Columbus Crew SC's defense stood up to the challenge against the Western Conference leaders in FC Dallas, as the Black & Gold came away with a hard-earned road point in a 0-0 draw on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
Notably, tonight's shutout marked the first time this season Dallas was held scoreless at home. Additionally, Columbus is now tied for first in Major League Soccer in road goals conceded with 16 on the year, while goalkeeper Zack Steffen garnered his ninth shutout of the year, tying his personal career-high set in 2017 with six regular-season matches left to play.
In the opening half, Crew SC held an 8-7 advantage total shots while each team landed one on frame. In the 26th minute, Jonathan Mensah delivered a tight-fitting pass to Pedro Santos, who turned on a dime before laying it off to Federico Higuain for Columbus' lone solid opportunity through the first 45 minutes.
In the 33rd minute, Dallas' Santiago Mosquera sent in a curling shot from 25 yards out as Steffen made the easy catch for his first save of the evening.
Columbus totaled six corners alone in the first half, compared to one for Dallas, while Dallas held a 54-46 edge in possession.
The second half featured much of the same defensive battle, with each side limiting the opposition's threats before the final third. On the day, Columbus outshot Dallas 16-10 and held an 8-3 advantage in corners.
Crew SC remains in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, picking up one point on fifth-place Philadelphia while remaining five behind of New York City FC.
Up next, the Black & Gold continue their Western Conference road trip against the Portland Timbers on Wednesday, Sept. 19, with kickoff slated for 10:30 p.m. ET at Providence Park.
After that, Columbus returns home to face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, Sept. 22, as part of Hispanic Heritage Night, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
- Ricardo Clark made his 325th MLS regular-season start in tonight’s road match against FC Dallas. Tonight, he registered 49 touches, attempted 36 passes and made two tackles. This season, Clark has made 12 regular-season appearances (eight starts) for Crew SC, tallying one goal and one assist. Since making his MLS debut in 2003, he has made 349 regular-season appearances, registering 36 goals and 28 assists for the Black & Gold since making his MLS debut in 2011.
- Artur made his 50th regular-season appearance for Crew SC in tonight’s match against FC Dallas. The midfielder registered a team-high 65 touches while also attempting a team-high 56 passes attempted, to go along with a shot, and a tackle. Since making his MLS debut for Crew SC in 2017, Artur has made 45 regular-season starts and provided 5 assists. In 2018, Artur has made 26 regular-season appearances (all starts), while providing two assists.
- Defender Harrison Afful and midfielder Federico Higuain both created four goal-scoring chances, twice as many as any other player on the field in tonight’s match against FC Dallas. Afful also registered 63 touches and attempted 44 passes with 90.9% accuracy. Higuain contributed three shots (one on target), registered 58 touches and attempted 44 passes.
- Zack Steffen recorded a clean sheet in tonight’s match against FC Dallas. The shutout is his ninth of the season, tying his MLS single-season career-high from 2017. This season, Steffen has made 23 regular-season appearances (all starts), made 55 saves, and tallied 10 wins. Since making his debut for Crew SC in 2017, Steffen has made 57 regular-season appearances (all starts), recording 18 shutouts, 153 saves and 26 wins.
- With tonight’s 0-0 draw with FC Dallas, Crew SC’s record on the season moves to 12-8-8. Next up, Crew SC will take on the Portland Timbers at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday, September 19 at 10:30 PM ET.