Columbus Crew SC and the Chicago Fire renew their rivalry on Friday night in front of a national audience. It will be the first time this year the Black and Gold have been on national TV, while the Fire have already featured on several nationally televised broadcasts.
Crew SC went on the road last week, looking for the first victory away from MAPFRE Stadium this season, but came back with nothing after a 2-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes. Fortunately for head coach Gregg Berhalter and his players, the Black and Gold have only lost once at home in five games, winning the other four matches. Through 10 games, Columbus is 4-4-2 with 14 points, good enough for fourth in the Eastern Conference.
Chicago meanwhile has had quite the ride in 2015. The season began with three losses before the Fire recored three straight wins. Since then, the Men in Red have gone 1-1-1, which puts them in seventh place in the East on 10 points.
The Fire are led in scoring by defender Jeff Larentowicz, who has three goals in nine games this season. No one else for Chicago has scored more than one goal on the year, although second-year midfielder Harry Shipp does have three assists.
Here are some things to know before tonight's match, followed by how you can watch and the projected starting XI for each side. Give us your thoughts on the match before, during, or after in the comment section below.
- Crew SC midfielder Mohammed Saeid will miss this match after receiving a red card against San Jose. Saeid started the last six games, replacing Homegrown midfielder Wil Trapp who has been out with concussion symptoms. Kevan George is the likely replacement for the Swedish holding midfielder.
- The Black and Gold are 14-24-14 against the Fire all time and 9-10-6 at home, but are unbeaten in the last thee meetings with Chicago in MLS play.
- Like Columbus, the Men in Red are winless on the road this season (0-3-1).
- In their last match, the Fire built a 2-0 lead in the first half at Yankee Stadium against New York City FC before conceding right before halftime and then again in second half stoppage time for the draw.
- Chicago is currently 1-3 against teams in playoff position, like Crew SC, when they played them, losing all those games by one goal.
- Crew SC has scored 13 goals at home and has a +8 goal goal differential at MAPFRE Stadium. Both of those numbers are tops in MLS.
How to Watch
Date/Time: Friday May 22, 8:00 p.m. ET
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, OH)
Watch: TWC SportsChannel (English), Univision Deportes
Stream: Univision Deportes
Listen: CD102.5 FM (English) La Mega 103.1 FM (Spanish)