Higuain vs. SKC
Daniel Herlensky / Columbus Crew SC



With its 1-0 road win over the New England Revolution this past Saturday, Crew SC extended its undefeated streak to six consecutive matches in regular-season action. The streak dates back to a 2-2 home draw against the New England Revolution (April 21). Since then, the Black & Gold have posted a record of 4-0-2, while outscoring opponents 9-3 in the 2018 MLS regular season. In addition to drawing and defeating New England, Crew SC defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 at home (April 28); played Seattle Sounders FC to a 0-0 draw on the road (May 5); defeated the Philadelphia Union 1-0 at home (May 9); and defeated the Chicago Fire 3-0 at home.


Defender Lalas Abubakar scored his first goal of the 2018 MLS regular season in Saturday’s match against the New England Revolution – a game-winning goal in the 85th minute. Abubakar’s goal came following a corner kick taken by midfielder Federico Higuain, which the defender then headed into the back of New England’s net. In addition to his goal, Abubakar finished the match with 60 touches, 51 passes, three shots (all on target) and one goal-scoring chance created. Abubakar has made nine regular-season appearances (all starts) in 2018, scoring one goal. Since joining the Black & Gold in 2017, Abubakar has made 16 regular-season appearances (15 starts), scoring two goals.


Crew SC’s 1-0 win against the New England Revolution on Saturday ensured that the Black & Gold registered their fourth consecutive shutout and their sixth shutout of the 2018 MLS regular season. The last time the club accomplished this feat was a string of four consecutive shutouts from March 26, 2011 to April 16, 2011. Crew SC’s other shutouts this season came in a 2-0 road victory over Toronto FC (March 3); in a 0-0 draw on the road against the Philadelphia Union; in a 0-0 draw on the road against Seattle Sounders FC (May 5); in a 1-0 home victory over the Philadelphia Union (May 9); and in a 3-0 home win over the Chicago Fire (May 12).


Defender Josh Williams made his 100th regular-season appearance for the Black & Gold in Saturday’s 1-0 road victory over the New England Revolution. Williams came in as a substitute for midfielder Mike Grella in the 90th minute of the match. The defender has started in 89 of those 100 regular-season appearances for Crew SC, while registering seven goals and four assists. In all, Williams has made 132 regular-season appearances (117) in MLS regular-season action since joining the League in 2010.


Through 13 matches in the 2018 MLS regular season, Crew SC has only conceded 10 goals, the fewest number of goals conceded in the League. The Black & Gold are trailed by Seattle Sounders FC and FC Dallas of the Western Conference, who have given up 11 goals in nine matches and 10 matches respectively. In the Eastern Conference, Crew SC is trailed by the New York Red Bulls, who have given up 12 goals in 10 matches.


Crew SC has gone 405 minutes without allowing a goal in regular-season action, dating back to the second half of a 2-1 home win over the San Jose Earthquakes on April 28. Since then, the Black & Gold have posted four consecutive shutouts. This is the second longest streak in club history per the Elias Sports Bureau, behind only a shutout streak from the 2011 MLS regular season, in which Crew SC went 414 minutes from March 19 – April 23 without giving up a goal. Additionally, goalkeeper Zack Steffen holds the second longest regular-season shutout streak in club history, only nine minutes behind William Hesmer’s 414-minute streak from 2011. Since joining the Black & Gold in 2016, Steffen has made 46 regular-season appearances (all starts), registering 15 shutouts, 22 wins and 124 saves. 


Through 12 matches in the 2018 MLS regular season, goalkeeper Zack Steffen leads the League in shutouts, with six clean sheets. Four of Steffen’s six shutouts this season have come in his last four matches, and the goalkeeper has currently gone 405 minutes of regular-season action without giving up a goal, the second longest streak in Crew SC history. Should Steffen start and play 10 minutes without giving up a goal, he would register the longest shutout streak in Black & Gold history, per the Elias Sports Bureau.  Additionally, should the goalkeeper play in Sunday’s contest against Sporting Kansas City and go 87 minutes without giving up a goal, he would surpass former two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and current Crew SC Assistant Coach Pat Onstad to take sole possession of 10th place in the list of MLS longest shutout streaks according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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