Columbus Crew SC has a perfect chance to climb the Conference standings against fellow playoff competitor Atlanta United. Separated by a single point, Crew SC and Atlanta will face off two weeks after a 3-1 loss in Georgia.
Crew SC will be well rested and ready after a satisfying 4-1 win against the Montreal Impact last Saturday. The Black & Gold offense is starting to heat up with Federico Higuain scoring in three straight, Ola Kamara getting back on the score sheet, and getting results out of the bench with Kekuta Manneh’s goal and assist.
The visitors had quite a week with a solid victory over Colorado before crashing out of the Open Cup against Miami midweek. United played a greatly changed side so their attacking powerhouse of Miguel Almiron, Josef Martinez, and Yamil Asad are fit and ready to go.
Keys to the Match:
Eyes on Almiron: The Paraguayan playmaker is one of the exciting players in MLS. He can create and finish with his key skill in being able to break the lines. The duty to track a mobile playmaker will require the defense and midfield to be able to track him as he finds pockets. Success will depend on Trapp and Artur.
Breaking through: Crew SC’s playmaker doesn’t break the lines with his pace, Higuain is more cerebral with his influence. He is on a tremendous goal scoring run, but he’s likely to make a bigger impact against a defense that has a history of giving up chances. He will have space to create. Now it’s up to the rest of the attack to finish.
Changeups: Atlanta played a reserve lineup midweek and Crew SC will be well rested. Much like last week, it will be very important that the bench makes an impact with fresh legs and a hungry attack against an Atlanta team that will have less in reserve. It could be a replay of Kekuta Manneh and Adam Jahn’s instant impacts.
How to Watch:
Date/Time: Saturday July 1st, 7:30 p.m.
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
Watch: CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2 (Channel Guide)
Stream: MLS Live
Listen: CD102.5 FM (English Broadcast) La Mega 103.1 FM (Spanish)