The not so long winter of MLS Cup discontent is nearly over. Columbus Crew SC plays their first game of the preseason this evening against Sporting Kansas City at 8 pm. There is only an audio stream of the game and long time Crew SC radio ace Neil Sika will be on the mic.
The team has been itching to play for over a week according to Gregg Berhalter after the gradual buildup of preseason. The staff will be assessing the team and trying to pick the starters. They will also be getting the first look at the trialists and draftees in live game action. There are 27 players in camp and Berhalter says he wants to bring the roster up to 27. It appears the Arizona leg of preseason is mostly jostling for position.
Now what can we learn from an audio stream of the first game of preseason? Not much. You can’t see how Amro Tarek, Emil Larsen, or Ola Kamara plays. There aren’t new trialists expected to be in camp. Berhalter will play a mixed lineup so it’s hard to guess and debate the depth chart.
Tonight’s game will mean that the team will be sharper for the next game against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, a game that will have a video stream. These early games may be ragged and ugly soccer, but it’s part of the plan to get back to match sharpness by the game against Portland in two and a half weeks.
Massive Report will be following along, trying to pick out the interesting from preseason game number one.