Hell Is Real, the intrastate rivalry named after a sign on Interstate-71, is back on Sunday night when the seven-game unbeaten Columbus Crew hosts six-game unbeaten FC Cincinnati at Lower.com Field.

This is the first meeting between the sides in 2022, with the next match scheduled in August in Cincinnati.

Three Things To Know

7 – The Black & Gold are unbeaten in their last seven games, which has the propelled the side from the lower rings of the Eastern Conference up to eighth – one spot of out a playoff position. (Seventh-place Charlotte FC has two more wins, which is the first tie breaker, but has played one more match.) The Crew has produced inspiring performances of late and has scored five second-half goals in the past two games. Now, the team is hoping its good form will lead to its first home win at Lower.com Field since April 30.

8 – Sunday night marks the 10th Hell Is Real derby in league play since 2019, and during that time, the Crew has been unbeaten on eight occasions. The club is also undefeated against Cincinnati when playing in Columbus, and the Black & Gold have outscored their southern neighbors, 18-9, during the last nine meetings. If the past says one thing, it’s that the Crew has dominated this rivalry. That said, Sunday might be one of the more contested meetings between the clubs, as FCC enters the match sixth in the Eastern Conference standings – two spots above Columbus. The three-time Wooden Spoon winners are also unbeaten in their last six games.

9 – With three goals in his first two games, is Columbus ready for the home debut of Juan “Cucho” Hernandez? The Colombian forward has been red-hot since he joined from Watford FC, and he’s entering the match having scored a brace Wednesday night at D.C. United. His introduction into the team has been a massive boost for the attack, but it’s also reignited his teammates. Lucas Zelarayán, who had four assists in his first 13 games this season, has four in his last two games. Derrick Etienne Jr. has already tied his career-best for goals in a season (5), and scored his first career brace last Saturday in the thrilling 3-2 win at Chicago Fire FC.

When They Last Met

Miguel Berry scored two goals in two minutes as the Columbus Crew beat FC Cincinnati, 3-2, at Lower.com Field on Aug. 28, 2021. It was the second time Columbus came from behind in the rivalry last year. In the first match on July 10, Columbus trailed, 2-0, and was down to 10 men, but it rallied to earn a draw at TQL Stadium. That match marked Berry’s first career goal in MLS.

\Match Overview \

  • Who: Columbus Crew hosts FC Cincinnati
  • When: Sunday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Lower.com Field
  • Tickets: Click here to purchase
  • How to Watch: FS1, FOX Deportes
  • How to Listen: 97.1 The Fan (English), ColumbusCrew.com (Spanish)
  • Current Standings: Columbus Crew – Eighth in Eastern Conference; FC Cincinnati – Sixth in Eastern Conference

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