/19 vs. Guatemala (friendly)
Eloy Room Curacao 40 6/15/21 vs. Panama (FIFA World Cup qualifier)
Harrison Afful Ghana 77 9/08/18 vs. Kenya (AFCoN qua.)
Jonathan Mensah Ghana 60 6/29/19 vs. Cameroon (AFCoN)
Derrick Etienne Jr. Haiti 28 7/6/21 vs. Bermuda (Concacaf Gold Cup qualifier)
Kevin Molino Trinidad & Tobago 50 7/6/21 vs. French Guiana (Concacaf Gold Cup qualifier)
Perry Kitchen United States 5 10/11/16 vs. New Zealand (friendly)
Darlington Nagbe United States 25 3/28/18 vs. Paraguay (friendly)
Gyasi Zardes United States 56 2/1/20 vs. Costa Rica (friendly)

SANTOS NEARS 100 STARTS FOR THE CREW
With his next regular-season start, midfielder Pedro
Santos will reach 100 regular-season starts for Columbus Crew. Santos joined the Black & Gold during the 2017
regular-season and has made 104 appearances (99 starts),
scoring 18 goals and providing 25 assists.

HAIRSTON MAKES FIRST START FOR THE CREW
Midfielder Marlon Hairston made his first start for the
Crew in last Saturday’s match versus the New England
Revolution. This season, Hairston has made three appearances (one start) for the Black & Gold across all competitions and has registered 119 appearances (78 starts) since
joining Major League Soccer in 2014, having made appearances for the Colorado Rapids, Houston Dynamo, and Minnesota United FC prior to joining the Crew. He has scored
seven goals and provided 13 assists.

THE CREW: OHIO’S TEAM
In six all-time regular-season matches against FC Cincin- nati since Cincinnati’s expansion to Major League Soccer
prior to the 2019 MLS regular-season, the Crew have a
3-1-2 record and has outscored Cincinnati 13-5. For a table
of all-time Crew goalscorers and assists against their Ohio
rival, please see below.
COLUMBUS CREW LEADERS AGAINST FC CINCINNATI
PLAYER G A
Gyasi Zardes 7 0
Pedro Santos 3 2
Luis Diaz 1 2
Youness Mokhtar 1 1
Lucas Zelarayan 1 1
Hector Jimenez 0 1
Harrison Afful 0 1
Wil Trapp 0 1

ZELARAYAN NOMINATED FOR ESPY AWARD
Columbus Crew midfielder Lucas Zelarayan was named as
a nominee for Best MLS Player at the 2021 ESPY Awards.
The defending MLS Newcomer of the Year is nominated
alongside Toronto FC midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo, Los
Angeles FC forward Diego Rossi, and Philadelphia Union
goalkeeper Andre Blake. Voting is live through Friday, July 9
and can be accessed on ESPYS.com via online or mobile.

ZELARAYAN THIRD IN MLS IN COMPLETED DRIBBLES
Through 10 matches in the 2021 regular season, midfielder
Lucas Zelarayan is third in dribbles completed. Zelarayan
has made nine starts and has completed 27 dribbles.
Zelarayan joined the Black & Gold prior to the 2020 MLS
season and has made 26 appearances (21 starts), scoring
nine goals and providing four assists. For the list of the five
MLS players with the most dribbles completed this season,
please see the table below.
MOST DRIBBLES COMPLETED*
PLAYER Dribbles Completed
Carles Gil (NE) 40
Emanuel Reynoso (MNU) 33
Lucas Zelarayan (CLB) 27
Fafà Picault (HOU) 26
Eduard Atuesta (LFC) 26
*2021 MLS regular season (as of 7/6/2021)

DARLINGTON NAGBE: PASS MASTER
Through 10 matches in the 2021 MLS regular season,
midfielder Darlington Nagbe leads the League in passing
accuracy among players who have attempted 50 or more
passes. The midfielder has made 10 starts while completing 486 of his 504 attempted passes for a passing accuracy
percentage of 96.43%. Nagbe joined the Crew ahead of the
2020 MLS season and has made 25 regular-season ap- pearances (24 starts) while scoring one goal and providing
one assist. For a list of the five MLS players with the high- est passing accuracy this season, including Crew midfield- er Marlon Hairston, please see the table below.
PLAYERS WITH HIGHEST PASSING ACCURACY*
PLAYER ATT. COMP. %

  1. Darlington Nagbe (CLB) 486 504 96.43
  2. Joel Waterman (MTL) 176 164 93.18
  3. Anibal Godoy (NSH) 518 479 92.47
  4. Marlon Hairston (CLB) 84 78 92.86
  5. Andy Polo (POR) 79 73 92.41
    *2021 MLS regular season (50 or more passes only, as of 7/6/2021)

BLACK & GOLD QUOTES

ON THE CREW’S MENTALITY FOLLOWING THE DRAW AGAINST
THE NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
“Like Coach [Porter] said, after this match you can tell we have
some venom in us. We’re really looking forward to going down
and playing against [FC] Cincinnati and we know that this point
is going to go a long way at the end of the season. You’re going
to see at the end of the year, a lot of teams are going to be so
close together and it’s still a point. We just have to keep the
momentum going.”

  • GYASI ZARDES

ON THE RESULT AGAINST NEW ENGLAND AND LOOKING
AHEAD TO FACING FC CINCINNATI
“I think that as a team, we’re all happy that we were able to
come back from a two-nothing deficit. But we are disappointed
we weren’t able to get a win, especially at home, so now what
we have to do is get some points at Cincinnati, win and come
back and get our first victory here at our new stadium. “

  • LUIS DIAZ

MILESTONES ON THE HORIZON

CALEB PORTER
• Has won 94 MLS regular-season matches as a head coach and
is six wins away from reaching 100 all-time.
WAYLON FRANCIS
• Has made 98 regular-season starts for the Crew and needs two
more to reach 100.
KEVIN MOLINO
• Has made 93 MLS regular-season starts and needs seven more
to reach 100.
PEDRO SANTOS
• Has made 99 regular-season starts for the Crew and needs one
more to reach 100.
JOSH WILLIAMS
• Has made 149 regular-season appearances for the Crew and
needs one more to reach 150.

2021 MLS Regular Season

Columbus Crew at FC Cincinnati
Friday, July 9 – 7:30 p.m. ET – TQL Stadium (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Regional Television: Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Ohio App (Stream) | Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET
Columbus Crew Radio: 97.1 The Fan and streaming online via “Listen Live” at 971TheFan.com. (English). ColumbusCrew.com (Spanish).

ABOUT COLUMBUS CREW
Columbus Crew is the first club in Major League Soccer. The Crew is operated by The Edwards Family and Haslam Sports Group. The Black & Gold are the 2020 MLS Cup Champions. The Club won its 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 2021 campaign is the Columbus Crew’s 26th season in MLS as well as the Club’s final season at Historic Crew Stadium — the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States – and the Crew’s inaugural season at Lower.com Field.

Website: ColumbusCrew.com | Twitter: @ColumbusCrew | Instagram: @ColumbusCrew | Hashtag: #Crew96 | Facebook.com/columbuscrew | App: ColumbusCrew.com/app | Stadium: Lower.com Field | Training Facility: OhioHealth Performance Center | 

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