Crew to face Newcastle United on July 26

Storied English club returns to Columbus for second time

The Columbus Crew announced today that it will play host to an international exhibition against Newcastle United FC of the English Premier League on Tuesday, July 26, at Crew Stadium. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and be classified as ‘Special Game A’ for Crew Soccer Nation Gold members.

Individual advance ticket prices start at $24 and will go on sale Wednesday, April 20, at 10 a.m., at the Crew Stadium Box Office, all central Ohio Ticketmaster retail locations, via Ticketmaster phone at 1-800-745-3000 and on-line at TheCrew.com, following the completion of an exclusive presale offer to Crew Soccer Nation members.

Brokered by Santio Sports and Entertainment, the match will mark the second time that Newcastle has played at Crew Stadium. The teams played to a 2-2 draw on July 26, 2000, a game in which Jeff Cunningham scored the equalizer for the Crew in the 84th minute. The Crew is 9-3-2 all-time in international exhibitions, including 2-2-2 against teams from the English Premier League. The Black & Gold downed Leeds, 2-1, in 1997; defeated Fulham, 2-1, in 2005; tied Everton, 1-1, in 2006; lost to Aston Villa, 3-1, in 2007; and fell to West Ham, 3-1, in 2008.

“We are pleased once again to bring top-flight international soccer right here to Columbus and to provide the best competitive challenge for our team,” said Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers. “The English Premier League is arguably the best league in the world and Newcastle United is one of its most storied clubs.”

Newcastle United, commonly referred to as The Magpies and The Toon, has a long history at the top level of professional soccer in England, dating back to their origins as a club in 1892. Newcastle’s legacy includes such iconic players as Peter Beardsley, Alan Shearer and Andy Cole in recent generations. The four-time first division champions have also won six FA Cups and the European Fairs Cup in 1969. The club is well-known in the modern era of European competition, having also advanced to the semifinals of the 2003-04 UEFA Cup and advancing out of the group stage in the 2002-03 UEFA Champions League.

The club is led by manager Alan Pardew and captain Kevin Nolan, the 2010 Championship Player of the Year and the team's leading goal scorer this season. The first-team squad features several internationally-recognized stars, including midfielder Cheik Tiote, Argentine internationals Fabricio Collocini and Jonas Gutierrez, and longtime goalkeeper Steve Harper.

Newcastle's 2011 campaign has seen the club compete with some of the top teams in the English Premier League, beating Liverpool 3-1 and Arsenal 1-0 at Emirates Stadium, as well as earning points in draws against Chelsea and Arsenal, the latter of which came in a historic four-goal comeback in February. Newcastle currently sits in 9th place in the EPL table with a 10-12-9 record and 39 points.