The Black & Gold will host Real Salt Lake for their 12th regular-season and sixth home match of 2016 on Saturday evening. Here’s everything you need to know leading up to this year’s only regular-season meeting between Crew SC and RSL.
LAST THREE REGULAR-SEASON MEETINGS
08/24/2013 CLB 0 at RSL 4 L: Rio Tinto Stadium
06/04/2014 CLB 1 vs. RSL 1 D: MAPFRE Stadium
06/27/2015 CLB 2 at RSL 2 D: Rio Tinto Stadium
CREW SC LOOKS TO MAINTAIN STRONG HOME SUCCESS AGAINST REAL SALT LAKE
Columbus Crew SC enters this match against Real Salt Lake with a 7-1-1 all-time regular-season record against the Claret & Cobalt at MAPFRE Stadium. Against all current MLS clubs, Crew SC's home regular-season points-earned percentage against Real Salt Lake of 81.5% is its highest (minimum two home regular-season matches played).
WESTERN CONFERENCE OPPONENT VISITS MAPFRE STADIUM
Crew SC is set to play a Western Conference opponent for the sixth time in 2016. Following this match, the Black & Gold face-off against an Eastern Conference side in 18 of their remaining 22 regular-season contests. Crew SC has Western Conference matches remaining against Sporting Kansas City, the San Jose Earthquakes, the LA Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
AFFUL, MABWATI EARN INTERNATIONAL CALL-UPS, CEDRICK NOTCHES CAP IN FRIENDLY
Crew SC defender Harrison Afful (Ghana) and midfielder Cedrick Mabwati (DR Congo) have each earned international call-ups by their respective federations. Ghana is set to play a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Mauritius (June 5). Meanwhile, Cedrick earned his 17th cap for DR Congo on Wednesday by starting in a friendly against Romania. He and the Leopards are next slated to take on Madagascar in 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification (June 5). Both will miss Crew SC's match against RSL.
SAEID LEADS ALL OF MLS IN PASSING ACCURACY
Among players with at least 100 passes attempted, Crew SC midfielder Mohammed Saeid leads all of MLS in passing accuracy (92.9%). Federico Higuain leads MLS in successful passes in the opposing half per game (33), followed by Tony Tchani in fifth and Wil Trapp in sixth. Also, Trapp ranks second in the League in successful passes per match, with 63.
CREW SC SECOND IN MLS IN COMPLETED PASSES PER MATCH, PASSES PER MATCH
According to the League’s official statistician, Opta, Columbus Crew SC currently ranks second in the League in completed passes per match (403.3) and in passes attempted per match (490.9), trailing only Seattle in each category. The club also ranks second in MLS in overall passing accuracy (82.2%).
CLARK NOTCHES CLEAN SHEET, TIES GRUENEBAUM
Last weekend against Toronto FC, goalkeeper Steve Clark registered his third clean sheet of the 2016 campaign and the 17th regular-season shutout of his MLS career. The goalkeeper made two saves on the afternoon. Clark also made his 79th regular-season start in Black & Gold, tying Andy Gruenebaum for third all-time in Crew SC history in goalkeeper starts. His next start will surpass Gruenebaum and place Clark in third all-time in Crew SC regular-season goalkeeper starts.
HIGUAIN APPROACHING CORNER KICKS RECORD
Crew SC midfielder Federico Higuain is closing in on the most regular-season corner kicks in club history. The Argentine has sent in 53 corner kicks this season, putting him at 490 for his Black & Gold career. Higuain only trails Robert Warzycha for most regular-season corners taken in the history of the club, who has 503.
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN
Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. ET start is available via regional television on The CW Columbus, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and BCSN2. Neil Sika (play-by-play), Dwight Burgess (analyst) and Marisa Contipelli (sideline) are set to have the call of the match on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and BCSN2, “Crew SC Matchday,” the exclusive pre-match show, starts at 7:00 p.m. ET with Contipelli and Chris Doran, and “Crew SC Post-Match” immediately follows the action only on TWCSC and BCSN2. The CW Columbus' broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m. ET. Locally, the contest is available via the radio in English on CD102.5 FM and in Spanish on La Mega 103.1 FM. The English radio broadcast also is set to stream live on ColumbusCrewSC.com. A complete list of places to catch the Black & Gold on TV is available here. The game can be watched internationally via the following: Abu Dhabi Sports, BeIN Sports Australia, Eurosport.