Columbus Crew SC played their second preseason game of the year on Saturday evening, tying a reserve Real Salt Lake team 1–1. Kei Kamara scored the goal for Crew SC in the 26th minute after Jordan Allen put RSL ahead in the 17th minute.
Gregg Berhalter had said that he expected to put out a mixed squad for the first two games of the preseason, but appeared to put out a first choice lineup. The first team went 62 minutes before the entire lineup was substituted.
Steve Clark started in goal, in front of a defense with Harrison Afful, Michael Parkhurst, Gaston Sauro, and Waylon Francis on defense. Wil Trapp and Tony Tchani sat in central midfield. Federico Higuain was central and Ethan Finlay was on the right. Hector Jimenez got the nod at left wing with Kei Kamara at forward.
The second string featured trialist Matt Pacifici in goal. In defense, right to left, rookie Marshall Hollingsworth, Tyson Wahl, Amro Tarek, and Corey Ashe. Rodrigo Saravia 62 and Mohammed Saeid paired in central midfield. The attacking midfield trio was Cedrick Mabwati, Emil Larsen 62, and Justin Meram making his first preseason appearance. Conor Casey was the target forward.
Brad Stuver, Chad Barson, and Chase Minter didn’t make an appearance after playing 45 minutes on Wednesday.
The first team got extensive minutes together as the season approaches. Interestingly, Jimenez got the start at left wing. Justin Meram is regaining fitness while Larsen and Mabwati were together on the second team. It’s still early in preseason games so it’s far too early to expect a change on the depth chart.
As far as how they played, it was like most Crew SC games under Berhalter. Trying to control the ball, get it into wide spots and make plays from there. Kei Kamara now has three goals in 107 minutes. He looks in commanding form after after his 22 goal season and the specter of a contract holdout as the season approaches in the background. Ola Kamara has joined the team, but has yet to play and Casey is a step (or two) below Kei. It’s clear that Kei Kamara makes Berhalter’s offense in it’s current iteration run.
Crew SC face Sporting Kansas City’s USL team, Swope Park Rangers on Wednesday. The stream will be audio only.
Crew SC preseason minutes tracker
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