A first-half to remember brought Columbus Crew SC (2-0-1, 7 pts.) the match's lone goal as defender Gaston Sauro pushed the Club ahead 1-0 in the 10th minute en route to the Club's first home win of 2019.
Head Coach Caleb Porter emphasized how the first 45 minutes showcased the complete identity this team can put forth, and the results came through early as Sauro recorded his second career Club goal in as many home matches just 10 minutes in.
On the play, Pedro Santos delivered his second assist of the year, this time coming via corner kick. Notably, last season, Santos did not record his second assist until eight games in.
Statistically, the first half saw Columbus maintain 50.3 percent of possession, with a majority coming in the attacking half against an FC Dallas team that was seemingly content to maintain its own share of possession in the defensive half.
Looking ahead, Porter mentioned the second 45 minutes could have featured a cleaner product and perhaps more of a killer instinct in getting that second goal, but commended the team, particularly the center backs, for digging in and preventing a late push from Dallas, who outshot Columbus 6-3 in the second half.
With the win, Columbus extends its shutout streak to 264 minutes, as the Crew remains atop the Eastern Conference with seven points in addition to an unbeaten record through three games.
Up next, Columbus hits the road to face the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Supporters can watch the match on FOX Sports Ohio, stream on FOX Sports GO, or listen on 97.1 FM The Fan or www.ColumbusCrewSC.com (English & Spanish).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
CLB – Gaston Sauro (Pedro Santos), 10th minute: Santos curled in a ball from a corner kick, as Sauro rushed near-post for the head flick, which went right across the front of goal and just inside the back post. CLB 1, FCD 0 | FINAL
Columbus Crew SC
Defender Gaston Sauro recorded his second goal of the 2019 regular-season in today's home match against FC Dallas. Sauro headed a corner kick in from Pedro Santos in the 10th minute to give the Crew a 1-0 lead over FC Dallas. Notably, Sauro has scored in both of Crew SC’s 2019 regular-season home matches, as he previously scored the equalizer in Crew SC’s 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls (March 2), also heading in a corner kick on that occasion.
Since joining the Black & Gold in 2015, Sauro has made 26 regular-season appearances (25 starts).
Pedro Santos recorded his second consecutive helper for the Black & Gold in today’s 1-0 victory over FC Dallas. Santos recorded the assist on Gaston Sauro’s 10th-minute goal, as he took the corner kick that Sauro headed in. The helper was Santos’ second in as many regular-season matches, since he provided the game-winning assist in last week’s road contest against the New England Revolution (March 9). Since joining the Crew in 2017, Santos has made 42 regular-season appearances (40 starts), while registering one goal and 11 assists.
Midfielder Justin Meram recorded his 200th regular-season appearance for Crew SC. Meram is currently fifth on the list of all-time regular-season appearances for the Club, behind only Chad Marshall (253), Mike Clark (221), Eddie Gaven (209) and Jeff Cunningham (203). With his appearance today, Meram is the only player on the current roster to have 200 regular-season appearances for the Black & Gold.
Zack Steffen recorded his second shutout of the 2019 regular season in today’s 1-0 win over FC Dallas. The goalkeeper made two saves during the match to claim his 21st regular-season clean sheet since joining Crew SC. Currently, Steffen is fourth on the Crew’s all-time list of regular-season shutouts, behind only William Hesmer (41), Jon Busch (25) and Steve Clark (22). To date, Steffen has made 65 regular-season appearances (all starts) for Columbus, registering 172 saves to go with his 21 shutouts.
Midfielder Robinho made his first regular-season start for Crew SC in today’s home contest against FC Dallas. Robinho – who had made substitute appearances in the Crew’s previous two regular-season matches against the New York Red Bulls (March 2) and the New England Revolution (March 9) – played 78 minutes, had one shot (one on target), made five tackles and finished with a completed passes percentage of 89.
Midfielder Ricardo Clark made his first regular-season appearance of 2019 for Crew SC in today’s home contest. Clark came in as a substitute for Artur in the 87th minute of the match. The march also marked Clark’s 14th regular-season appearance since joining the Crew ahead of the 2018 MLS regular season.
Today’s contest marked Crew SC’s 48th all-time regular-season contest against FC Dallas dating back to 1996. Over that span, Columbus has compiled an overall record of 20-17-11 against FC Dallas. Notably, Crew SC has an overall record of 14-5-7 when facing FC Dallas at home.
With the win against FC Dallas in today’s match, Crew SC’s 2019 regular-season record is now 2-0-1 (7 points). Next up, Crew SC has a road contest against the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday, March 23 (7:30 p.m. ET /FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports GO / 97.1 The Fan and 971TheFan.com / Spanish audio stream on ColumbusCrewSC.com