Columbus, Ohio (May 30, 2018) — Columbus Crew SC has its international friendly opponent for the 2018 season.
The club announced on Wednesday that Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica will travel to Central Ohio for an exhibition match set to take place on July 3rd. Kickoff will commence at 7 p.m. local time.
Columbus Crew SC to Face Costa Rican Giants Saprissa in July Friendly
This will be the 22nd international friendly all-time for Columbus. And it’s not the first-ever meeting between the two clubs. That came all the way back in 2001 when they clashed in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Giants Cup, won by Saprissa 3-1 on aggregate over two legs.
The two are also inextricably linked to Crew SC’s lone MLS Cup title back in 2008. The Black and Gold qualified for the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League as a result and were drawn into Group C with Saprissa, Mexican club Cruz Azul as well as the Puerto Rico Islanders. Columbus went undefeated in both meetings that year, including a 2-0 win at MAPFRE Stadium.
Founded in 1935, Saprissa is undoubtedly Costa Rica’s most successful soccer club. Their 34 domestic top flight titles are the most of any team from their nation. And they’ve also realized success within the region, winning the CONCACAF Champions League on three occasions in 1993, 1995 and 2005. Saprissa also finished third at the 2005 Club World Championship behind winners São Paulo and second-place Liverpool.
The Black and Gold have a fairly impressive track record in international friendlies. They sport a 12-6-3 record all-time that includes a 1-0 win over Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt last season. When Saprissa travels to Columbus in early July, it will mark the eighth straight summer MAPFRE Stadium has played host to a friendly.
Crew SC’s next match in MLS play takes place this coming Saturday when they welcome Toronto FC to town. It marks the beginning of a busy week and a half for the Black and Gold. Afterward, they face the Chicago Fire in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, June 6. That’s followed by two more MLS home games in the span of five days against the New York Red Bulls (June 9) and Atlanta United (June 13).