Rivalry Week

Rivalry Week: How to watch Columbus Crew vs. FC Cincinnati


Rivalry Week presented by Continental Tire begins Saturday night when the Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati square off in the latest edition of "Hell is Real."

How to watch & stream



  • Lower.com Field | Columbus, Ohio

Major League Soccer's two Ohio-based clubs have developed one of the league's fiercest rivalries, although it's been somewhat one-sided in favor of the Crew.

Columbus boast a 7W-2L-4D all-time record against their neighbors, including a 3-2 comeback overtime win in last season's Eastern Conference Final that paved the way for Wilfried Nancy's squad to lift MLS Cup 2023.

  • Record: 3W-1L-6D (15 points)
  • Standings: 5th place, Eastern Conference

The defending champs remain virtually unchanged personnel-wise from last season, but sit outside the top four in the East entering Matchday 13. The reason for that is simple: Winning MLS Cup qualified Columbus for this year's Concacaf Champions Cup, and Nancy has prioritized the international tournament to brilliant effect, eliminating two Liga MX titans (Tigres UANL and CF Monterrey) along the way to reach the June 1 final against Pachuca.

Before trying to become just the second MLS team to win the modern iteration of CCC (and earning a berth in the USA-hosted 2025 FIFA Club World Cup), Columbus have a busy league slate to navigate, beginning with Saturday's clash against their most hated rivals.

Winners of two straight against Cincy, including last year's memorable playoff match, the Crew also cruised to a 3-0 win over the Orange & Blue when they last met at Lower.com Field. On that occasion, the goals came courtesy of Aidan Morris, Cucho Hernández and Jacen Russell-Rowe. All three continue to be massive contributors to Columbus.

  • Record: 6W-2L-3D (21 points)
  • Standings: 2nd place, Eastern Conference

The defending Supporters' Shield champions have changed five starters from last year's historic squad, but are still among the league's powerhouses. Pat Noonan's side sits second in the East, behind only Lionel Messi-led Inter Miami CF, after rattling off three straight wins.

Anybody familiar with Cincinnati knows their game model revolves around reigning MLS MVP Luciano Acosta, who has 5g/5a assists this year and has scored in the club's last three matches. His latest tally came just 17 seconds into Saturday's trip to Orlando City SC, and it was good enough for a 1-0 result.

Amid the 2024 roster turnover, new faces such as Luca Orellano and Pavel Bucha have helped Acosta keep things running smoothly in attack, while defensive signings Miles Robinson and Kipp Keller have blended in seamlessly with Matt Miazga, solidifying a backline that has conceded an MLS-low nine goals this season. Now, can new striker Kevin Kelsy open his MLS account?