CREW SC TO MEET MONTREAL IMPACT IN EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Columbus Crew SC begins its 13th all-time Major League Soccer postseason run by facing-off against the Montreal Impact in the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs. This is the first time that Columbus and Montreal will meet in the MLS postseason. The first match of the two-legged series takes place in Montreal on Sunday, November 1, with the Second Leg at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus on Sunday, November 8.
LAST REGULAR-SEASON MEETING
On July 11, 2015, Montreal won its second-straight match over Columbus 3-0 at Stade Saputo.
Columbus Crew SC enters the Major League Soccer postseason for the 13th time with this Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Montreal Impact. The Black & Gold return to the postseason for the second time in as many years under Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. Columbus has qualified for the postseason in six of the last eight seasons, dating back to 2008, when the Black & Gold won the MLS Cup. All-time, Columbus is 15-18-4 in the postseason.
CREW SC LOOKING TO ADVANCE TO CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
By earning a bye from the Knockout Round of the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, Columbus Crew SC directly qualified for the Eastern Conference Semifinals. All-time, in this round of the MLS Cup Playoffs, Columbus has an 11-10-2 record. The Black & Gold have qualified for the Eastern Conference Championship five times previously (1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2008).
MCINERNEY, SCHOENFELD, STUVER, WAHL ALL WITH MONTREAL TIES
While Columbus has never met Montreal in postseason play before, four members of the Black & Gold have ties to the Impact. Forward Jack McInerney was acquired from the Impact earlier this season, on August 4, in exchange for Columbus’ natural 2016 MLS SuperDraft Second Round selection. McInerney played 43 regular-season games for Montreal, scoring 11 goals. Defender Tyson Wahl spent part of the 2012 regular season in Montreal, playing 11 matches for the Impact. Neither Aaron Schoenfeld nor Brad Stuver played a game for Montreal, but both were acquired by Columbus via the Impact organization. Schoenfeld signed with Crew SC on March 23, 2012 after being traded from Montreal in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft, while Stuver was selected fourth overall by Columbus in the 2013 MLS Waiver Draft after Montreal made him the first goalkeeper selected in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft at 32nd overall.
KAMARA, HIGUAIN SET TO BE AVAILABLE FOR SELECTION
Both forward Kei Kamara and playmaker Federico Higuain served one-match suspensions for yellow-card accumulation during the Black & Gold’s final 2015 regular-season contest against D.C. United on October 25. Following the suspension, both Kamara and Higuain are set to be available for selection for this contest against the Impact in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs.
CREW SC EXPLODES ON #DECISIONDAY
Columbus Crew SC earned a bye from the Knockout Round of the post-season by virtue of a 5-0 win over D.C. United on the final day of the 2015 regular season, or “Decision Day.” In the win, Crew SC scored five goals for the seventh time in club regular-season history and for the first time since October 26, 2003, when it registered six tallies against Chicago. Additionally, the five-goal margin of victory equalled the club regular-season record, achieved two times previously: August 8, 1998 against New England and June 16, 2001 against Tampa Bay (both 6-1 wins). The result was Crew SC’s largest-ever margin of victory in a match where it recorded a clean sheet as well as the most goals it had ever scored in a single regular season-match against D.C. United.
STRONG REGULAR SEASON
A two-match winning streak for the Black & Gold to close the 2015 regular season gave the club a final 2015 regular-season record of 15-11-8 (53 points), which is the second-highest point total in club history. This season’s point total was only surpassed by the 2008 season (17-7-6, 57 points), the year that the Black & Gold won MLS Cup and the first major professional championship for the city of Columbus.
FINLAY NOTCHES BRACE, SETS NEW CAREER HIGH
Against D.C. United, midfielder Ethan Finlay scored twice, registering his third multi-goal match of both his MLS career and in the 2015 regular season. It was the ninth overall individual multi-goal match by a member of Crew SC this year (Kamara 6, Finlay 3), the most by any club in MLS. Finlay’s two goals gave him 12 on the season, setting a new career-high in the category after tying with Federico Higuain for the club’s Golden Boot award in 2014, with 11 goals. This year, Finlay joined Jeff Cunningham in 2001 (10 goals, 13 assists) as the only Columbus players to ever reach double figures in both goals and assists.
