The Black & Gold return to MLS action on Sunday night when the Columbus Crew heads south once more to face Eastern Conference side Nashville SC. While last week paired Columbus against the conference’s top team, this weekend it’s the second-place side that Wilfried Nancy and his team will play against.
Three Things to Know
10 vs. 10 – No big deal, but Sunday night’s matchup could feature two of the league’s top talents: Lucas Zelarayán and Hany Mukhtar. We all know about Lucas, who has a goal or assist in five of his last seven MLS games. The Armenia international has scored in consecutive games and has six goals and three assists already to his name in 2023. But then there’s Hany, who was dubbed the 2022 Landon Donovan MVP. Mukhtar is up to eight goals and six assists through in 12 league appearances this season. While Crew fans are always treated to watching quality attacking players, the battle between these two on opposite sides of the pitch is the headline story for this match.
13 – Following Wednesday night’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup departure against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, the Crew can regroup Sunday night when the club travels to Nashville’s GEODIS Park for the first time. With the Open Cup in the rear-view mirror, the Black & Gold will only have league matches for the next two months until the Leagues Cup starts July 23. For the past month, Nancy has heavily rotated his squad to compete in two competitions. Other than a Wednesday night home date next week against the Colorado Rapids, the Crew doesn’t have a midweek match on its calendar until Independence Day. While this means there could be less rotation in the squad, it also means we’ll have a better idea of Nancy’s preferred XI entering the midway point in the season.
9 – Nashville SC, once a Western Conference foe, is now in the Eastern Conference following St. Louis CITY SC joining MLS this season. Nashville’s done well in the east to date and is currently positioned second in the conference standings. Nashville also lost its U.S. Open Cup match this week — a 2-1 loss at Inter Miami CF — and enters Sunday night unbeaten in its last six league matches. As mentioned above, Mukhtar is the biggest attacking threat, but the club’s backline also deserves praise. With only nine goals allowed through 14 games, Nashville’s defense has been the best across the league.
When They Last Met
Columbus was defeated, 1-0, when the clubs clashed at Lower.com Field on April 2, 2022. In the last meeting in Tennessee, the match finished level, 1-1. That night — Oct. 20, 2021 — Zelarayán scored in the 75th minute before Mukhtar produced the equalizer two minutes later.
Who: Columbus Crew at Nashville SC
When: Sunday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: GEODIS Park
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 – Eighth in Eastern Conference; Nashville SC – Second in Eastern Conference
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