In their first match since the takeover of the club by the Haslam and Edwards families, Columbus Crew SC opened the 2019 Preseason, presented by Advocare with a 0-0 tie against Japanese side Vissel Kobe, which featured the likes of Andres Iniesta, Lukas Podolski and David Villa.
The match was played at Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine, Calif. and although there was no livestream was available, one intrepid fan at the stadium broadcast a good portion of the match for Crew SC fans.
Head coach Caleb Porter gave new acquisitions Joe Bendik, Robinho and 2019 MLS SuperDraft pick JJ Williams their first minutes in Crew colors in the second half. Academy player Sebastian Berhalter, son of US national team manager Gregg Berhalter, also featured in midfield for the Crew.
Both teams will be taking on LAFC at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles: Vissel Kobe pay LAFC a visit on Thursday, January 31, while the Crew face LAFC on Monday, February 4. The Crew will also play a closed-door scrimmage against Club Tijuana on Thursday (1 pm ET).
Here's what Porter made of his team's performance:
Columbus Crew SC: Jon Kempin; Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Gaston Sauro, Milton Valenzuela; Ricardo Clark, Artur; Pedro Santos, Federico Higuain ©, Justin Meram; Patrick Mullins
Vissel Kobe: Maekawa Yagiya; Nishi Oshio,Miyaki Miyako, Naisu Daisuke, Femase Ryo; Masatoshi Mihara, Founyo Tomota, Andres Iniesta; Junya Tanaka, David Villa Lukas Podolski ©
Columbus Crew SC: Joe Bendik; Connor Maloney, Alex Crognale, Lalas Abubakar, Hector Jimenez ©; Luis Argudo, Kasper Sloth; Edward Opoku, Sebastian Berhalter, Robinho; JJ Willia