It wasn't all that long ago that Columbus Crew SC defeated the Montreal Impact in a two-leg series in the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Black & Gold went on to host MLS Cup, while the Impact went for an early start to their vacation.
The 2016 season hasn't gone the same way with Montreal currently sitting at the top of the Eastern Conference while Crew SC attempt to find the form that took the side to the championship game in December.
It is a young Major League Soccer seasons, but these two clubs have already met once. The Impact easily disposed of Columbus at home a month back by a 2-0 scoreline. Since that match, the Black & Gold returned home for two consecutive wins before a disappointing 1-0 loss at the Seattle Sounders last weekend.
A major difference in this match will likely be the addition of Didier Drogba for Montreal. The star striker did not feature much early on for the club, but has made three straight starts and is likely to lead the line for the Impact at MAPFRE Stadium.
Keys to the Match
- Shutting down Drobga: The forward is the best in the league in and around the penalty area. His impact on the match will go a long way in deciding the outcome.
- Control the midfield: Both teams like to possess and Montreal has some talent in the center of the park and speed on the wings. Crew SC will need to dominate in the midfield at home to avoid conceding on the counter.
- Set pieces: We saw the Black & Gold lose focus on a free kick last week, ultimately resulting in a game-winning goal. Neither team is very good defending set pieces so it might come down to one of those in this contest.
How to Watch
Date/Time: May 7, 2016/7:30 p.m. EST
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, OH
Television: CW Columbus, TWC SportsChannel
Online: MLS Live
Radio: CD 102.5 (English), La Mega 103.1 (Spanish)