Crew trio named to MLS Team of the Matchday

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MLS: Atlanta United FC at Columbus Crew SC
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Ramirez, Will Sands and Aidan Morris were all recognized after their performances against Atlanta

The Columbus Crew had its most impressive win of the young 2023 Major League Soccer season on Saturday night, defeating Atlanta United 6-1. With multiple players out due to international call-ups and injuries, the Black & Gold needed players to step up and got ot.

That dominating performance resulted in three Black & Gold players, forward Christian Ramirez, left wing back Will Sands and midfielder Aidan Morris, being honored on the MLS Team of the Matchday on Monday for their respective roles in the victory. All three played their part in various goals, as well as limiting Atlanta’s chances.

Ramirez, who made his return to MLS this past weekend, scored a brace on his Columbus debut. After missing the beginning of the season due to injury, the former Aberdeen forward got off to a great start, stepping into the starting 11 in place of the injured Cucho Hernandez. Ramirez’s first goal came minutes after the start of the second half and he doubled his tally in the 64th minute, easily slotting home the ball past United goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Sands provided an assist to forward Max Arfsten that made the score 6-1 in the first minute of second half stoppage time. Sands poked the ball around a defender and was able to get down the sideline and hit a cross that found Arfsten waiting at the top of the six-yard box to ice the game.

This is Morris’ second time being named to the Team of the Matchday squad on the bench. Morris got things going in the match with his first MLS goal in the 14th minute of play when playmaker Alexandru Matan tried to feed a ground pass that got deflected up into the air. Morris was there to put the diving header away and put the Crew up 1-0.

With the Black & Gold missing key players, the next man up mentality was certainly at play against the Five Stripes and this trio did not disappoint.

“In the first half, for many of us, we haven’t played many minutes together,” said Ramirez after the game. “It was a little bit rusty, not understanding each other. And then it just clicked. We continued to trust what’s given to us in the system and the process of it.”

Ramirez and Sands become the third and fourth Crew players to take home the weekly award. In addition to Morris, Lucas Zelarayan was also named to the Team of the Matchday squad for his brace against D.C. United in Week 2. In addition, the Armenia international was also crowned Player of the Matchday.

Next up for the Crew is a home match against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, April 1. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Field.

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