RECAP | Crew SC battles Eastern Conference leaders

Columbus Crew SC concluded its fourth home match in 12 days falling into a 2-0 loss to Atlanta United FC. The Eastern Conference leaders snapped Crew SC’s nine-game unbeaten streak and, in turn, goalkeeper Zack Steffen’s club leading shutout streak.

The Crew SC defense continued its strong season-long performance, limiting Atlanta’s chances and creating many counters that led to its own. However, the final breakthrough went missing, along with the eventual points for the Black & Gold. 

Atlanta was on the board first via a header goal from Golden Boot leader Josef Martinez off of a corner kick. Crew SC’s Artur attempted to mark him, but Martinez committed to the play, injuring himself in the process by colliding with Artur. Atlanta struck again in the 82nd minute, leaving little time for Columbus to find a goal.

With Atlanta’s 30th minute goal, Steffen’s individual goalkeeper shutout streak ended at 8th all-time in Major League Soccer. The 23-year-old racked up 525 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal this season.

Columbus finished the match with 13 shots, three on target. The Black & Gold were neck-and-neck with Atlanta in passing accuracy (82 percent) but out-passed in the final third by 68 percent.

The Black & Gold take a well-deserved break before continuing the season on the road at Los Angeles FC on Saturday, June 23. The match kicks off at Banc of California Stadium at 10:30 p.m. ET. 

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NOTES

  • Wil Trapp and Zack Steffen returned to Crew SC’s starting lineup after representing the United States Men’s National team in friendlies against Ireland (June 2) and France (June 9). Tonight, Trapp ­­­­­made 70 touches, completing 63 passes at an 87.3% clip. Steffen also made one save in his first start of the month of June.
     
  • Midfielder Federico Higuain created a team-high five scoring chances in tonight’s match against Atlanta United FC. In addition, he took two shots and made one tackle among his 63 touches of the evening. Since joining Crew SC in 2012, Higuain has scored 52 goals (four this season) and recorded 56 assists (seven this season).
     
  • With Josef Martinez’s goal in the 30th minute of tonight’s match, goalkeeper Zack Steffen’s scoreless streak ended at 525 minutes. The streak dated back to a scoreless second half of a home match against the San Jose Earthquakes (April 28). By having lasted over six matches without allowing a goal, Steffen moves to eighth place on the list of MLS all-time shutout streaks, surpassing Kevin Hartman’s 521-minute streak.
     
  • With tonight’s loss against Atlanta United FC, Crew SC’s record on the season moves to 7-4-6. Next up, Crew SC will take on LAFC at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday, June 23, at 10:30 p.m. ET.
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