Columbus Crew SC broke the three game losing streak and now face the bottom of the Western Conference on the road with a chance to build some momentum before a two week break in league action. The Colorado Rapids will be trying to build some momentum too after their heart over stats win last week.
It’s another short week for Columbus and there’s likely more rotation. Gregg Berhalter said that some lineup decisions were tactical and that likely points to some rotation. Justin Meram and Federico Higuain were subbed off early and Nico Naess wasn’t in the 18. That likely was with an eye to playing in tonight’s game.
The Rapids will be missing quite a few players on defense. Goalkeeper Tim Howard is on international duty. Center backs Axel Sjoberg and Jared Watts are injured. Bobby Burling is suspended. Zak MacMath is a great stand in for Howard, but there not a lot of great options along the backline.
Keys to the Match:
On a high: Crew SC will be gunning for a second straight win to end the first half of MLS play on a high note. To grab the victory, they will have to manage playing at altitude. While head coach Berhalter called the effect more mental than anything, the team arrived late Friday to minimize time time in altitude and they will have to handle the stamina sapping effects that can creep in.
All Set on Set Pieces: With the Rapids thriving on low scoring action, set pieces become more important. Crew SC will be scraping for good chances to take a lead. Likewise, the Rapids offense is one of the poorer in the league. They will savor the rare chances to get a clear chance at goal. Limiting set pieces will be a key to limiting the Rapids offense even more.
Leave it early: Colorado is more than happy to strangle the game, play deep, and attack sporadically. If Crew SC is able to grab the first goal, especially early, a very thin Rapids team will be driven out of their comfort zone. That gives Columbus a better chance to grab an insurance goal.
How to Watch:
Date/Time: June 3rd, 9:00 pm ET
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Commerce City, Colorado)
Watch: CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2 (Channel Guide)
Stream: MLS Live
Listen: CD102.5 FM (English Broadcast) La Mega 103.1 FM (Spanish)