The Black & Gold will host the New York Red Bulls in their 15th regular season and eighth home match on Saturday evening. Here’s everything you need to know leading up to the first of two regular season meetings between Crew SC and the Red Bulls.
LAST THREE REGULAR-SEASON MEETINGS
03/28/2015 CLB 1 vs. NYRB 2 L: MAPFRE Stadium
07/04/2015 CLB 2 vs. NYRB 1 W: MAPFRE Stadium
10/03/2015 CLB 1 at NYRB 2 L: Red Bull Arena
SPECIAL JERSEYS HIGHLIGHT MILITARY NIGHT PRESENTED BY HEARTLAND BANK, FIREWORK EXTRAVAGANZA PRESENTED BY BATTELLE
Saturday's match against the Red Bulls features a host of special events centered around Military Appreciation Night presented by Heartland Bank. During the contest, the Black & Gold will wear special jerseys with American flag-themed numerals. The jerseys will be auctioned off after the match, with proceeds benefitting the United Service Organizations and the Columbus Crew SC Foundation. Additionally, after the contest, supporters at MAPFRE Stadium will be treated to a Firework Extravaganza presented by Battelle.
BLACK & GOLD TO FACE RED BULLS IN EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH
With this contest, the New York Red Bulls visit Columbus for the only time in the 2016 MLS regular season. All-time, Crew SC is 26-28-9 in the regular season against its fellow MLS original, with a 16-12-4 mark in Central Ohio over that span. This is the Red Bulls' first visit to MAPFRE Stadium since November 22, 2015, when Crew SC downed New York by a 2-0 final in the First Leg of the 2015 Eastern Conference Championship. In that match, midfielder Justin Meram scored in the ninth second for Columbus, setting an all-time League record for fastest postseason goal.
CLARK APPROACHING GAMES STARTED, WINS MILESTONE
Crew SC goalkeeper Steve Clark is approaching a pair of milestones for Columbus. Clark's next start will be his 83rd in Black & Gold, which would tie Jon Busch for second all-time in career Crew SC regular-season goalkeeper starts. Additionally, Clark's next win is the 33rd of his regular-season career, which would tie Mark Dougherty for third place in the Columbus all-time record book in that category. Clark is also 22 saves shy of 300 for his career, as he currently has 278. Only two other Crew SC goalkeepers have hit the 300 mark in all-time regular-season play (William Hesmer, 412 and Jon Busch, 367).
CREW SC CONTINUES TO LEAD MLS IN TEAM PASSING ACCURACY, SUCCESSFUL PASSES PER MATCH
According to the League’s official statistician, Opta, Columbus Crew SC continues to lead MLS in both overall passing accuracy as well as successful passes per match. Columbus is one of just two MLS teams passing above an 80% accuracy rate as well as one of two clubs completing over 400 passes per game (joining Seattle in both regards).
SAEID CONTINUES TO BE MLS' MOST ACCURATE PASSER
Among players with at least 100 passes attempted, Crew SC midfielder Mohammed Saeid leads all of MLS in passing accuracy (92.0%), with Rodrigo Saravia in fifth place (90.7%). Meanwhile, Homegrown Player Wil Trapp ranks second in the League in successful passes, with 887.
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 “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 and to find places to watch the match, check out our list of Crew SC bars. Internationally, the match can be viewed via the following: Abu Dhabi Sports, BeIN Sports Australia, Eurosport.