Columbus Crew SC is on a roll on the road. For the first time in club history, the Black & Gold earned a fourth consecutive away win by defeating D.C. United 2-1 at RFK Stadium. The victory propelled Crew SC to the top of the Eastern Conference for at least one day. Here we’ve collected the most important numbers from Saturday night’s match.
5 out of 6
Not only has Crew SC won its last four away matches, the Black & Gold have now won five of its last six on the road, compiling a 5-1-0 record over the span. The Black & Gold are one of just three MLS clubs to have won at least five road regular-season games in 2015, joining the San Jose Earthquakes and Vancouver Whitecaps. Crew SC is the only club to compile five road victories over a span of six matches this season.
Ethan Finlay’s 27th-minute opening goal was his ninth of the season. He now has 20 regular-season goals and 20 assists all-time, becoming the seventh player in club history to accomplish that feat. Finlay joins Jeff Cunningham, Brian McBride, Eddie Gaven, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Federico Higuain and Brian Maisonneuve.
Kei Kamara notched his 21st goal of the 2015 regular-season against D.C. United, extending his League lead in the category to two ahead of Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco. Kamara is now five goals shy of tying the all-time single-season club record and six goals shy of tying the all-time Major League Soccer single-season record.
Federico Higuain made his 100th career regular-season appearance for Crew SC against D.C. United, becoming the 23rd player to reach that milestone for Columbus. Only two other active members of the Black & Gold’s roster have broken the 100-match barrier for Crew SC: Justin Meram (116 appearances) and Tony Tchani (104).
D.C. United– 25 pts. | 1-0 loss at Portland Timbers FC, 2-1 win vs. Philadelphia Union, this week: vs. Chicago Fire, vs. Toronto FC
After a 1-0 loss to Portland on Wednesday, D.C. United bounced back strong and snapped a three-game winless streak in a come-from-behind victory against the Philadelphia Union. An early goal from the Union’s Sebastian Le Toux was matched by D.C.’s 85th minute penalty kick from Chris Rolfe. This sealed a United victory at RFK Stadium and extended its lead in the Eastern Conference to four points.
New England Revolution – 21 pts. | 2-2 draw vs. LA Galaxy, this week: at Portland Timbers FC
In a rematch of last season’s MLS Cup Final, the New England Revolution came out of a hard-fought match with two goals and one point as they tied the LA Galaxy 2-2 in a rain-soaked match at Gillette Stadium. An offensive first half left the match tied at two goals apiece at the half, only to stay that way when the final whistle blew. Despite holding on to the majority of the possession in the second half, New England couldn’t find the back of the net for a third time.
New York Red Bulls – 17 pts. | 2-1 loss at Seattle Sounders FC, this week: at Houston Dynamo
Heartbreak struck the New York Red Bulls this weekend after a stoppage-time goal from Seattle’s Chad Barrett that sealed the deal for a 2-1 Sounders' victory. The Red Bulls started off strong with a goal in the 36th minute, as a free kick deflection gave New York's Lloyd Sam an easy sitter to finish in front of the net. But Seattle stood defiant, scoring two goals in the final 22 minutes to steal the win and take over the top spot in the Western Conference.
Toronto FC – 16 pts. | 3-1 win vs. San Jose Earthquakes, this week: at D.C. United
Toronto FC leaps into a tie for fourth place in the East thanks to a team effort offensively. Though trailing San Jose in possession and passing statistics, Toronto connected well as a team with three goals scored by three different players. Toronto extended its home win streak to two games.
Columbus Crew SC – 16 pts. | 2-2 draw at Orlando City SC, this week: at Philadelphia Union, vs. Montreal Impact
Despite conceding a late-game goal, the Black & Gold can hold their heads high after their 2-2 draw at Orlando. Tony Tchani gave the visiting squad the early go-ahead goal thanks to a cross from Hector Jimenez. It gave Tchani the opportunity to capitalize on a header from eight yards out, and that he did. After a far-post penalty shot from Kaká, the Lions leveled the match at 1-1 and resumed to play up a man. Columbus, meanwhile, held well defensively and managed to retake the lead. A counterattacking cross from Waylon Francis found the head of Kei Kamara for his 10th goal of the season. In the end, Columbus fared well despite playing down a man. A powerful low-bearing strike from Pedro Ribeiro evened the match and sent Columbus home with a hard-earned road point.
