Saturday was a special night for Columbus Crew SC.
Not only did the club defeat D.C. United 3-1 to move to 3-0-1 in 2018 and extend its regular season unbeaten streak to 14 games, but with his 40th minute assist to midfielder Ricardo Clark, the 50th of his Major League Soccer career, Federico Higuain, who hit the 50 goal mark on March 10, joined the league’s elite 50/50 club.
“I’m happy,” Higuain said. “I’m proud to be a part of this team in the last couple years. About this, I’m a hard worker but nothing is possible without my teammates, staff, coach and the support that they gave me and they are giving me this day. So let me tell them a big thank you.”
Pipa made his debut for Crew SC on Aug. 19, 2012, against the Houston Dynamo, after signing with the team from Club Atlético Colón, coming on as a substitute at halftime. He recorded his first career assist — to Eddie Gaven — after just 13 minutes.
Higuain made his first start three days later against Toronto FC registering another assist — again to Gaven — and scoring his first career goal for the Black & Gold. The next game, he scored again, twice and continued to write history from there.
Nearly six years later and Higuain has hit half a century in both goals and assists, becoming just the 19th player in MLS to reach both of those marks — the only active player aside from the Portland Timbers’ Diego Valeri — and the sixth to do so with just one team.
He now is in the company of MLS players such as Landon Donovan, Jeff Cunningham, Jaime Moreno, Jason Kreis and Brian McBride, just to name a few of the league’s legends that share this honor with Higuain.
Head coach Gregg Berhalter, no stranger to MLS, recognized the significance of this achievement and made sure Higuain’s teammates did as well.
“I told the guys after the game that this is no small thing that he’s accomplished,” Berhalter said. “Fifty goals and fifty assists in this league is a great accomplishment. I can’t say enough positive things about his performance, about his contributions to what we do and what we’ve been doing over the years. I think this is a great honor. I think he should enjoy this, and congratulations to him.”
Despite being one of the league’s top playmakers over his time with Crew SC, Higuain tends to be under appreciated in MLS. He has never made an all-star team or been on the best 11. At 33 years old, experts continue to doubt how long he can continue to play at this level.
And yet, Pipa defies the odds, with great season after great season.
While Higuain understands the significance of his accomplishment, Crew SC’s No. 10 has never been the type to focus on himself or individual accolades. But in this case, he had a message for MLS, that he, and the Black & Gold, are nowhere near done.
“I know not too many players get these numbers, but I want more,” he said. “That is what we are. We want more. We have a dream. We want to be a good team game by game. We’ll see what happens.”