It’s Hell is Real Derby week in Ohio as the Columbus Crew heads to play FC Cincinnati in the first of two rivalry matches in 2021. This match will be the first all-Ohio clash at the new TQL Stadium in the West End neighborhood in downtown Cincinnati. Last season, the Crew and FC Cincy played four times in three different locations with Columbus winning matches at home and in Orlando while Cincinnati grabbed a draw and win at Nippert Stadium.
The Black & Gold come into this game with draws two straight matches and just one loss in their last six games. The squad is fresh off an exciting 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution in its inaugural match at its new stadium, Lower.com Field. While the hype around the next match at the new home is high, the Crew enters this Hell is Real Derby incredibly shorthanded with 11 players out due to injury or international call-ups.
FC Cincinnati has had a unique streak of late with no losses in its last four road matches that includes a three-match unbeaten run. However, Cincinnati has lost all three of its games at its new home in TQL Stadium and has a huge opportunity to get that first win against a shorthanded Crew squad. FC Cincy has already scored 10 goals this season, leaving the team two strikes away from equaling its 2020 total.
Injuries, Suspensions, and International Absences:
Crew: Artur (right hip), Aidan Morris (left knee), Milton Valenzuela (right thigh), Josh Williams (left ankle), Gyasi Zardes (Gold Cup), Eloy Room (Gold Cup), Kevin Molino (Gold Cup), Derrick Etienne Jr. (Gold Cup), Liam Fraser (Gold Cup), and Luis Diaz (Gold Cup) are OUT. Bradley Wright-Phillips (right thigh) is QUESTIONABLE.
FC Cincinnati: Calvin Harris (meniscus), Maikel van der Werff (sports hernia), Zico Bailey (hip), Ronald Matarrita (Gold Cup), and Allan Cruz (Gold Cup) are OUT.
How to watch:
Date: Friday, July 9, 2021, 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: TQL Stadium - Cincinnati, Ohio
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Radio: English: 97.1 The Fan - Spanish: Columbus Crew YouTube
Out-of-Market Streaming: ESPN+
In-Market Streaming: FC Cincinnati Website
9. Columbus Crew (11 GP, 16 PTS)
10. Atlanta United (11 GP, 12 PTS)
11. Chicago Fire (12 GP, 11 PTS)
12. FC Cincinnati (10 GP, 11 PTS)
Around the league:
The Crew-Cincinnati clash is the final game an in-week slate of MLS action, leaving the weekend open to focus on the Copa America Final (Brazil vs. Argentina), European Championship Final (Italy vs. England) and the start of the Gold Cup group stage.
MLS action this week has been surprising with the most shocking result being New England falling at home to a struggling Toronto FC 3-2. Another top Eastern Conference side lost this week as Orlando City fell 3-1 to the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field.
Out West, the Seattle Sounders made history on Wednesday with a 2-0 win against the Houston Dynamo. The win set a new record of 13 matches unbeaten to start an MLS season. The Sounders are nearly 40 percent of the way to an invincible season with 29 points already.
Last five matches:
October 14, 2020: FC Cincinnati 2, Columbus Crew 1 (Nippert Stadium)
September 6, 2020: Columbus Crew 3, FC Cincinnati 0 (MAPFRE Stadium)
August 29, 2020: FC Cincinnati 0, Columbus Crew 0 (Nippert Stadium)
July 11, 2020 (MLS is Back): FC Cincinnati 0, Columbus Crew 4 (ESPN Complex)
August 25, 2019: FC Cincinnati 1, Columbus Crew 3 (Nippert Stadium)