Crew SC hang on after late red card to notch 1-all tie in Orlando


ORLANDO -- Rookie defender Lalas Abubakar tallied his first career MLS goal in tonight’s match, scoring Crew SC’s first goal in the 35th minute as he headed in a ball from Waylon Francis en route to a 1-all draw with homestanding Orlando City SC.

Abubakar played the entire 90 minutes, registering one shot, one tackle and making 30 passes. In 2017, Abubakar has made five appearances (all starts), scoring one goal.

In tonight’s match, defender Waylon Francis recorded his second regular-season assist of 2017. Francis provided the pass that led to Crew SC’s opening goal in the 35th minute. In 2017, Francis has made 11 regular-season appearances (nine starts), recording one assist. Since joining the Black & Gold in November of 2013, Francis has made 82 regular-season appearances (74 starts), recording 17 assists for Crew SC.

Goalkeeper Zack Steffen set a new MLS regular-season career-high number of saves with seven stops on the night. In 2017, Steffen has made 26 regular-season appearances (all starts), recording six shutouts and 79 saves.

Crew SC’s newest Designated Player, midfielder Pedro Santos, made his debut in tonight’s match. Santos came in as a substitute for defender Cristian Martinez in the 62nd minute. Santos was acquired as a Designated Player via a Discovery Signing on August 8, 2017. He is the sixth Designated Player in club history for the Black & Gold.

Midfielder Cristian Martinez made his first regular-season start of 2017 in tonight’s match against Orlando City SC. Martinez played the entire 90 minutes, completing 80% of his passes and making three tackles. In 2017, Martinez has made five appearances (one start).

With Lalas Abubakar’s goal in tonight’s match, all four of Crew SC’s rookie field players in 2017 have either scored or provided an assist in regular-season action. Niko Hansen has registered one goal and two assists; Lalas Abubakar has scored one goal; Alex Crognale has provided one assist; and Connor Maloney has recorded one assist.

Tonight’s match was Crew SC’s seventh regular-season all-time match against Orlando City SC. The Black & Gold are undefeated in their last four matches against the Lions with a record of 2-0-2 over that span. With tonight’s draw, Columbus brings its regular-season record against Orlando to 3-1-3. Additionally, in all-time regular-season matches, Crew SC has outscored Orlando City 16-11 dating back to the 2015 MLS regular season.

After further review in the 77th minute, a red card was issued for violent conduct to defender Harrison Afful.

With the draw in tonight’s match, Crew SC brings its 2017 regular-season record to 11-12-3. Next up, Crew SC hosts the LA Galaxy at MAPFRE Stadium for their lone regular-season meeting of 2017. Columbus and LA play on Wednesday, August 23 (7:30 p.m. ET / MyTV Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2, CD102.5 FM, La Mega 103.1 FM, English radio stream available on

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