Columbus Crew SC are trying to get back to normal. That is, they are trying to get in a normal rhythm after a rather erratic schedule to start he Major League Soccer season.
The Black and Gold are looking for the team's first win since March 14 when they defeated Toronto FC 2-0 at MAPFRE Stadium when they take on the New England Revolution Saturday afternoon. Since then, Columbus has lost to the New York Red Bulls 2-1 at home and tied the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2 on the road.
The Revolution have won two consecutive games and currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference standings. Despite a 2-2-1 record, New England has conceded two more goals than the side has scored. The Revs are led in the scoring department by midfielder Kelyn Rowe who has scored two goals this campaign.
After winning the season series a year ago, Columbus has a decided advantage in the all-time series between the two sides.
Unfortunately for head coach Gregg Berhalter's side, the all-time records did not matter in last year's MLS Cup Playoffs, where the Revolution defeated Columbus 7-3 over the two game series. Because of the tight games and the way the playoffs went, a rivalry has begun to emerge between the two clubs and the next chapter will be written on Saturday.
Both sides are dealing with injury issues as they head into this match. Crew SC rested several players on Wednesday in preparation for this match. Waylon Francis (sprained ankle), Emanuel Pogatetz, and Hernan Grana all did not make the trip to Vancouver, but at least Pogatetz and Grana should be back for this game. Midfielder Wil Trapp was taken out of the game at halftime after dealing with concussion-like symptoms during the first 45 minutes and is highly doubtful for this match.
The Black and Gold will be boosted by the return of Federico Higuain, who missed the Whitecaps game due to suspension. The playmaker is very familiar with the Revolution and has been a thorn in their side since coming to MLS.
New England's injury report features two midfielders in Daigo Kobayashi and U.S. international Jermaine Jones. Kobayashi is dealing with a hamstring issue and his availability seems in doubt. Jones is yet to appear for the Revs this season after sports hernia surgery in the preseason. He travelled with the team a week ago and could be on the bench for the Revolution for this game.
It should be another fun one. Come back to this page to chat during the contest with members of the Massive Report staff.
Oh, and of course, a Kei Kamara match day tweet.
And one from Matt Lampson, just for fun.