This year’s second rendition of Hell Is Real returns on Saturday night when the Columbus Crew travels south down Interstate 71 to meet FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium.  

Three Things to Know

10 – Saturday night marks the 10th time these clubs have met in league action, and Columbus is currently unbeaten in nine of the previous occasions. The stakes have never been higher, though, as the clubs are only separated by a single point in the Eastern Conference standings. With the Black & Gold maintaining the seventh seed, a loss would result in the Orange and Blue knocking Columbus out of a playoff spot – at least temporarily. A Columbus win would give the Crew a four-point buffer between the Ohio clubs, keeping the Crew in a playoff spot and help the side inch closer to potentially securing at least one home match in the 2022 postseason. It’s worth noting Columbus has played one fewer match, however.  

6 – In addition to the club’s nice record against FCC, the Crew also enters Saturday’s match in an impressive run of form in away matches. Head coach Caleb Porter and his players are unbeaten in their last six road games – a streak that started May 28 against Atlanta United. A positive result in Cincinnati would be great to keep the streak going (and for bragging rights), but it also sets the Crew on the right path to start an eight-day stretch that includes three games. Following this match, the Crew hosts Inter Miami CF on Wednesday and Chicago Fire FC next Saturday. 

12 – Continuing with the streaks theme, the Black & Gold are unbeaten in 12 of their last 13 matches – a run that also started in the May win at Atlanta. During that time, the Crew has strengthened its defensive play and found attacking success. Luis Diaz and Derrick Etienne Jr. have been impactful on the wings, while Lucas Zelarayán has flourished as the No. 10. Don’t forget about Juan “Cucho” Hernandez, who’s scored eight goals in his first nine matches with Columbus. 

When They Last Met

Columbus beat Cincinnati, 2-0, when the clubs last met on July 17 at Lower.com Field. Cucho opened the scoring in the 16th minute before Zelarayán slotted home a penalty in the 86th minute. The side drew, 2-2, in their previous meeting at TQL Stadium last summer.  .

Match Overview

Who: Columbus Crew at FC Cincinnati 

When: Saturday, Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. 

Where: TQL Stadium 

How to Watch: Bally Sport Ohio, MLS Live on ESPN+ (Outside of Market) 

How to Listen: 97.1 The Fan (English), ColumbusCrew.com (Spanish) 

Current Standings: Columbus Crew – Seventh in Eastern Conference; FC Cincinnati – Ninth in Eastern Conference

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