For the first time in Columbus Crew SC history, the Black and Gold will take on a Spanish opposition. Crew SC take on Valencia CF Wednesday night in an international friendly.
Valencia finished their La Liga campaign last weekend, clinching the fourth spot and a birth in next season UEFA Champions League Playoff Round.
Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter is excited for Valencia to come to MAPFRE Stadium for the fans and his players.
"What I hope to see, first of all the fans to get to see that level up close and personal," Berhalter said on Tuesday. "I said that last year about Crystal Palace. This is even a higher quality than Crystal Palace. To see these players up close will be special."
The head coach also wants to get some of his reserve players some much-deserved minutes.
"We're going to play two different lineups, 45 minutes each. So we're going to switch up the teams," Berhalter explained.
"Then, to give some of our guys time who haven't really been playing, haven't experienced. Guys like Ben Swanson, Kalen Ryden's back to play in this game, Adam Bedell's going to play. It's a great opportunity to give guys some game minutes."
Los Che finished the season with a record of 22-5-11 and 77 points. They were led in scoring by Dani Parejo and co-led in assists by three players. They are led by first-year manager Nuno Espirito Santo.
The Black and Gold are 10-5-3 all time in international friendlies, including a 1-1-1 record over the last three years. Last season, Columbus drew with Crystal Palace 2-2 at MAPFRE Stadium.
"It's great to have Valencia here in central Ohio," Berhalter said. "This is a chance for them to see a team that you don't get to see live unless obviously you're traveling in Spain. I think it's gonna be a good treat for the fans."
Valencia did not bring their whole roster to the United State for a tour that will also feature a trip to New York City next week. Here is who will be available in this contest:
Goalkeepers (2): Jaume Domenech, Yoel
Defenders (8): Sergio Ayala, Antonio Barragan, Joao Cancelo, Jose Gaya, Shkodran Mustafi, Salvador Ruiz, Ruben Vezo, Nacho Vidal
Midfielders (6): Filipe Augusto, Fernando Cano, Javi Fuego, Dani Parejo, Rodrigo de Paul, Tropi
Forwards (4): Paco Alcacer, Alvaro Negredo, Pablo Piatti, Rodrigo
Crew SC International Friendly History
|May 14, 1997||Leeds United, W 2-1|
|May 24, 2000||Hamburger SV, W 4-2|
|July 26, 2000||Newcastle United, D 2-2|
|May 29, 2001||Bayer Leverkusen, W 4-2|
|May 15, 2002||FC Nürnberg, W 7-2|
|June 26, 2002||Tigres UANL, L 2-1|
|June 4, 2005||Catolica, W 4-1|
|July 27, 2005||Fulham FC, W 2-1|
|July 26, 2006||Everton, D 1-1|
|November 8, 2006||CSD Municipal, W 2-0|
|July 28, 2007||Aston Villa, L 3-1|
|November 3, 2007||Tecos UAG, W 2-0|
|July 9, 2008||Independiente, W 2-1|
|July 20, 2009||West Ham United, L 3-1|
|July 26, 2011||Newcastle United, L 2-0|
|July 24, 2012||Stoke City, W 2-1|
|July 13, 2013||Wigan Athletic, L 2-1|
|July 23, 2014||Crystal Palace, D 2-2|