PREVIEW: Crew SC hosts Philadelphia Union for first of two meetings

Columbus Crew SC is back at home again on Saturday, July 22, to host the Philadelphia Union for their first of two meetings this season. The match is set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET at MAPFRE Stadium.

Both teams will enter the match off a quick turnaround from midweek matches. Columbus hosted German Bundesliga-side Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday, July 17, at MAFPRE Stadium, winning 1-0 while playing 19 different players in the international friendly. The visitors are set to take on the Montreal Impact on Wednesday in Montreal before traveling to Columbus.

Last season the two Eastern Conference teams clashed three times, all in favor of the Union. In their first meeting, and season opener, on March 12,  Crew SC hosted the Union for what ended in a 2-1 loss. Despite finding the back of the net late in the second half, the Black & Gold fell short to Chris Pontius’ brace (4’+ 1’, 71’).

 In their second meeting of the season on June 1, Crew SC travelled to Philadelphia for a hard fought match that ended in a 3-2 loss. Midfielder Cristian Martinez made his MLS debut and netted his first goal in stoppage time. Despite opening the scoring in the 14th minute thanks to forward Ola Kamara, the Union were able to top the Black & Gold with second half goals by Chris Pontius (21’), Vincent Nogueria (57’), Fabian Herbers (84’).

Back at MAPFRE Stadium on August 24, 2016 to close out the season series, the Union again escaped with a 2-1 victory. 2016 Crew SC mid-year acquisition Adam Jahn opened his account to equalize with a 73rd minute strike off a broken corner kick, but the Union answered just a minute later with their winner. For Philadelphia, a pair of then-rookies — sixth-round pick Herbers and No. 3 overall pick Keegan Rosenberry — scored.

Saturday’s meeting will be the first of two meetings between the Eastern Conference clubs before Crew SC heads to Philadelphia the following week. The Black & Gold hold an overall 10-7-1 record against the Union and are currently sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with the Union trailing in eighth.

Columbus returns home on Saturday, August 12 to face the Chicago Fire in what will be a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff.

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