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Alena Schuckmann / Columbus Crew SC

MATCH NOTES | #VANvCLB

LAST MATCH | Crew SC 1, Sporting KC 1

On Sunday, September 10, Crew SC hosted Sporting Kansas City at MAPFRE Stadium. The visitors took the lead in the 19th minute through midfielder Cristian Lobato, before Crew SC forward Ola Kamara headed in a corner kick from midfielder Pedro Santos to make it 1-1 in first-half stop- page time. The goal was Kamara’s 15th tally of the 2017 MLS regular season, while the assist was Santos’ second assist since joining the club on August 8 of this year. With the draw, the Black & Gold have now gone five matches undefeated, dating back to a 3-1 home victory over the Chicago Fire (August 12). Over that span, Crew SC has posted a record of 3-0-2, outscoring its opponents 9-4.

CREW SC & WHITECAPS FC AT A GLANCE

Columbus Crew SC record: 2-4-1 (7 GF, 10 GA)
Home games: 1-3-0 (3 GF, 6 GA)
Road games: 1-1-1 (4 GF, 4 GA) 

05/10/2014 CLB 0 vs. VAN 1, L MAPFRE Stadium
04/08/2015 CLB 2 at VAN 2, D BC Place
09/10/2016 CLB 1 vs. VAN 3 L MAPFRE Stadium 

Coaches

Gregg Berhalter (50-47-34, Columbus Crew SC: ‘14 - Present)
vs.
Carl Robinson (51-45-33, Vancouver Whitecaps FC ‘14-Present) 

Preview

Columbus Crew SC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC will face-off this Saturday at BC Place for the only regular-season meeting between the two clubs in 2017. This is the eighth all-time regular-season match between the two clubs, with Columbus scoring four goals in three road matches against Whitecaps FC. The Black & Gold come into the match on a five match unbeaten-streak, with a record of 3-0-2.

Last Meeting

Crew SC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC met last year at MAPFRE Stadium on September 10, 2016 for their lone regular-season matchup. Ola Kamara put the Black & Gold ahead with an 11th-minute goal, but Vancouver equalized through a Gaston Sauro own-goal in the 13th minute. Whitecaps FC scored two more times through Andrew Jacobson in the 74th minute and Erik Hurtado in the 82nd minute, walking away with a 3-1 win. 

WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN

Saturday’s contest against Vancouver Whitecaps FC kicks-off at 7 p.m. ET and is set to be televised regionally on The CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports and BCSN2. Neil Sika (play-by-play) and Dwight Burgess (analyst) are set to have the call in English. Coverage on The CW Columbus begins at 7 p.m. ET. Exclusively on Spectrum Sports and BCSN2, “Crew SC Matchday,” the pre-match show, begins at 6:30 p.m. ET, with “Crew SC Post-Match” immediately following the action. 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. The Spanish radio calls are also set to be streamed in Spanish on the LaMega1 App and via Tunein Radio as WVKOFM. Internationally, the contest can be viewed on the following: Abu Dhabi Sports (Middle East and North Africa), BeIN Sports (Asia, Australia), DSports/ATR (India), Eurosport (Pan Europe), Fox Sports Africa (Sub- Saharan Africa), Sky Sports (United Kingdom) and StarHub (Singapore).

CREW SC UNDEFEATED IN LAST 5

Crew SC is undefeated in its last five regular-season matches dating back to a 3-1 home victory over the Chicago Fire (August 12). Over that span, the Black & Gold have posted a record of 3-0-2, also drawing against Orlando City SC (August 19), and defeating both the LA Galaxy (August 23) and FC Dallas (August 26). This is Crew SC’s longest unbeaten streak of the 2017 MLS regular season, beating a previous streak of three consecutive wins from March 18-April 1.

KAMARA'S GOAL SECURES A POINT

Forward Ola Kamara scored the equalizer for the Black & Gold in the club’s 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City this past Sunday (September 10). Kamara’s goal came in first-half stoppage time, as he headed in a corner kick taken by Pedro Santos. The goal was Kamara’s third tally in as many matches, with the forward having previously scored in successive home matches against the LA Galaxy (August 23) and FC Dallas (August 26).

TRADE REWIND: CREW SC GET MANNEH FROM WHITECAPS FC

On March 30, 2016, Columbus Crew SC acquired forward Kekuta Manneh from Vancouver Whitecaps FC in exchange for midfielder Tony Tchani, $225,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and $75,000 in General Allocation Money. Since the trade, Manneh has made 14 regular-season appearances (eight starts) for the Black & Gold, scoing three goals and providing two assists. Two of Manneh’s three strikes have been game-winning goals: His goal against the Montreal Impact (June 24) at home and his tally against Minnesota United FC (July 4) in a road contest.

