By The Numbers

By The Numbers | Crew visit Charlotte FC on Saturday

Unbeaten across all competitions to start 2024, the Columbus Crew return to the road Saturday night when they face Eastern Conference foe Charlotte FC at Bank of America Stadium. 

Numbers to Know Before Kickoff

2 – So far, so good for the Black & Gold, who sit second in the Eastern Conference with 10 points from the first four matches. Inter Miami CF is tied on points – but has played an extra game. The Crew have continued their liquid soccer from last season, playing above, around and through opponents. Columbus battered a strong New York Red Bulls side, 3-0, last weekend, and hopes to carry that momentum on the road in North Carolina. It should be noted that this is the first time the Crew have had a full week to prepare for a road opponent since entering Matchday 2 at Minnesota United FC on March 2. With more time to prepare – and recover – it’ll be interesting to see head coach Wilfried Nancy’s starting lineup. 

80.5% – “Columbus is the greatest team the world has ever seen…”  The Crew are literally one of the top clubs on the planet when playing under pressure. Earlier this week, CIES Football Observatory ranked the Black & Gold sixth in the world for highest ball retention percentage under high-intensity pressure. The Crew have an 80.5% retention rate. For comparison, Bayern München has a 79.9% rate, Arsenal FC’s is 80.8% and Manchester City leads all teams at 84.2%. Talk about solid – and deserving – company.

11 – Charlotte FC enters Saturday night’s matchup ranked 11th in the Eastern Conference with four points from the opening four games. New head coach Dean Smith is still settling in, and this is a club in transition. Other than a 1-0 win in the season opener, Charlotte has been winless in the month of March. The club’s two most-recent results were a 2-1 loss at Nashville SC and a 1-0 loss at Toronto FC. That said, this is also Charlotte’s first home game since its win, and the club is about to play three-of-its-next-five games at Bank of America Stadium. 

10 – One Charlotte player to watch is creative midfielder Brecht Dejargere. The No. 10 is a 32-year-old Belgian who already has a goal and assist through four games this season. Dejargere is still relatively new to the league. He joined Charlotte FC in 2023, but he’s only made 10 league starts across both seasons. With Ligue 1 experience, he’ll be one player to watch for the home side on Saturday night. 

When They Last Met

The Crew won, 4-2, in the last meeting on June 3, 2023, at Field. Christian Ramirez opened the scoring in the fifth minute before adding a second just before the hour mark. Between those two goals, Max Arfsten and Cucho Hernández also added tallies to the scoreboard. Charlotte won the last meeting at Bank of America Stadium, 1-0, on Apr. 22, 2023. 

Match Overview

Who: Columbus Crew at Charlotte FC

When: Saturday, Mar. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Bank of America Stadium

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

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