Chicago Fire – 14 pts. | 3-0 win vs. Montreal Impact, this week: at D.C. United, vs. Orlando City SC
The Chicago Fire ended a four-match winless streak over a Montreal Impact squad that played with only 10 men for a majority of the match. With possession (64.8%), shots on target (11), and crossing opportunities (22) all favoring Chicago, it would have been disappointing for the hometown team not to have reached a winning result. Despite a rain-soaked pitch, the Fire’s high-paced offense remained intact. Goals from defender Jeff Larentowicz, midfielder Harrison Shipp and forward Kennedy Igboananike continues Chicago’s potent offensive play, having scored five goals in the club’s last two matches.
Orlando City SC – 14 pts. | 2-2 draw vs. Columbus Crew SC, this week: at Chicago Fire
An 89th minute goal from Orlando City’s Pedro Ribeiro salvaged a point for the home team. A successful penalty kick from Kaká, his fourth of the season, left the game at a 1-1 tie until Kei Kamara’s 61st minute header gave the visiting squad the lead. After struggling to conjure up any threatening offensive opportunities, Ribeiro-turned-savior provided the missing link, blasting a low driven ball past Crew SC goalkeeper Steve Clark for Orlando City’s game-tying goal.
Philadelphia Union – 12 pts. | 2-1 loss at D.C. United, this week: vs. Columbus Crew SC, vs. NYC FC
The Union witnessed their two-game win streak snapped at the hands of an 85th minute penalty kick, completing a come-from-behind victory for D.C. United. Philadelphia trailed significantly in possession (39.6%) and rarely were the first to fifty-fifty balls, trailing in duels won 41-53. But the road team held it together defensively in the final third until a mishandled cross in the Union’s own box resulted in a hand ball being called. A successful penalty kick from United’s Chris Rolfe translated to D.C.’s game-winning goal.
Montreal Impact – 8 pts. | 3-0 loss at Chicago Fire, this week: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, at Columbus Crew SC
Though only having played eight regular season games this season, after a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Fire, Montreal sits in the bottom of the East. After a second yellow card was shown to midfielder Marco Donadel, Montreal became the fifth team to play down a man against the Chicago Fire this season. In the end, Chicago’s speed gave them the possession advantage (64.8%) and the hometown team outshot Montreal by a tally of 20-3, with zero shots on target for Montreal.
NYC FC – 8 pts. | 1-1 vs. Houston Dynamo, this week: at Philadelphia Union
After trading first-half goals, New York City FC and Houston Dynamo played to a 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium. For New York it was a David Villa penalty kick in first half stoppage-time that kept the home team afloat. However, New York City remains winless in its last 11 games, sitting tied for last in the East with only eight points in 13 regular season games played.
When Columbus Crew SC takes on D.C. United at RFK Stadium Saturday, two of Major League Soccer’s originals will face off in what is expected to be a highly contested match between top teams in the Eastern Conference.
After 20 years of conference clashes, neither side has been able to dominate the all-time series (24-25-10). While D.C. has one more win on its record books, Crew SC reigned supreme over the past two seasons, winning three and tying two games.
Both teams have found their form early in the season, as they enter Saturday’s match having been undefeated in April with two wins and two draws each. And both teams lost their last match against the New York Red Bulls in March.
D.C. United’s 4-1-2 start to the season is its best since 2006. The club is unbeaten at home in 15 matches in all competitions, including 11 straight in regular season play.
“There are no teams that you take lightly, and D.C. with their veteran group, with their coaching staff, with the results they have had over the last year and a half, we know it’s going to be a difficult game,” Crew SC Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter said.
Both teams last met on June 7, 2014 at FedExField in a match that ended in a 0-0 draw. Steve Clark notched his third-ever MLS clean sheet in the contest, capped-off by a 96th-minute penalty save on Fabian Espindola’s chipped attempt.
Saturday’s match (7 p.m. ET) marks the first time that Jairo Arrieta will have the opportunity to take on Columbus Crew SC, where he had 17 goals and nine assists in 67 appearances over the last three seasons.
The match will be the first of three regular-season meetings in 2015. Crew SC is slated to return to the nation’s capital on September 19, while the Black-and-Red will visit Columbus in the regular-season finale on October 25.
D.C. United Quick Facts:
Regular Season Record: 4-1-2
Eastern Conference Rank: 2nd
Home Record: 2-0-2
Goals For: 8
Goals Against: 6
Current Run: 5 undefeated matches
Last Match: 2-1 at Vancouver Whitecaps
In addition to Crew SC's match versus D.C. United, don't miss this weekend's nationally broadcast games:
FIRST OF THREE
Columbus Crew SC and D.C. United are set to play their first of three regular-season meetings in 2015 with a showdown at RFK Stadium. Crew SC is slated to return to the nation’s capital on September 19, while the Black-and-Red visit Columbus in the regular-season finale on October 25. All-time, Crew SC is 24- 25-10 against D.C. United, with an 8-18-4 mark on the road. Over the last two seasons, the Black & Gold are unbeaten against the Black-and-Red (3-0-2), including a mark of 1-0-2 last season, when the teams met three times in three different stadiums.
