Columbus Crew SC tasted game action for the first time in 2018 this Wednesday as the team played a closed-door scrimmage with the Colorado Rapids in Casa Grande, Arizona, where both teams are holding preseason camp.
The Black & Gold prevailed 2-1 with new signee forward Gyasi Zardes and SuperDraft pick midfielder Luis Argudo scoring the goals.
Crew SC’s first half lineup featured Zack Steffen in goal and a backline of Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams and Hector Jimenez. In the midfield was Cristian Martinez, Argudo, Wil Trapp and Pedro Santos with Zardes up top and Eduardo Sosa playing underneath the striker.
The 26-year-old forward took only two minutes to score the first goal for Crew SC. The Rapids tied the game at the 26th minute mark on a header of center back Kortne Ford.
Columbus went with a mostly new lineup to begin the second half. New backup goalkeeper Jon Kempin took over in the net with second-year defender Connor Maloney, Alex Crognale, Lalas Abubakar and Academy player Aboubacar Keita in front of him. Second-year winger Niko Hansen started in the midfield along with Argudo, Mohammed Abu and SuperDraft selection Edward Opoku. Sosa remained in the attacking midfield role until the 60th minute when he was replaced by Academy player Colin Biros. Adam Jahn played as the forward.
Argudo scored the game-winner in the 58th minute, when the Black & Gold probably had an alternative lineup on the field.
The Rapids had several of their most relevant players such as goalkeeper Tim Howard, center back Axel Sjoberg, fullback Edgar Castillo, midfielder Stefan Aigner and forward Dominique Badji on the field in the first half of the activity.
If any more information from the first preseason scrimmage in Arizona is released, Massive Report will provide all updates.
More scrimmages are expected to happen before the team heads to Hawaii, where it will face Japanese side Consadole Sapporo on February 9th for the Pacific Rim Cup.