By The Numbers

By The Numbers pres. by Ohio Business Machines | Crew hosts Rapids Wednesday night

Who’s up for one last midweek match for a few weeks? The Columbus Crew returns to a sold-out Field on Wednesday night when the Black & Gold host Western Conference foe Colorado Rapids to close out the month. 

Three Things to Know 

9 — Juan “Cucho” Hernández was a breakout scorer when he joined the Crew last summer. But so far in 2023, what we’ve seen is also his ability as an attacking distributor. Cucho has six assists to date, including five in his last four MLS appearances. His 0.75 assists per game ratio is one of the best in the league and speaks to an added dimension in his play. Of course, he’s still a lethal goal scorer, but his ability to put teammates in great spaces shouldn’t be taken for granted — especially when he’s paired with Lucas Zelarayán. Cucho only has one goal through eight appearances. For reference, he had nine in 16 appearances last season. But the added skillset to his game will only help as he returns to scoring form soon. 

4 — Crew supporters have become accustomed to midweek games as the club jockeyed through Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play, but Wednesday’s league match against Colorado is the last time Columbus has a weeknight game until Independence Day on July 4 at Inter Miami CF. Between now and then, the Black & Gold have six matches on the schedule — four of which are at Field. As they near the midway point in the season, the next four matches could prove critical for building momentum and pushing for the postseason later this campaign. 

13 — Fortunes are slightly different for the Rapids in 2023 in comparison with the club two seasons ago. Then, Colorado finished the regular season with a Western Conference-best 61 points (1.79 points per game). The Rapids are currently 13th in the Western Conference with 12 points from 15 games (0.8 points per game) and have struggled this season. For example, former Crew defender Lalas Abubakar is tied for a team-high two goals, which highlights his scoring ability, but reiterates the club’s attacking players have struggled putting the ball into the net. One thing to note, however, is Colorado has a better road record — 2-3-3 — than when playing at home (0-4-3). Hopefully that won’t matter at Field on Wednesday night, but it’s a stat worth highlighting. 

When They Last Met

A 2-2 draw was the final score when the teams last played on Aug. 13, 2022 at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park. Cucho scored in the fifth minute before Diego Rubio found the equalizer four minutes from halftime. This is the first time Colorado plays in Columbus since Sept. 22, 2018 — a 2-1 Crew win. Gyasi Zardes and Federico Higuaín produced the goals for the Black & Gold at Historic Crew Stadium. 

Match Overview

Who: Columbus Crew hosts Colorado Rapids

When: Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Field 

How to Listen: 97.1 HD3/The Fan Stream, La Mega 103.1 FM

Current Standings: Columbus Crew – 10th in Eastern Conference; Colorado Rapids – 13th in Western Conference

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