CREW SC LOOKING TO CONTINUE RECENT SUCCESS AGAINST CHICAGO
Columbus Crew SC plays its 21st 2015 Major League Soccer regular-season match and its 11th at MAPFRE Stadium by hosting the Chicago Fire in the sec-ond of two matches this week between the two sides. This is the third and final regular-season meeting between Columbus and Chicago this season. Set to be the 55th all-time regular-season match between Crew SC and the Fire, the Black & Gold hold a 15-24-15 record against Chicago, including a 3-0-2 mark over the clubs’ last five clashes.
LAST REGULAR-SEASON MEETING
On Wednesday, July 15, MLS’ leading goal-scorer Kei Kamara and assist-getter Ethan Finlay linked up for goal number 13 and assist number 11, respectively, as Columbus Crew SC downed the Chicago Fire by a 1-0 score at Toyota Park in Bridgeview. Goalkeeper Steve Clark made two saves to keep the clean sheet, his fourth of the 2015 regular season. The win moved the Black & Gold’s record against the Fire this season to 1-0-1, following a draw in the clubs’ first meeting at MAPFRE Stadium on May 22.
In Wednesday’s contest at Chicago, Crew SC Vice-Captain and midfielder Wil Trapp made his first start for the club since the 2-2 draw at Vancouver on April 8. Against the Fire, Trapp completed 58-of-65 passes for a 89.2% accuracy rate, leading the club. Trapp’s performance at Toyota Park earned him the Barbasol Man of the Match award, as voted upon by Crew SC supporters. The appearance was also the 50th of his Black & Gold career.
WAHL MAKES 50TH BLACK & GOLD APPEARANCE
Against the Fire on Wednesday, defender Tyson Wahl made his fourth start of the season and his first since June 6 against Montreal. Overall, it was Wahl’s seventh appearance of the campaign, totaling 50 in his Black & Gold career. Wahl joined Crew SC ahead of the 2013 campaign and has made 43 starts for Columbus.
KAMARA MAINTAINS LEAGUE LEAD IN GOALS, SECOND IN SHOTS
Crew SC forward Kei Kamara’s game-winning goal against the Fire on Wednesday ensured that the Crew SC forward continues to lead Major League Soccer with 13 goals on the year. Kamara’s 13 tallies are now two ahead of Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco. The Crew SC forward also ranks second in MLS in total shots (89) and ranks third in shots on goal (36).
FINLAY CONTINUES TO LEAD LEAGUE IN ASSISTS
Midfielder Ethan Finlay provided the game-winning assist on Kei Kamara’s goal on Wednesday at Chicago, and he continues to lead Major League Soccer with 11 assists in 2015. Sporting Kansas City’s Benny Feilhaber and Philadelphia’s Cristian Maidana are both two behind Finlay at nine. Through 20 games this season, Finlay’s 11 assists are a new career single-season high, surpassing last season’s breakout total of seven assists. Since May 17, 2014, Finlay has recorded 16 goals and 18 assists in MLS regular season play in 43 matches after not recording any over his first 40 appearances.
FIRING IT IN
Kei Kamara recorded eight shots against the Fire on Wednesday, augmenting his season total of 89. Kamara’s eight shots are tied for the fifth-highest individual effort of any League player this season. The Sierra Leone international has also recorded the second-most, a 10-shot performance on June 6 versus Montreal.
According to the League’s official statistician, Opta, Crew SC ranks second in the League in chances created per match (11.2) and leads MLS in big chances created per match (1.3). Sunday’s opponent, Chicago, leads MLS in chances created per match (11.3). In Wednesday’s match, Crew SC created 12 chances, while Chicago created six.
Sunday’s 5:00 p.m. ET start is available nationally on ESPN2. Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman are set to have the call of the contest. Locally, the match is set to air via the radio in English on CD102.5 FM and in Spanish on La Mega 103.1 FM. Dwight Burgess and Neil Sika will be on the micro- phone on CD102.5, with Juan Valladares anchoring the Spanish-language radio call on 103.1 La Mega. The contest is also set to air on ESPN Deportes and on TSN2.