By The Numbers

By The Numbers | Crew faces Minnesota United FC on Saturday

After toppling Atlanta United FC at home in the season opener, the Columbus Crew make their first road trip of the season when they face Minnesota United FC on Saturday afternoon.

Here are a few numbers to know before the Crew face a Western Conference foe:

3a – Third in the Eastern Conference seems harsh after winning the league and then winning their first game of 2024, but that’s where the Crew reside after one matchday. This past Saturday, the Crew earned a clean sheet against an Atlanta side that scored 66 goals last season. We’re still in the early days of the campaign, but the 1-0 win was a great start before matching up with an underrated Minnesota squad.

102 – We’re pulling out triple digits for this next stat, but it’s worthy for our captain. Last Saturday’s 1-0 win was Darlington Nagbe’s 102nd consecutive regular-season match for the Black & Gold. Since May 1, 2021, he’s played in every league match for Columbus and currently holds the third-longest appearance streak by an outfield player in league history. Now entering his fifth season with the team, Nagbe has amassed 117 league appearances and more than 10,000 minutes. Please do not take his greatness and consistency for granted.

3b – Just like the Crew, Minnesota United enters this match third in its respective conference standings following a week one win: 2-1 at Austin FC. But a lot’s happened since last weekend. On Monday, United announced Eric Ramsay will be the club’s new coach after being an assistant for Manchester United. The 32-year-old is the youngest head coach in MLS history – and he will not be on the touchline Saturday. Interim coach Cam Knowles remains in charge for Minnesota, but players will want to make a strong impression before their new head coach arrives shortly.

22 – One Minnesota player to watch is Teemu Pukki. The Finnish forward arrived midway through the 2023 season, but still had enough time to score 10 goals across 14 games for the Loons. Before MNUFC, he was a cult hero at English side Norwich City FC, where he scored 87 goals in 198 games and guided the team twice to promotion into the Premier League. At 33 years old, he won’t press the Crew backline like he used to, but he’s lethal in space and a clinical finisher. If last week was about denying Giorgos Giakoumakis, this week requires quieting Pukki.

When They Last Met

These teams last met on Aug. 4, 2023 in the knockout stages of Leagues Cup. The Crew and the Loons drew, 3-3, forcing a penalty shootout. The visitors advanced, 4-3. As for playing on league competition, the Crew haven’t played in Minnesota since May 18, 2019 – a 1-0 defeat.

Match Overview

Who: Columbus Crew at Minnesota United

When: Saturday, March at 2 p.m.

Where: Allianz Field

How to Listen: La Grande 102.5 FM | Alt 105.7 FM | iHeart Radio app

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