TONIGHT'S STARTING XI
LAST REGULAR-SEASON MEETING
On July 24, Columbus Crew traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to face Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Crew found the match's only goal in the 65th minute when defender Jonathan Mensah headed in a corner kick. Midfielders Marlon Hairston and Lucas Zelarayan were credited with the assists as Columbus took a 1-0 win for their second regular-season road victory of 2021. Goalkeeper Eloy Room recorded five saves and registered his fifth shutout of the regular season. Mensah provided 14 clearances to power the defense to their second consecutive clean sheet and their sixth of the season.
CREW LOOKS TO CONTINUE UNDEFEATED STREAK AGAINST ATLANTA UNITED
Entering Saturday's match against Atlanta United, the Crew are currently riding a five-match undefeated streak against the Five Stripes, dating back to the 2019 regular season (March 30). During that time, the Black & Gold have outscored Atlanta 9-2. Forward Gyasi Zardes has scored three goals against Atlanta during that span, leading the Club in the category, while defender Milton Valenzuela has provided two assists.
COLUMBUS CREW LEADS LEAGUE IN GOALS SCORED OUTSIDE OF THE 18-YARD BOX
The Black & Gold currently lead Major League Soccer in goals scored outside of the 18-yard box during the regular-season, having scored six goals from that area. Additionally, midfielder Lucas Zelarayan leads the League with five goals scored from the range.
ZELARAYAN LEADING LEAGUE IN DIRECT FREE-KICK GOALS THIS SEASON, GOALS FROM OUTSIDE BOX SINCE JOINING LEAGUE
Since the beginning of the 2020 MLS season, no player has scored more goals from outside the box in regular-season action than Lucas Zelarayan. The Argentine midfielder has scored eight goals over that span, including five free-kick strikes – also more than anyone else over that same span.
ZARDES HIGHEST-SCORING AMERICAN IN MLS SINCE 2018
Since joining the Crew prior to the 2018 season, forward Gyasi Zardes has been the highest-scoring American player in MLS regular-season action. Zardes' 48 strikes in regular-season action put him ahead of Chris Wondolowski's 34 goals. Additionally, 46 of Zardes's goals have been scored from inside the 18-yard box, with the forward also leading all American players in that category.
NAGBE AND HAIRSTON: PASS MASTERS
Through 17 matches in the 2021 MLS regular season, midfielders Darlington Nagbe and Marlon Hairston are among the League leaders in passing accuracy among players who have attempted 100 or more passes. Nagbe has made 16 starts while completing 801 of his 830 attempted passes for a passing accuracy percentage of 96.51%, while Hairston has made nine appearances and completed 313 of his 334 attempted passes for a passing accuracy percentage of 93.71%.