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Open Cup Leaves Crew With Everything To Play For Tonight

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The Crew's slumping league form leaves the team looking at their best chance for hardware tonight, moving on in the Open Cup.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Crew have had a week to think about the midweek disaster in Philadelphia. They may have had to wait a couple extra days to try and rebound, but now they have two in a matter of days. They head to Chicago to face the Fire in Open Cup play and then take on the East leading Montreal Impact on Saturday.

Columbus is bringing a deep pool of player for tonight's game. Designated Player Federico Higuain leads a squad that includes Glauber, Matias Sanchez, Bernardo Anor, Justin Meram, and Eric Gehrig.

Even with a strong lineup, the Crew still struggled against the USL-Pro based Dayton Dutch Lions. It took extraordinary individual efforts from Higuain and the now injured Eddie Gaven to drag Columbus into the next round. The task is much harder now the competition is another MLS team.

The Chicago Fire team they face is different from the one that has struggled most of the season, except for a dominating performance against the Crew in April. They've added forward Mike Magee and defender Bakary Soumare in recent weeks. They downed a terrible D.C. team and fought hard against the high flying Timbers. Magee has added what has been missing, goals.

Columbus hasn't won at Toyota Park since 2006, there is no reason to expect that to change in tonight's Open Cup matchup. A defeat would leave the Crew with only the MLS league season to play for, and they've struggled and are now in 7th. It's no surprise that Warzycha is putting forward a veteran team, it may be the best chance to get hardware this year.