PREVIEW | Columbus looking for 5th win in 7 games at conference-leading Dallas

Columbus Crew SC (12-8-7) returns to Major League Soccer action on Saturday after a bye week in Week 28, as the Black & Gold travel to Frisco, Texas to take on FC Dallas (14-6-7) in an 8 p.m. ET kickoff.

On Saturday, Sept. 1, Crew SC hosted New York City FC and came away with a 2-1 comeback win to reach within five points of third-place in the Eastern Conference.

After NYCFC struck first, Crew SC came back to score twice in the second half behind back-to-back tallies from Harrison Afful and Justin Meram. Afful put Columbus on the board first in the 61st minute with a rebound opportunity from distance. Just two minutes later, Meram came through with a back-post header on a corner kick from Pedro Santos, marking his first goal since returning to Crew SC. 

►#CLBvNYC MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

FC Dallas, who has combined for seven goals in its last two matches, is also coming off of a bye week after securing three points at home with a 4-2 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Sept 1.

Dallas’ Michael Barrios opened the scoring in the 10th minute but the game would not see another goal until the second half. A 10-minute time span in the second half saw four total goals, three from FC Dallas to secure the victory.

In the two clubs’ lone meeting of 2017, Columbus claimed a 2-1 victory at MAPFRE Stadium. Second-half goals from Ola Kamara and Jonathan Mensah gave Columbus the boost to find a win during the 2017 playoff push. Mensah’s goal, the first of his MLS career, secured the lead for the Black & Gold.

►#CLBvFCD MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Looking forward to Saturday, Mensah recognizes the importance of a strong back line heading into the regular-season homestretch.

"We’re going to need everyone. So training-wise, we all contribute and improve. Whoever steps in is going to do the same job so we just have to be ready. Be ready so whenever you get the opportunity you go out there and help the team," said Mensah.

Dallas currently sits at the top of the Western Conference, just six points ahead of Columbus who sit in fourth in the Eastern Conference. Crew SC holds a 19-17-10 overall record against Dallas.

Next up, Columbus continues on the road to face the Portland Timbers on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 10:30 p.m. ET. The Black & Gold then return to MAPFRE Stadium to host the Colorado Rapids for Hispanic Heritage night on Saturday, Sept 22. The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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