RECAP | Higuain has historic night as Crew SC dumps D.C.

Columbus Crew SC sailed to the top of the Eastern Conference standings with a historic thrashing of D.C. United. In a fiery first half, Columbus put up three goals to secure all three points polishing off a 3-1 victory to continue its 14 regular-season match unbeaten run.

Crew SC midfield magician Federico Higuain firmly cemented himself in Black & Gold lore, becoming the first Columbus-exclusive member of Major League Soccer's prestigious 50-goals, 50-assists club. He joins former Crew SC player Brian McBride and Jeff Cunningham, but they achieved their membership with multiple clubs — including Columbus. Higuain finished the match with two total assists, overtaking Robert Warzycha as the club's all-time leader in regular-season game-winning assists with 17, while also guiding Crew SC to it's 100th regular-season goal scored against D.C. United.

Higuain is just the 19th player in MLS history to score 50 goals and provide 50 assists in his career, and he is only the sixth player to do so with one club.

In the 20th minute, defender Milton Valenzuela opened the scoring with his first career professional goal — and his first since joining MLS and Columbus ahead of 2018 — putting the Black & Gold on the board. United responded in the 30th minute with an equalizer by midfielder Yamil Asad.

Following the frenzy of firsts, Higuain set up Ricardo Clark's debut Crew SC goal with a headed corner-kick delivery to put Columbus up 2-1 in the 40th minute. In his starting XI debut, his goal sent Higuain into the 50/50 club. 

Columbus stung a stunned United with a second goal just two minutes later. Pedro Santos secured Crew SC’s century goal against D.C. on a counter-attack strike, assisted by Cristian Martinez and Higuain in the 42nd minute.

In search of No. 15 in the club's current unbeaten run, Crew SC returns to MAPFRE Stadium to host the Vancouver Whitecaps on March 31 at 3 p.m. ET.

LINEUPS

  • With his two assists in today’s match, midfielder Federico Higuain became the first player in Crew SC history to record at least 50 goals and 50 assists for the club in regular-season action. Higuain’s first assist came in the 40th minute when his corner kick was headed into D.C. United’s net by Ricardo Clark. The Argentine then helped set up Crew SC’s third goal just two minutes later, when he fed Cristian Martinez the ball, before Martinez slid the ball over to Pedro Santos, who made it 3-1. In addition to becoming the first Crew SC player to achieve this feat, the Argentine midfielder is now one of only 19 players in MLS history as well as one of only two active players to record at least 50 goals and 50 assists, with the other player being Portland Timbers’ Diego Valeri.
     
  • Higuain’s game-winning assist in the 40th minute was his 17th career game-winning assist in regular-season action for Crew SC since joining the club in 2012. With the assist, he surpassed Robert Warzycha to take sole possession of most game-winning assists in club history. During his time with the Black & Gold, Higuain has made 153 regular-season appearances (148 starts) while also registering 50 goals and 51 assists.  Additionally, with his assist on Pedro Santos’ 42nd-minute goal, Federico Higuain moved into a tie with Brian McBride for third place Crew SC’s list of most regular-season assists against D.C. United (5).
     
  • Defender Milton Valenzuela scored his first career goal in the 20th minute of tonight’s home match against D.C. United to give Crew SC a 1-0 lead. The goal was assisted by midfielders Cristian Martinez and Artur. In addition to his goal, Valenzuela created one goal scoring chance, completed 48 passes and performed three tackles. Since joining the Black & Gold ahead of the 2018 season, Valenzuela has made four regular-season appearances (all starts), scoring one goal and providing one assist.
                                                                           
  • Midfielder Ricardo Clark made his first start for Crew SC and scored his first regular-season goal as a member of Columbus Crew SC during tonight’s match. Clark’s goal came in the 20th minute of the match, when he headed the ball into the far post following a corner kick taken by midfielder Federico Higuain. In his MLS career, Clark has made 339 regular-season appearances (318 starts) while scoring 36 goals and 27assists.
     
  • Midfielder Pedro Santos registered his first regular-season goal for Crew SC in tonight’s match against D.C. United. Santos opened his account with the club with a 42nd-minute strike assisted by Cristian Martinez and Federico Higuain to extend Crew SC’s lead to 3-1. Additionally, Santos’s goal was Crew SC’s 100th regular-season goal against D.C. United dating back to 1996. Since joining Crew SC in 2017, Santos has made 13 regular-season appearances (12 starts) while registering one goal and three assists.
                                                                                                                                       
  • Goalkeeper Jon Kempin made his Crew SC regular-season debut in tonight’s match, earning his first win of the season, as Crew SC beat D.C. United 3-1. Kempin has made 15 regular-season appearances (14 starts) in MLS since joining the League in 2010.
     
  • Defender Josh Williams and midfielder Mohammed Abu made their 2018 MLS regular-season debuts for Crew SC in tonight’s match. Williams came in as a substitute in the 46th minute for Lalas Abubakar, and Abu replaced Ricardo Clark in the 71stminute.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
  • Tonight’s 3-1 win marked Crew SC’s 67th all-time regular-season match against D.C. United. With the win, Columbus brings its regular-season record against D.C. to 29-27-11, and 19-7-7 at home. This is Crew SC’s third win in a row against D.C. Additionally, in all-time regular-season matches, Crew SC has outscored D.C. United 100-90.
     
  • With tonight’s win over D.C. United, Crew SC extended its undefeated streak to 14 consecutive regular-season matches, dating back to a 3-1 home victory over the Chicago Fire on August 12, 2017. Over that span, the Black & Gold have posted a record of 9-0-5 while outscoring their opponents 27-13.
     
  • With the win in tonight’s match, Crew SC brings its 2018 regular-season record to 3-0-1. Next up, Crew SC hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps to MAPFRE Stadium for their only regular-season meeting this year on Saturday, March 31 (3:00 p.m. ET / ABC-6, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2, CD102.5 FM, English radio stream and Spanish audio broadcast available on ColumbusCrewSC.com.
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