Megan Scribner, ColumusCrewSC.com
Columbus Crew SC continues its homestand at MAPFRE Stadium on Wednesday when it takes on Eastern Conference leaders Atlanta United FC at 7:30 p.m. ET.
On Saturday, Crew SC claimed a point in a draw with the New York Red Bulls. Forward Gyasi Zardes opened the scoring with a goal in the 26th minute — his 10th goal of the season. Defender Harrison Afful crossed the ball from the endline to Zardes, who headed it past Red Bull’s goalkeeper Luis Robles. The Red Bulls equalized early in the second half but neither side could find the winner in the 1-1 draw.
Atlanta United is coming off of a similar 1-1 draw, having tied with New York City FC on Saturday afternoon. Atlanta’s Josef Martinez extended his Golden Boot lead with a goal in the 48th minute, giving Atlanta the lead. NYCFC equalized late in the game to salvage a point at home.
The last time Crew SC met with Atlanta United, the Black & Gold eliminated Atlanta from the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs in a Knockout Round at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The two clubs remained scoreless after 120 minutes of play, with goalkeeper Zack Steffen making eight saves to force the match to a penalty kick shootout. Steffen made another two saves during the shootout, sending the Black & Gold to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Wednesday’s match will be Crew SC’s fourth contest in just 12 days. Columbus is currently unbeaten in nine games, dating back to a draw with the New England Revolution on April 21.
The Black & Gold take a well-deserved break before continuing the season on the road at Los Angeles FC on Saturday June 23. The match kicks off at Banc of California Stadium at 10:30 p.m. ET.