There’s no time to celebrate … yet.
After clinching a spot in the 2023 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs on Wednesday night, the Columbus Crew is back on the road Saturday when it faces Western Conference foe FC Dallas down in Frisco.
Three Things To Know
48 – The Columbus Crew is returning to the postseason. This isn’t a surprise given the club’s impressive summer, but the Black & Gold sealed a spot in the playoffs on Wednesday night in the convincing 3-0 win over rival Chicago Fire FC at Lower.com Field. The Crew returns to the postseason for the first time since 2020 – the year the club won MLS Cup – and is now competing for potential home-field advantage. With five games remaining in the regular season, this is an impressive feat for first-year head coach Wilfried Nancy and his players, who’ve produced memorable performances throughout the season. Now, we’re a month away from seeing what sort of cup run they can conjure. One final note: 48 points is already the most the team has produced in a single season since 2018. (The 2020 season was shortened.)
22:51 – Before September, no Crew played had scored a hat trick in five seasons. Cucho Hernández has two in three games. The Colombian scored the second-fastest hat trick in MLS history on Wednesday night with his three first half goals. With only 15 minutes between his first and third goal, Cucho converted penalties in the eighth and 16th minutes, then added a third in the 23rd via a header. Columbus’ No. 9 now has … this is a real stat … seven goals in the last three games. To date, he has a team-leading 13 goals and 11 assists, which ties him with Gyasi Zardes for the most goals in a season since 2019. Don’t forget there’s still a handful of games to go. (Think of the hat trick opportunities that await!)
9 – The Crew isn’t the only club riding high into Saturday night. FC Dallas won, 3-1, at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday after scoring three second-half goals to claim the three points. Before kickoff, FCD was 11th in the Western Conference. Now, the club’s ninth – in a play-in spot – and snapped a three-game winless spell. And speaking of dry spells, Jesús Ferreira notched a brace in the Dallas win to score his first league goals since July 7. The USMNT forward now has 12 league goals in 21 games and just moved into second place all time for career FCD goals.
When They Last Met
We have to go back to the Crew’s MLS Cup-winning season in 2020 to recall the last time these clubs faced one another. Toyota Stadium was the scene on Oct. 3, as the sides tied, 2-2. The Columbus goals came through Youness Mokhtar and Pedro Santos.
Who: Columbus Crew at FC Dallas
When: Saturday, Sept. 20 at 8:30 p.m.
Where: Toyota Stadium
How to Watch: MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app
How to Listen: 97.1 HD3/The Fan Stream, La Mega 103.1 FM
Current Standings: Columbus Crew – third in Eastern Conference; FC Dallas – ninth in Western Conference
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