Match Notes - Harrison Afful - 8.11.18

MATCH NOTES | #CLBvHOU - August 11, 2018

CREW SC SCORES THREE GOALS IN CONSECUTIVE GAMES FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2015

Columbus Crew SC’s 3-2 road victory over the New York Red Bulls on July 28 marked the first time since 2015 that the Black & Gold have scored three goals or more in consecutive regular-season matches, as Crew SC had previously defeated Orlando City SC 3-2 at home on July 21. The last time the Black & Gold scored three or more goals in consecutive matches was in 2015, as Crew SC defeated the Chicago Fire 3-1 on July 19 before playing Toronto FC to a 3-3 draw on July 25.

PATRICK MULLINS MAKES FIRST CREW SC REGULAR-SEASON START, TALLIES GOAL AND ASSIST

Forward Patrick Mullins marked his first regular-season start with Crew SC by assisting the first goal and scoring the second goal in the Black & Gold’s 3-2 road win over the New York Red Bulls on July 28. In the seventh minute of the match, Mullins headed a free kick from Pedro Santos towards Jonathan Mensah, who sent the ball to the back of the net. Then, in the 24th minute, Mullins received a pass from Harrison Afful and went on a breakaway before rounding Luis Robles and making the score 2-0 for Crew SC. Since joining MLS in 2014, Mullins has made 98 regular-season appearances (54 starts), scoring 24 goals and providing 10 assists.

HARRISON AFFUL SETS A NEW MLS CAREER-HIGH IN ASSISTS

Defender Harrison Afful provided the assist on Patrick Mullins’ 24th-minute goal during Crew SC’s 3-2 win over the New York Red Bulls on July 28. Afful received a pass from Milton Valenzuela and quickly played a through ball to Mullins, who scored shortly thereafter. The assist was Afful’s fourth of the season, marking a new MLS single-season career-high for the Ghanaian, whose previous MLS single-season career-high was three helpers (2016). In 2018, Afful has made 22 regular-season appearances (all starts), scoring one goal and providing four assists. Since joining the Black & Gold, Afful has made 85 regular-season appearances (82 starts), while scoring four goals and providing 10 assists.

ZACK STEFFEN SHINES IN 2018 MLS ALL-STAR GAME

Goalkeeper Zack Steffen made his first MLS All-Star appearance against Serie A side Juventus on August 1. Steffen came in as a substitute for Brad Guzan in the 46th minute, making two saves en route to keeping a clean sheet during his 45 minutes of action. Following a 1-1 draw during regulation time, the match was eventually decided via penalty kicks, with Juventus winning 5-3. Steffen is the sixth Crew SC player to be named an MLS All-Star under Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter, joining Michael Parkhurst (2014), Ethan Finlay (2015), Waylon Francis (2015), Kei Kamara (2015) and Wil Trapp (2016). 

CREW SC ACQUIRES JUSTIN MERAM IN TRADE WITH ORLANDO CITY SC

On Friday, August 3, Crew SC acquired midfielder Justin Meram from Orlando City SC in exchange for $750,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and an international roster slot for the 2019 MLS season. Prior to his time with Orlando City, Meram played for the Black & Gold from 2011-2017, making 188 regular-season appearances (134 starts) while becoming one of only five players in club history to register at least 30 goals and 30 assists for Crew SC. Over the course of his first seven years in Columbus, Meram rose to join the club’s all-time leaders in several regular-season categories, including: third in game-winning goals (13); fifth in appearances (188); fifth in shots (321) and shots on goal (121); tied for 10th in starts (134); sixth in goals (37); and seventh in assists (33).

CREW SC JERSEY NUMBER UPDATES

As of August 9, 2018, the following jersey numbers have been updated: Mohammed Abu, previously number 8, will now wear number 5; Pedro Santos, previously number 9, will now wear number 7; Artur, previously number 7 will now wear number 8; Justin Meram will wear number 9. For a full list of jersey numbers, please refer to the Numerical Roster section on page two or the Roster Breakdown section on page 21.