AFC Ann Arbor travel down to Columbus to take on FC Columbus in their third NPSL match of the season. This is Columbus’s opening match of the NPSL season and the Friday evening travel for The Mighty Oak is sure to make for a thrilling and challenging match. AFCAA are 1-0-1 to open the season and this will be their second away match of the season, having previous topped Michigan Stars 2-1 away from home.
AFCAA are coming off a stoppage time equalizer from Amadou Cisse to win a point in their home opener against Kalamazoo FC. The Mighty Oak will hope to hold a clean sheet for the first time this season while continuing their three-match run of scoring a goal. Over the first three regular season matches, AFCAA have seen three different goal scorers, with Jordan Montoya leading the way with a pair in the season opener. Alex Alexis has also notched a goal, the first of The Mighty Oak’s club history in the U.S. Open Cup, against Lansing Ignite.
Last season saw AFC top FC Columbus 2-1 away from home in a match that was notable for seeing Columbus notch the first goal against The Mighty Oak’s impenetrable defense in 2018. The 2018 side had gone 488 NPSL minutes without conceding a goal, and while this iteration of The Mighty Oak do not have a clean sheet streak yet, they will hope to start one while avenging the goal scored by FCC last year. Montoya opened the scoring at Columbus last season and will hope for lightning to strike twice in the same place.
FC Columbus are partaking in their second season as a club, both coming in the NPSL Great Lakes Conference. Columbus were consistently in the hunt for a playoff spot during their inaugural season, but the side would finish third in the seven-team conference, just three points out of a playoff spot. Columbus are led by Damani Camara, one of the most dangerous attackers in the entire NPSL.
The match marks the first travel AFCAA will take outside the state of Michigan and, as it stands, is the second-longest away trip in the conference (only FC Indiana is farther). Jake Rufe was on Welcome to Tree Town where he discussed, among other things, the semantics of traveling on away days. The focus he discussed will surely be on display as AFCAA look to get three points away from home for the second time this season.