This is for a challenge at another site.


"Hell is Real" is the fan-driven title of the MLS soccer rivalry that officially played out at Mapfre Stadium for the 1st time 8/10/19 when the oldest MLS team (Columbus Crew) met the newest team (Cincinnati FC) in front of a sold-out house. The title comes from a large sign just off I-71 between the two cities. In 2017, Cincy, then in the USL, played the Crew in the U.S. Open Cup final, a game the league tried to dub "The Ohio Derby." As "trash talk" intensified, fans started calling it "Hell is Real" and the name stuck. (Cincy won 1-0 that day - boo!) The August clash ended, appropriately in a hard fought, fun-to-watch 2-2 tie. Round 2 is set for Aug. 25 in Cincy.

PICTURES: The "Hell is Real" sign off of I-71; Cincy fans at the first MLS Hell is Real game; Crew fans after their first goal; Crew PK by Gyasi Zardes; Pedro Santos tied the score at 2-2 on a scorcher from distance in minute 62 (assist to Wil Trapp); Artur, with his head bandaged, can attest to fierceness of the clash.

CREDITS: PHOTOS: "Hell" sign from internet; rest of pics are by me; KITS: "August Play Date" - ewright; "This is Halloween" - Rebecca McMeen; "Al Fresco" - Kate Hadfield; "Petrified" - Dawn Inskip; FONT: Arial