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Jonathan Mensah named to MLS Team of the Week

The Black & Gold captain earns honor for the second time in 2020

MLS: Nashville SC at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

In what’s been a season of numerous highs for Columbus Crew SC, the club saw individual recognition yet again on Monday when defender Jonathan Mensah was named to this week’s Major League Soccer Team of the Week. This comes after Saturday night’s 2-0 victory against Nashville SC, which kept the Crew at the top of the Supporters’ Shield standings and held firm the league’s best defensive record.

This is the second time the Black & Gold captain received Team of the Week honor in 2020 and a league-high 14th player appearance in the team selection following Lucas Zelarayan (4), Darlington Nagbe (4), Gyasi Zardes (2), Derrick Ettiene Jr. (1) and Artur (1). Despite the defensive success all season, it has been some time since a Black & Gold defender has been named to Team of the Week.

It has been a standout season for the Ghanian international who has led the charge for a Black & Gold defensive front that has a league-high nine clean sheets and eight wins, including the fewest goals conceded with four. Mensah been a force for the Black & Gold this year, playing every single minute so far in 2020.

The defender is a major contributor to Columbus becoming the first team in MLS history to win its first five home games, all in shutout fashion.

“It’s nice,” said Mensah when asked about this historic statistic on Monday. “But [we] want more.”

Mensah was a rock for the Columbus backline on Saturday’s win in the team’s first-ever matchup with Nashville SC. He finished with a 71.4 duel win percentage and a 89.8 percent passing accuracy, which added to four clearances, three blocks and two interceptions.

En route to the 810 minutes of play for the 30-year-old, Mensah currently averages 0.7 tackles, 1.8 interceptions and a team-high 4.2 clearances per game.

“I’m proud the team is winning, winning at home and that we’re getting shutouts,” head coach Caleb Porter said following Saturday’s victory.

The Crew has a busy schedule this week. The team goes into Wednesday with a rematch at home against Minnesota United after a MLS is Back Tournament loss where the Black & Gold fell 5-3 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw in regulation. The Black & Gold then travels to Connecticut to face Toronto FC, looking to maintain the team’s lead on the race for the 2020 Supporters’ Shield.