LAST REGULAR SEASON MEETING
On June 7, 2014, Crew SC and D.C. United faced-off at FedExField in a match that would end in a 0-0 draw. Steve Clark notched his third-ever MLS clean sheet in the contest, capped-off by a 96th-minute penalty save on Fabian Espindola’s chipped attempt.
CREW SC ATTACK LEADING LEAGUE ...
Following the Black & Gold’s four-goal performance against Philadelphia, Crew SC now leads MLS in total goals, with 12. Columbus also ranks first in the League in goal differential (six) and assists (13). The Black & Gold have scored five of their 12 goals between minutes 46 and 60, leading the League in goal-scoring within that interval as well.
... AND HIGH-RANKING IN CLUB HISTORY
At the conclusion of the match against Philadelphia on April 25, Crew SC’s season tally of 12 goals represented the second-most goals the club had ever scored by that date in team history. The only year in which Crew SC notched at least 12 goals by a date earlier than April 25th was in 1998. On April 18 of that year, Columbus scored five times to top the Miami Fusion and bring that season’s total to 13 tallies at the time.
CREW SC WRAPS-UP UNBEATEN MONTH
The Black & Gold’s victory over Philadelphia gave the club a 2-0-2 record in April. The unbeaten month was the first for Columbus since September of 2014 (3-0-1). Overall, it was the fourth for Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter during his tenure as the Crew SC boss.
KAMARA MAKES 200TH APPEARANCE ...
With a start against the Union, Crew SC forward Kei Kamara recorded his 200th career MLS appearance. Kamara’s first MLS appearance came on April 1, 2006 for Columbus, where he scored a goal in his debut against Kansas City. The forward has gone on to make 43 total appearances for Columbus, with 12 for San Jose, 32 for Houston and 113 for Kansas City in his career.
... WHILE AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS
Kamara’s goal against the Philadelphia Union gave him five goals on the season. He is now tied for most in the League in the category alongside Vancouver’s Octavio Rivero. The Sierra Leone native is second in MLS in goals/match (0.71). Kamara also is second in MLS in total shots (31) and shots on goal (14).
CREW SC HAS TOP THREE PASSING PERFORMANCES
Against the Philadelphia Union, the Black & Gold passed to a team accuracy rate of 87.9%. That number is the second-highest passing accuracy mark achieved by any MLS club in any match this season. The Black & Gold’s passing performance against Orlando City SC (April 18) is currently the highest mark at 88.1%. Crew SC also holds the third-highest mark, with 87.1% passing against Toronto FC (March 14).
BACK-TO-BACK THREE-GOAL WINS
The Black & Gold defeated Orlando City SC by a 3-0 scoreline ahead of last weekend’s 4-1 win over Philadelphia. This marks the third time in club history that Columbus won back-to-back matches by three or more goals. The club achieved the feat in 1999 on July 24 (4-1 over Dallas) and August 1 (4-0 over Miami), and in 2014 on August 16 (4-1 over LA) and August 23 (3-0 over Houston).
CREW SC SCORES FOUR
Against Philadelphia, Crew SC tallied four goals in a match for the first time since August 16, 2014 vs. the LA Galaxy. Overall, it was the 28th time that the Black & Gold have scored at least four times in a regular-season match. Crew SC is now 26-2-0 in all-time MLS regular-season play when scoring four or more goals.
POSSESSION, PASSING, CHANCES
Crew SC has continued its strong passing and possession play in 2015. According to the League’s official statistician, Opta, Crew SC leads the League in chances created per match (12.1) and big chances created per match (1.6). The Black & Gold also rank second overall in MLS in passing accuracy (82.1%) and third overall in possession (54.0%).
FRANCIS, SAEID LEADING LEAGUE IN PASSING
Among the League’s most accurate passers (min. 100 passes attempted), the top two are members of the Black & Gold. Defender Waylon Francis (93.8%) and midfielder Mohammed Saeid (91.6%) both rank atop the League in passing accuracy.
Following his three shots attempted against Philadelphia, Crew SC’s Kei Kamara ranks second in MLS in shots/match (4.4) and in total shots (31) .