MLS: Nicholas Hagen steps up as Crew, RSL tie

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Backup goalkeeper Nicholas Hagen made five saves for the Columbus Crew in a 0-0 tie with Real Salt Lake on Saturday in Sandy, Utah.

Hagen entered the match in the first half for the injured Evan Bush, who had three saves for the Crew (3-1-4, 13 points). Columbus has a loss and three draws in its past four matches.

Zac MacMath made five saves for Salt Lake (3-2-3, 12 points), which ran its unbeaten streak to four matches (2-0-2).

Real Salt Lake had 22 fouls and six yellow cards. The Crew had 10 and three, respectively.

Coming off a draining penalty shootout victory at Tigres UANL in the CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday, the Crew were without 2023 MLS Cup MVP Cucho Hernandez, who was serving a red-card suspension from the team’s previous MLS match against D.C. United.

Other notable absences for Columbus included midfielder Darlington Nagbe and goalkeeper Patrick Schulte.

The Crew had to dig deeper into their bench when Bush left with an injury after a collision with Real Salt Lake’s Diego Luna. Bush was replaced by Hagen in the 35th minute.

Before Bush exited, he made a great stop of a Cristian Arango header from the center of the box in the 23rd minute after coming off the line to deny the Salt Lake forward five minutes earlier.

Hagen was peppered in the first 20 minutes of the second half, making three saves, the best of which came following a line drive from 20 yards out by Andres Gomez.

At the other end, MacMath was tested by Will Sands in the 62nd minute, and Aidan Morris also put a shot on goal just a minute later. MacMath came up with the save on both attempts.

In the 77th minute, Hagen pushed aside a rising strike from Fidel Barajas.

–Field Level Media

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