The home stand didn’t start out the way Columbus Crew SC wanted. A come from ahead loss to NYCFC resulted in zero points and a two game losing streak. Now the Black & Gold have three games in eight days with the Revolution and Toronto coming before a trip to Montreal.
Columbus is still scoring, but the previously tightening defense has once again turned leaky. Artur and Alex Crognale were injured against the Red Bulls two weeks ago and the team is still adapting to the different personnel.
The Revolution is also adapting. Kei Kamara will not be making his return to Columbus as he he didn’t travel so he could stay with his wife as they expect their second child. The Revs have used a combination of Diego Fagundez, Juan Agudelo, and Lee Nguyen to keep the offense moving and it’s worked. They lead 3-0 in Seattle against the Sounders, but let the lead slip away.
Much like Columbus, the Revs defense has been up and down. Antonio Delamea has been very good since his offseason arrival, but they have struggled as a unit. They’ve given up two to Minnesota, three to Chicago, two to D.C., and three in the stunning collapse to Seattle last week. Xavier Kouassi has recovered from his knee injury, but hasn’t quite hit top form.
Keys to the Match
Find the space: The Revolution will rely on width and service from the fullbacks. That also means they are vulnerable to attacks from the wings. Columbus needs to be able to find the space, but still get chances into Ola Kamara and the back side attackers.
Center holds it: Mohammed Abu has been a step down from Artur, notably on defense, but if the Ghanian can combine with Federico Higuain and Wil Trapp ably, Crew SC might be able to leverage possession as defense against a dangerous team on the counter.
Settle in and get comfy: Jonathan hasn’t had the start that most Crew SC fans have hoped for. He isn’t yet the lockdown defender that can clamp down on the opposing team’s key player. Some of this is due to his lack of rhythm with the team. He’ll likely be starting his second game in a row and Columbus will need a comfortable and in charge Designated Player to cover for when the midfield gets too stretched.
How to Watch:
Date/Time: Saturday May 6th, 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
Watch: The CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2 (Channel Guide)
Stream: MLS Live
Listen: CD102.5 FM (English) La Mega 103.1 FM (Spanish)