COLUMBUS — The Columbus Crew today announced that it will play host to Barclays Premier League side Crystal Palace FC on Wednesday, July 23 at Columbus Crew Stadium in an international friendly. The match kicks-off at 7:30 p.m. ET and is classified as Special Match A for Crew Soccer Nation Fan Club Gold Level Members.
Group tickets begin at just $16 and individual tickets are set to go on sale on Monday, June 2 at 10:00 a.m. at the Crew Stadium Box Office, all Central Ohio Ticketmaster retail locations, over the phone at 614-447-2739 and online via TheCrew.com. Full Season Ticket Members have the opportunity to purchase tickets in advance, beginning Wednesday, May 28 with a special presale.
“It’s exciting to have Crystal Palace come to Columbus for the first time,” said Crew Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mike Malo. “They play in one of the top leagues in the world, and our fans have told us that they enjoy and appreciate seeing clubs from the Premiership participate in exhibitions at Crew Stadium.”
Based in the South Norwood district of London, Crystal Palace is one of six teams from the English capital that competed in the Barclays Premier League in 2013-14. The Eagles – as they are affectionately nicknamed by their supporters – earned promotion to the English topflight following a victory in the 2012-13 npower Football League Championship playoffs. A dramatic penalty deep into the first period of extra time by Kevin Phillips sent Palace to the Barclays Premier League for the 2013-14 campaign, where the club just completed a successful first season in England’s top division, finishing 11th in the table. The London side is managed by Tony Pulis, who previously visited Columbus Crew Stadium as Stoke City’s manager in 2012. Crystal Palace features leading all-competitions goal-scorer Dwight Gayle (who tied Jason Puncheon for the club's lead in league goals), captain Mile Jedinak and former Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh.
The test also pits Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter against one of his former clubs, as the Crew boss played for Palace from 2001-2002. Added Berhalter on the upcoming friendly, “Crystal Palace holds a special place in my heart, having played there and being a part of that club. I have some fantastic memories from playing at Selhurst Park, and we’re looking forward to this match.”
Berhalter continues, “Crystal Palace had a great year in the Premiership this past season. They proved themselves to be a good club in the top league in the world. For us, it’s going to be a great competition, and even more special for me because it’s a former club of mine.”
The July clash is the first-ever meeting between Crystal Palace and the Columbus Crew. For the fourth straight summer, an English side visits Crew Stadium, and the Eagles are the 10th English opponent to face the Black & Gold. The Crew is 10-5-2 all-time in international exhibitions and 3-4-2 against English opposition. The Crew downed Leeds United 2-1 in 1997; tied Newcastle United 2-2 in 2000; defeated Fulham 2-1 in 2005; tied Everton 1-1 in 2006; lost to Aston Villa 3-1 in 2007; fell to West Ham United 3-1 in 2008; lost to Newcastle United 3-0 in 2011; beat Stoke City 2-1 in 2012 and fell to Wigan Athletic 2-1 last summer.