KAMARA LEADS GOALS

Through 29 appearances (28 starts) in the 2017 MLS regular season, forward Ola Kamara has scored 15 goals, more than any other Black & Gold player this season, ahead of Justin Meram (11 goals) and Federico Higuain (nine goals). Last season, Kamara scored 16 goals in 25 regular-season appearances (20 starts), tying him with Jeff Cunningham for fifth place on Crew SC’s list of most goals in a single regular season. Should Kamara reach 17 regular-season goals in 2017, he would tie with Brian McBride for fourth place on the same list. 

KAMARA, 10TH IN ALL-TIME GOALS

With his tally against Sporting Kansas City this past Sunday, Ola Kamara reached 31 regular-season goals for the Black & Gold since joining the club ahead of the 2016 MLS season. Kamara’s goal put him ahead of Ethan Finlay to take sole possession of 10th place in Crew SC’s list of all-time regular-season goal scorers. He is now behind only Jeff Cunningham (64 goals), Brian McBride (62 goals), Federico Higuain (48 goals), Stern John (44 goals), Edson Buddle (42 goals), Eddie Gaven (35 goals), Justin Meram (35 goals), Guillermo Barros Schelotto (33 goals) and Kei Kamara (32 goals).

GOAL-A: KAMARA AMONG TOP 5 IN MLS

Since the beginning of the 2016 MLS season, Ola Kamara has recorded 31 goals in regular-season action, with only four other players scoring more than the Norwegian forward in that time span: David Villa (42), Bradley Wright-Phillips (39), Ignacio Piatti (32) and Sebastian Giovinco (32). Additionally, out of active MLS players who have played a minimum of 900 minutes since the beginning of the 2016 season, Ola Kamara has the h highest goals per 90 minutes average with 0.65, behind only David Villa (0.75), Bradley Wright-Phillips (0.71), Roland Alberg (0.68) and Sebastian Giovinco (0.67). 

TRIO DEADLY IN ATTACK

Crew SC is currently the only team in Major League Soccer with three players who have scored nine or more goals each in regular-season action in 2017: Ola Kamara (15 goals), Justin Meram (11 goals) and Federico Higuain (9 goals). The trio of Kamara, Meram and Higuain have scored a combined total of 35 goals, which account for more than 80 of Crew SC’s 43 regular-season goals.

SCORERS ON VERGE OF CLUB MILESTONE

Heading into their match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC this Saturday, the Black & Gold are on the verge of achieving a club first: having three players score 10 or more goals each in a single regular season. As it stands, Ola Kamara has tallied 15 strikes, Justin Meram has scored 11 goals and Federico Higuain has found the back of the net on nine occasions in the 2017 MLS regular season. Should Higuain score another regular-season goal in 2017, it would mark the first time in club history that three Crew SC players have each scored 10 or more regular-season goals in one year 

In 2017, 22 players have seen regular-season action for Crew SC with 20 contributing a goal or an assist, including goalkeeper Zack Steffen. Steffen registered an assist in a 4-1 home victory over the Montreal Impact (June 24).

MERAM TIED FOR LEAD IN GAME-WINNING GOALS

Through 29 regular-season appearances (28 starts) in 2017, midfielder Justin Meram has tallied 11 strikes for the Black & Gold, with five of those goals being the game-winners. With his haul of five game-winning goals, Meram is tied with Cyle Larin, Jack Harrison and Diego Valeri for most game-winning goals scored in MLS during the 2017 regular season. Meram also leads Crew SC in this category, ahead of Federico Higuain, Kekuta Manneh and Ola Kamara, all of whom have scored two game-winning goals in regular-season action this year.

HIGUAIN & MERAM LEAD ASSISTS

In 2017, no other Crew SC players have recorded more regular-season assists than Federico Higuain and Justin Meram. Both midfielders have registered seven assists this season, three more than Wil Trapp (four assists). Currently, Higuain is two assists away from tying his career-high number of assists (nine) in a year for the club in regular-season action, which he achieved in 2013 and 2015. In addition to helping set up nearly a third of the Black & Gold’s 43 goals this season, both Higuain and Meram have also contributed by scoring a large portion of Crew SC’s goals, with Higuain recording nine goals while Meram has tallied 11 strikes.

SANTOS REGISTERS 2ND ASSIST

Midfielder Pedro Santos registered his second assist of the 2017 MLS regular season by providing the helper on Ola Kamara’s goal in a home contest against Sporting Kansas City (September 10). Santos took a corner kick in first-half stoppage time, which Kamara then headed past SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia. Santos played 65 minutes, created two chances, had two shots and made one tackle.

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