MAPFRE hasn't been home sweet home for Crew SC. After last night's Houston Dynamo win, no team has collected fewer points than Columbus in the league this season. Now eight points out of the playoffs, Crew SC desperately needs a victory to keep the faintest of playoff hopes alive. So in the return of Kei Kamara to Columbus, both teams are much more focused on three points, their respective seasons depend on it.
Crew SC are likely going to have to do it short handed again. Federico Higuain and Wil Trapp have been training, but are unlikely to be fit enough to start. The team does get Tony Tchani back, but Berhalter is likely to start the same team that defeated Orlando handily. That means a midfield of Nicolai Naess, Mohammed Saied, and Dilly Duka.
The Revolution began the weekend in 6th place, but D.C. United's win over Orlando pushed New England to 7th and a single point outside the playoffs. After an August to forget, the visitors are unbeaten in September, with three straight wins, including solid wins against Colorado and NYCFC and they are getting goals from their multifaceted attack. The returning Kei Kamara has five goals since his May trade, but Lee Nguyen, Kellyn Rowe, and Juan Agudelo have also chipped in five or more.
Keys to the Match
Speed Kills: The game against Orlando shows how dangerous Finlay and Kamara can be when sent in behind the defense, will they get the same direct service. Duka, Meram, or even Naess have to step up.
The Set Piece Battle: Few teams are weaker when defending set pieces than Crew SC and the Revs have a very good attacking option in Kei Kamara. Limiting Kamara on set pieces will likely neutralize a big part of the Revolution offense.
The X-Factor(s) on the bench: If Crew SC are ahead or needing a goal, they might have a key performer to take off the bench with Trapp and Higuain both likely available for limited duty. Can they make the difference?
How to Watch
Date/Time: September 25th, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Radio: CD 102.5 (English), La Mega 103.1 (Spanish)