Columbus Crew SC has started the 2019 season brightly, winning two of the first three games and earning a draw in the season opener. This weekend, the Black & Gold defeated FC Dallas 1-0 at MAFPRE Stadium, the team’s second consecutive shutout of the year.
On Monday, two members of the Crew’s defense were rewarded for their performance in the victory as center back Gaston Sauro and goalkeeper Zack Steffen were named to the Major League Soccer Team of the Week. Sauro was part of the “starting 11” while Steffen was on the bench.
Both Sauro and Steffen were instrumental in the win against Dallas. For the second time this season, the defender scored a goal from a corner kick, after Sauro made a near-post run and headed home Pedro Santos’ set piece play in the 10th minute. After scoring the goal, Sauro was important in maintaining the team’s second shutout of the year, leading all defenders in tackles and leading the Crew in clearances in the match.
This is the second appearance on the MLS Team of the Week for Sauro, who also received these honors after scoring his first goal for the club in the 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls in Week 1.
Despite playing on what we now know is an injured knee that will keep him out of this week’s U.S. Men’s National Team camp and out of action for the Black & Gold this week, Steffen made two saves to help Columbus earn the victory.
Last week, forward Gyasi Zardes was named to the Team of the Week after scoring both goals in a 2-0 win over New England Revolution. Head coach Caleb Porter was named the MLS Coach of the Week after he directed his team to the impressive road win.
The Crew are next in action next Saturday against the Philadelphia Union on the road. The Black & Gold will be without Steffen (injury), midfielder Wil Trapp and forward Gyasi Zardes (U.S. Men’s National Team call-ups) as well as winger Justin Meram (Iraq) and defender Waylon Francis (Costa Rica). The game against the Union will kick off from Talen Energy Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday night.