First Touches | #CLBvMIN
© Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

First Touches | #CLBvMIN

MATCHUP QUICK FACTS

  • Minnesota and Columbus last met in the first knockout round of the MLS is Back Tournament. After battling to a 1-1 draw, the Loons emerged victorious with a 5-3 penalty shootout win en route to a semifinal appearance.
  • The Loons added forward Kei Kamara in a trade with Colorado Rapids on Saturday. Kamara is fifth all-time leading goalscorer in MLS with 129 goals in his career.
  • Kamara has taken 1026 shots in his career, and is the only MLS player with more that 1000 shots.
  • Kevin Molino scored his sixth goal of the year to open the scoring in Saturday’s 2-2 draw in Houston. He is now tied for fifth overall in the league this season.
  • Jan Gregus provided the assist for Molino’s goal, tying him for the second-most in MLS with six on the year.
  • Gregus will miss this game due to a red card suspension.
  • Robin Lod scored his fourth goal of the year on Saturday, the second-most on the team.
  • Dayne St. Clair made eight saves against the Dynamo, including the first penalty-kick stop in his MLS career.
  • Columbus currently leads MLS with 27 points on the year.
  • This will be Minnesota’s first regular season game against an Eastern Conference team.
  • Michael Boxall took sole ownership of the club MLS appearance record on Saturday, taking the field 85 times for the Loons.
  • This will be the Loons’ second trip to MAPFRE Stadium. The last time they played there was on the final day of the 2018 regular season, suffering a 3-2 loss.
  • The Loons have never scored in the first half against Crew SC in regular season play. Lod scored 11 minutes into the knockout meeting with Columbus earlier this year.
  • Columbus forward Gyasi Zardes is second in the league with nine goals on the year.
  • Crew SC is the third-most fouled team in MLS, suffering 188 fouls.
  • Columbus has allowed just four goals in league play this year. Both goalkeepers Eloy Room and Andrew Tarbell have a 0.33 goals against average.

MINNESOTA CONNECTIONS

  • Columbus Technical Director Pat Onstad was a teammate of Minnesota Chief Soccer Officer Manny Lagos on the San Jose Earthquakes in 2003.
  • Lagos ended his playing career with Columbus in 2005.
  • Loons Technical Director Mark Watson played the inaugural MLS Season in 1996 with Columbus.
  • Ethan Finlay spent his entire professional career with Columbus before joining MNUFC. He played for Crew SC from 2012 through mid-2017 when we was traded to the Loons.
  • Aaron Schoenfeld was a member of Columbus Crew SC from 2012–2015.Matt Lampson spent 2018 with Minnesota United, starting nine games while racking up 31 saves and winning MLS Humanitarian of the Year.
  • Jon Kempin teamed up with Ike Opara from 2013 to 2016 when he was with Sporting Kansas City.
  • Waylon Francis and Osvaldo Alonso played for Seattle Sounders FC in 2018.
  • Kei Kamara had two stints with Crew SC, first from 2006 to 2007 and then again in 2015 and 2016. He scored 32 of his career goals with Columbus.
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