Columbus Crew SC claimed three points against Real Salt Lake in a hot Saturday evening match. The victory was followed by fireworks at MAPFRE Stadium.
The match saw a fresh Starting XI for Crew SC as rookie Eduardo Sosa made his debut start for Crew SC and defender Gaston Sauro made his first start since October 2016. Sauro played the full 90 minutes after recovering from a season ending injury in 2016.
@MLS STARTING XI DEBUTS INCOMING— Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) June 30, 2018
Gaston Sauro is in the Starting XI for the first time since October 1, 2016!
Eduardo Sosa is manning the midfield for his first career MLS start!
Welcome to this year's XI, fellas!#CrewSC | #CLBvRSL pic.twitter.com/BWpIZqAmeG
In the 6th minute, midfielder Luis Argudo was fouled inside the box resulting in a penalty kick for Columbus. Gyasi Zardes converted the kick, putting Columbus on the board and scoring his 11th goal of the season.
In the 23rd minute, Sosa completed a clean passing sequence from Pedro Santos. Harrison Afful headed a ball to Santos who crossed a perfectly placed ball to Sosa for the finish. Real Salt Lake responded in the 74th minute, but could not find an equalizer.
Crew SC outshot Real Salt Lake, 13-10 with four shots on-target.
Next up, Crew SC will host Costa Rican First Division side Deportivo Saprissa in an international friendly on Tuesday, July 3. The match kicks off at MAPFRE Stadium at 7 p.m. ET.
The Black & Gold then head back to the West Coast to face the LA Galaxy next Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET) before returning home to host Orlando City FC on Saturday July 21 at 7:30 p.m. at MAPFRE Stadium.
- With his start in tonight’s match against Real Salt Lake, Gyasi Zardes made his 150th MLS regular-season appearance (135th start). In the sixth minute of the match, he scored a penalty kick goal to put the Black & Gold up 1-0. It was his 11th goal, and second from the penalty spot this season. Since joining Crew SC and including tonight, Zardes has made an appearance in each of Crew SC’s 19 MLS regular-season matches in 2018 (all starts).
- Eduardo Sosa made his first regular-season start for Crew SC in tonight’s match against Real Salt Lake and scored his first career goal across all competitions for Crew SC. He received a cross from Pedro Santos at the top of the box and sent the ball into the corner of the net past Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando to give Crew SC a 2-0 lead. To date, Sosa has made five regular-season appearances since joining the club ahead of the 2018 MLS regular season.
- Pedro Santos recorded an assist in tonight’s match against Real Salt Lake. The assist came on Eduardo Sosa’s 23rd-minute goal as the Portuguese midfielder sent a cross to the top of the box that Sosa drove into the back of the net. This season, Santos has scored one goal and provided four assists in 15 regular-season appearances (all starts). Since joining the club in 2017, Santos has made 24 regular-season appearances (23 starts), registering one goal and five assists for the Black & Gold.
- Harrison Afful recorded an assist in tonight’s match against Real Salt Lake. The assist came on Eduardo Sosa’s 23rd-minute goal as the Ghanaian defender directed a header to Pedro Santos who provided the cross on Sosa’s strike. This season, Santos has scored one goal and provided two assists in 18 regular-season appearances (all starts). Since joining the club, Afful has made 81 regular-season appearances (78 starts), registering two goals and seven assists.
- Gaston Sauro made his first regular-season start since October 1, 2016 in tonight’s match against Real Salt Lake. On that date, Sauro started in a home contest against the Chicago Fire, helping Crew SC register a shutout. Tonight, he made 40 touches, completed 33 passes and made three tackles in the 2-1 win for Crew SC.
- Tonight’s 2-1 win extends Crew SC’s home unbeaten streak against Real Salt Lake to nine matches. The Black & Gold are now 8-0-1 against RSL since a 2-0 victory on July 7, 2007 at MAPFRE Stadium, outscoring Real Salt Lake 20-7 over that span. Similarly, Crew SC hasn’t lost in its last five meetings against Real Salt Lake in MLS regular-season competition, holding a 2-0-3 record since a 1-1 draw on June 4, 2014. With tonight’s result, the Black & Gold now have a regular-season home record of 9-1-1 (12-5-4 overall) against the Claret-and-Cobalt, outscoring the visitors 23-9 (33-26 overall).
- With tonight’s 2-1 win against Real Salt Lake, Crew SC’s record on the season moves to 8-5-6. Next up, Crew SC will take on Deportivo Saprissa at MAPFRE Stadium on Tuesday, July 3, at 7:00 p.m. ET in an international friendly. In its next MLS regular-season match, Crew SC will face the LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center on Saturday, July 7, at 10:30 p.m. ET.