Columbus Crew SC took on fellow MLS side the Chicago Fire on Saturday, February 16 at MUSC Health Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina for the first match of the 2019 Carolina Challenge Cup. The Black & Gold played the Fire to a 1-1 draw despite playing nearly 60 minutes a player down.
The match saw the return of Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes to the starting lineups, following their appearances with the U.S. Men’s National Team. The match also marked Waylon Francis’ first appearance since returning to the Black & Gold earlier this month.
Despite the Black & Gold pushing the action, it was the Chicago Fire that took the lead in the 17th minute, when Djorde Mihailovic put the Men in Red ahead with a shot from the edge of the box.
Chicago’s lead would not last long, however, as Zardes equalized for Columbus in the 26th minute, heading in a ball over the top from Waylon Francis.
Four minutes later, the match took a dramatic turn when Trapp was shown a red card for two-footed tackle on Diego Campos. Notably, per preseason rules, Trapp will be available to play on Feb. 20 against the Charleston Battery. But despite the numeric disadvantage, the Crew continued to play the Fire on even terms.
The second half saw a stalemate with neither team able to break through despite a series of substitutions by both clubs.
With tonight’s result, the Crew maintain an undefeated record in the 2019 preseason, with a record of 2-0-2. Up next, Columbus takes on hosts the Charleston Battery on Wednesday, February 20 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
CHI – Djorde Mihailovic (Aleksandar Katai) 17’
CLB – Gyasi Zardes (Waylon Francis) 26’
CLB – Wil Trapp (ejection) 30’
Columbus Crew SC: Zack Steffen; Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Gaston Sauro (Lalas Abubakar 77’), Waylon Francis, Artur, Wil Trapp ©; Pedro Santos (Robinho 91’), Federico Higuain (Ricardo Clark 70’), Justin Meram (Hector Jimenez 65’); Gyasi Zardes (JJ Williams 84’)
Chicago Fire: David Ousted; Diego Campos (Nicolas Hasler 74’), Marcelo, Johan Kappelhof, Raheem Edwards (Jorge Corrales 74’); Bastian Schweinsteiger (Fabian Herbers 46’), Dax McCarty ©; Aleksandar Katai (Brandt Bronico 55’), Djorde Mihailovic, Cristian Martinez; Nemanja Nikolić (Amando Moreno 74’)