The Columbus Crew plays its penultimate regular-season home match on Sunday afternoon when the team welcomes the Portland Timbers to Lower.com Field in a 2015 MLS Cup Finals rematch.
Three Things to Know
7 – The Black & Gold currently maintain the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference standings, which is the cutoff to make the 2022 postseason. The good news is that the club controls its destiny and has a two-point lead over eighth-place Inter Miami CF. With four games remaining, it’s crucial for the Crew to deliver a strong performance at home on Sunday afternoon against a Portland side that’s also fighting to clinch a playoff spot in its respective conference.
9 – Big matches require big moments from big players, so one of the major storylines for the Crew entering Sunday is how Lucas Zelarayán and Juan “Cucho” Hernández fare against the Timbers. Both have nine goals this season, which leads the team, and have found the scoring sheet in recent weeks. The Crew’s backline has been strong recently and has conceded the second-fewest number of goals in the Eastern Conference with 35. The attack’s 40 goals scored ranks second-lowest of any team in a playoff spot currently, though. An electric attack on Sunday won’t just help the team against Portland, but could rejuvenate the Black & Gold’s offense in the final weeks of the regular season before the playoffs.
113 – We rarely hit triple digits in this series, but this one is worth it. Head coach Caleb Porter is a win away from becoming the 10th-most winning coach in MLS history. With 112 career wins all-time, he is one game back from Ben Olson, with the tiebreaker being winning percentage. Porter won the 2020 MLS Cup with the Crew, of course, but he also won it with Portland in 2015. Darlington Nagbe, who was also part of the Crew in 2020, won an MLS Cup with Porter and the Timbers, too.
When They Last Met
The two sides meet again for the first time in three years. Back on April 20, 2019, the Crew hosted the Timbers at Historic Crew Stadium and lost, 3-1, to the visitors. Pedro Santos’ second-half finish was the lone goal for Columbus.
What: Hispanic Heritage Celebration
When: Sunday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m.
Where: Lower.com Field
Tickets: Click here to purchase
How to Watch: ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+
How to Listen: 97.1 The Fan (English)
Current Standings: Columbus Crew – Seventh in Eastern Conference; Portland Timbers – Sixth in Western Conference
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