It’s called the “Fortress” for a reason.
Reaching back to the start of the 2017 season, Columbus Crew SC holds the best home record in Major League Soccer at 22-5-5, and the success rate only continued following Crew SC’s 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids last Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium.
This season, Crew SC is 10-2-3 at home as Saturday’s victory marked the fifth straight home win for Columbus – its longest streak since 2014.
If the past is any representation of what could be, expect Crew SC under Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter to reinforce the trend as one of the best season-closing clubs in the League.
Since Berhalter took over in 2014, Columbus is a combined 7-1-0 in the last two home games of the year. In that span, the Black & Gold have outscored opponents 20-5 while winning each of its last four matches.
Saturday’s 2-1 victory against the Rapids – albeit by a one-goal differential – featured offensive numbers that exceeded or neared season-bests and served as a testament to Columbus’ crescendo of success at home.
Columbus capped its fifth straight home win with the most shots on goal this season (10) as part of 18 total shots (excluding blocks) which also marked a season-best.
Of Crew SC’s 571 total passes, 90 percent found their way successfully, another team-high, while Columbus’ 87 percent passing accuracy in the Rapid’s half and 95 total passes into the final third also eclipsed the team’s previous season-bests.
Overall, Columbus outshot Colorado 22-3 and out-crossed the Rapids 25-7, including a 10-to-1 mark in corner kicks, while four Crew SC players tallied at least four shots, three of them recording two or more shots on frame.
Captain Wil Trapp completed 65 passes in the opponent’s half alone at a 91 percent clip, while defender Harrison Afful delivered seven total crosses – a game-high – as Columbus saw continued success with getting the fullbacks involved early and often.
Certainly, Crew SC’s late-season results at home make for an exciting final month, starting with a battle for playoff positioning against the fifth-place Philadelphia Union at MAPFRE Stadium on Sept. 29.