By The Numbers pres. by Ohio Business Machines | Crew hosts St. Louis CITY SC in Leagues Cup

The Columbus Crew kicks off its Leagues Cup campaign on Sunday night when St. Louis CITY SC comes to Field for the first of two group stage matches. 

Three Things To Know 

C1(?) — Is that technically a number? Eh… This is the first of two Crew group stage matches in the Leagues Cup, as Columbus plays St. Louis before hosting Liga MX powerhouse Club América next week. This tournament is a first of its kind, so it’s OK if you’re a little confused how this works. This is a World Cup-style tournament, where the top two teams of each group advance to the Round of 32. There are no ties — if a match finishes level, there’s a penalty shootout, and the winner of that earns two points. Because the Crew plays two group stage matches, there’s no point to dwell on scenarios. One thing worth highlighting, though, is the club won’t play again until July 31. St. Louis and Club América meet on July 27, so the Crew has more recovery time between group matches than its C1 cohorts. 

8 — The name of the competition might’ve changed, but the Crew enters Sunday in impressive form, as head coach Wilfried Nancy’s men are unbeaten in eight of the last nine games. (Yes, Nancy is back for this match.) But so is a squad that was filled with injuries and players unavailable because of international duty. In last weekend’s match at the Portland Timbers, Jacen Russell-Rowe and Aidan Morris made their first appearances since June 19 after playing in the Concacaf Gold Cup. Additionally, Cucho Hernández served a one-match suspension, and the backline is healing as Miloš Degenek and Gustavo Vallecilla return to full match fitness. The Leagues Cup brings us a bunch of questions, but it seems like the Black & Gold have been able to figure things out as they go, and we would expect the same during the next month. 

1 — Per perhaps the best way to analyze St. Louis CITY SC entering the match is by looking at its start to the 2023 season. It’s been a blistering one. In its inaugural MLS season, St. Louis leads the Western Conference standings with 41 points from 23 games — four points ahead of second-place LAFC, the reigning MLS Cup champs. CITY SC’s attack is led by Nicholas Gioacchini, who has eight goals through 23 games. Equally impressive is Eduard Löwen, who has six goals and six assists in his 18 league appearances. St. Louis leads the Western Conference in goals scored during league play. Of course, Columbus leads MLS. Maybe this ends up being a low-scoring matchup … but probably not! 

When They Last Met

Sunday night marks the first time these clubs have ever met. St. Louis CITY SC is in its inaugural MLS season as the 29th club in the league. The Crew, of course, was the first. 

Match Overview

Who: Columbus Crew hosts St. Louis CITY SC

When: Sunday, July 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Field 

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

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