Megan Scribner, ColumbusCrewSC.com
Columbus Crew SC claimed a point to keep pace in the Eastern Conference with a draw against the New York Red Bulls on a stormy Saturday evening at MAPFRE Stadium.
In the first half, Crew SC dominated, creating scoring chances and out-shooting the Red Bulls 15 to 2. Forward Gyasi Zardes put Columbus on the board first with a goal in the 26th minute — his 10th goal of the season. Harrison Afful crossed from the endline to Zardes, who headed it past Red Bull’s goalkeeper Luis Robles.
New York equalized early in the second half off a 57th minute free kick. As the clouds rolled in, the Black & Gold picked up their pace, again dominating possession in the final half-hour, but neither side could find the winner.
Columbus out-shot the Red Bulls 18 to 11 — with six shots on target — and out-possessed New York 53-47 percent. The Black & Gold stretched their MLS regular-season unbeaten streak to nine games. With the draw, Columbus sits at 1,000 points in Major League Soccer, becoming only the third club to join the millennium-mark.
Crew SC continues its homestand on Wednesday, hosting Atlanta United FC at MAPFRE Stadium. The Eastern Conference clash kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Forward Gyasi Zardes scored a goal in tonight’s match against the New York Red Bulls. The American forward scored his 10th goal of the MLS regular season off of assists from Harrison Afful and Federico Higuain. The score marks Zardes’ 44th goal of his career. This is the first time since 2014 that Zardes has scored at least 10 goals in a season. This season Zardes has started in all 16 matches for Crew SC, and made 147 regular-season appearance (132 starts) in his MLS career.
With Gyasi Zardes’ 27th-minute goal, the striker has now scored in four consecutive MLS regular-season home matches. The goal-scoring streak began in a 1-0 home victory against the Philadelphia Union (May 9), and continued through a matches against the Chicago Fire (May 12) where he recorded a brace in the 3-0 victory, and against Toronto FC (June 2) where he scored a goal in the 3-3 draw.
Harrison Afful made his 75th MLS regular-season start in his career and registered an assist in tonight’s match against the New York Red Bulls. The assist came in the 27th minute as the Ghanaian defender provided a cross to the head of Gyasi Zardes. The pass marks Afful’s first assist since a road match against Atlanta United on June 17, 2017. In addition to the assist tonight, Afful took 53 touches, making 33 passes and creating four chances. Since joining Crew SC in 2015, Afful has scored four goals (one this season) and provided seven assists (one this season).
Midfielder Federico Higuain recorded an assist in tonight’s match against the New York Red Bulls. The assist came on Gyasi Zardes’ 27th-minute goal to put the Black & Gold up 1-0. This season, Higuain has scored four goals and provided seven assists in 16 regular-season appearances (15 starts). Higuain’s seven assists lead all members of the Black & Gold this season. Since joining the club in 2012, the Argentine has made 165 appearances (159 starts), and has become one of 18 players in MLS history to reach the 50-50 club, having tallied 52 goals and 56 assists.
With tonight’s 1-1 draw, Crew SC earns its 1,000th point in club history during MLS regular-season action. In so doing, Crew SC joins LA Galaxy (1087) and FC Dallas (1005) as the only teams in MLS to reach the milestone.
With a goal by Zardes, Crew SC extends its regular-season home goal-scoring streak to 16 consecutive matches, dating back to a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union on July 22, 2017. Over that span, the Black & Gold have compiled a regular-season winning record of 11-1-4 at home, outscoring opponents 33-16. In 2018, Crew SC has a regular-season home record of 5-1-3 while outscoring opponents 21-11.
With tonight’s 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls, Crew SC extends its regular-season unbeaten streak to nine games, dating back to a 2-2 draw on April 21st against the New England Revolution. Since then, the Black & Gold have posted a record of 4-0-5, outscoring their opponents by a score of 13-6.
With tonight’s 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls, the Black & Gold are now 4-0-3 in 2018 when Federico Higuain provides an assist. This undefeated record dates back to the first match of the season when Higuain scored the game-winning goal against Toronto FC (March 3) in a 2-0 victory for the club.
With tonight’s 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls, Crew SC’s record on the season moves to 7-3-6. Next up, Crew SC will take on Atlanta United FC at MAPFRE Stadium on Wednesday, June 13, at 7:30 PM ET.