Robinho - Vissel Kobe - 1.28.19

Black & Gold open 2019 preseason with draw against J-League side Vissel Kobe

Columbus Crew SC took on Japanese side Vissel Kobe in a friendly on Tuesday night at Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine, California. The match was the Black & Gold’s first friendly of 2019 and featured different lineups in each half.

Crew SC’s first-half lineup featured Federico Higuain wearing the armband, while Patrick Mullins played up top. Vissel Kobe boasted former German international Lukas Podolski and Spain international David Villa in the attack, while former Barcelona player Andres Iniesta played in midfield. The first half saw both teams play on even terms, with neither side able to break the deadlock.

The second half saw the introduction of an all-new lineup for Crew SC, which included new acquisitions Joe Bendik, Robinho and 2019 MLS SuperDraft pick JJ Williams. Notably, Crew SC Academy player Sebastian Berhalter featured in midfield for the Crew in this second stanza while Hector Jimenez served as the captain in the second half.

The match ended in a 0-0 draw, as the Black & Gold notched their first clean sheet of the 2019 preseason.


Columbus Crew SC: Jon Kempin; Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Gaston Sauro, Milton Valenzuela; Ricardo Clark, Artur; Pedro Santos, Federico Higuain ©, Justin Meram; Patrick Mullins

Vissel Kobe: Maekawa Yagiya; Nishi Oshio,Miyaki Miyako, Naisu Daisuke, Femase Ryo; Masatoshi Mihara, Founyo Tomota, Andres Iniesta; Junya Tanaka, David Villa Lukas Podolski ©


Columbus Crew SC: Joe Bendik; Connor Maloney, Alex Crognale, Lalas Abubakar, Hector Jimenez ©; Luis Argudo, Kasper Sloth; Edward Opoku, Sebastian Berhalter, Robinho; JJ Williams

The Black & Gold return to preseason action on Thursday, Jan. 31 in a closed-door scrimmage against Club Tijuana at 1 p.m. ET in Chula Vista, Calif. before facing fellow MLS side LAFC on Friday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. ET at Banc of California Stadium.

LATEST CREW KITS: The official jerseys featuring Nationwide Children's Hospital are out now!