FINLAY, KAMARA SET COLUMBUS DUO RECORD
In 2015, Ethan Finlay (12 goals, 13 assists) and Kei Kamara (22 goals, eight assists) totaled 55 combined goals and assists between them. That is the most ever combined goals and assists by a Black & Gold duo in a single regular season in club history.
CLARK KEEPS CONSECUTIVE CLEAN SHEETS
With the 5-0 Decision Day blanking of D.C. United, Crew SC goalkeeper Steve Clark kept his sixth clean sheet of the 2015 regular season, his 14th clean sheet overall and his second consecutive, dating back to October 17 against Toronto FC. It was the fourth time that Clark kept consecutive clean sheets in his MLS career, and the second time in 2015 ... the Crew SC goalkeeper previously achieved the feat on April 11 at New England and April 18 versus Orlando.
CLARK RECORDS MILESTONE START
With the start and clean sheet against D.C. United, Steve Clark recorded his 68th all-time start for Crew SC. Clark has started every regular-season match since arriving in Columbus prior to the 2014 season. By making his 68th start, Clark tied Mark Dougherty for fourth place on the all-time Crew SC list. With 29 regular-season wins, Clark ranks fourth in Black & Gold history in that category. William Hesmer is the leader in all-time regular-season goalkeeping starts for Columbus, with 130.
AFFUL MAKING AN IMPACT FOR LEAGUE’S TOP CROSSING CLUB
Since his debut for Columbus, on August 19 against New York City FC, no player in Major League Soccer has attempted more crosses than Harrison Afful, who has notched 58 over that span. Overall in 2015, Columbus’ 675 crosses from open play led MLS by a wide margin, ahead of second-place Portland by 115 crosses. Individually, Waylon Francis ranked fourth in MLS in total crosses (120), while Ethan Finlay ranked eighth (101).
KAMARA FINISHES REGULAR SEASON IN EXCLUSIVE CLUB WITH 22 NON-PENALTIES
In the 2015 regular season, Kei Kamara’s 22 non-penalty goals led MLS by three goals over Sebastian Giovinco, who had 19 non-penalties. In Major League Soccer history, only three other players have recorded more non-penalty goals. Among them is Crew SC legend Stern John, who shares the all-time record with 25 non-penalties in 1998.
KAMARA’S RECORD-SETTING REGULAR SEASON
Forward Kei Kamara set several Black & Gold regular-season records this season, including:
- Most shots, single season: 135
- Most shots on goal, single season: 57
- Most game-winning goals, single season: 7
In addition, Kamara finished one behind Stern John’s 1998 campaign for the most combined goals and assists in one regular season (John: 26-5--31, Kamara: 22-8--30), as well as four goals behind John for the most single-year regular-season tallies in Black & Gold history.
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN
Sunday’s 7:00 p.m. ET start is available via national television on FOX Sports 1, with J.P. Dellacamera, Brad Friedel and Brian Dunseth on the call. Locally, the contest is available via the radio in English on CD102.5 FM and in Spanish on La Mega 103.1 FM. Dwight Burgess and Neil Sika are set to have the call of the match on CD102.5, with Juan Valladares on the microphone on La Mega 103.1. A complete list of places to catch the Black & Gold on TV is available here. The game is also slated to be broadcast on TSN1, RDS2 and via the following outlets: M. East & N. Africa, Abu Dhabi Sports / USA, FOX 2 Go c/o Peform / Africa, FOX / Brazil, Globosat / China, LETV / Europe (exl UK & Eire), Eurosport / LATAM, FOX / Doha, Australia, ailand, Hong Kong, BeIN Sports (ASIA AUS) / Indonesia, Philippines, BeIN Sports (ASIA) / Taiwan, Sportcast / UK & Eire, Sky Sports / UK, SNTV / Singapore, Starhub.