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Massive Predictions: Columbus Crew SC at Vancouver Whitecaps

Can Crew SC go on the road and get a win in Vancouver?

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in what feels like forever, Columbus Crew SC will play a road match on Saturday evening. The opponent, the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Black & Gold left for Vancouver midweek, so the team has settled and took in the Whitecaps’ 3-0 win over Minnesota United on Wednesday.

Here’s what you need to know. VWFC are led by former Seattle Sounders forward Fredy Montero with 11 goals, but he hasn’t scored in three matches. The team also features U.S. international Brek Shea and Peruvian Yordy Reyna, amongst others.

Vancouver hasn’t lost in five matches, including three consecutive victories.

Crew SC is also unbeaten in its last five and is beginning to look like a feared attack in Major League Soccer once again now that Federico Higuain is healthy and the addition of Pedro Santos.

The Whitecaps are 8-3-3 at BC Place this season, while Columbus is 3-9-2 away from home.

Can Crew SC earn a result on the road and maintain its unbeaten run? Let’s see what our staff thinks.

Patrick Murphy

Two hot teams will go at it Saturday night when Crew SC travels to Vancouver. It’s the return of Kekuta Manneh to his old stomping grounds, but he hasn’t been a favorite of Gregg Berhalter’s since the addition of Pedro Santos.

Tony Tchani will take on his former Black & Gold teammates for the first time. He should be in the lineup for the Whitecaps, given he’s featured regularly since the trade.

As for the game itself, it’s tough for me to imagine Columbus going on the road to a team playing well and getting a win. Crew SC will be without Jonathan Mensah, who for the most part has played well recently. I believe the team stays with four in the back and inserts Alex Crognale or Lalas Abubakar alongside Josh Williams.

The counter attack of Vancouver scares me if I’m a Black & Gold supporter. The Whitecaps have speed and are good at using it. Can this team stay disciplined at the back and not turn the ball over in bad spots? I have my doubts.

A tie would be a good result for Crew SC in this one, but I don’t see that happening.
Vancouver Whitecaps 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Josh Enke

The Vancouver Whitecaps have found positive results for the past two months. While no one was looking, the Canadian team snuck up to the top spot in the Western Conference, and have a couple games in hand. Not unlike Crew SC, Vancouver saved energy for the playoff push, and it's paying off.

This will be the first time Kekuta Manneh (if he gets chosen over the always dangerous Adam Jahn) and Tony Tchani face off against their old sides. Tchani's been a rather consistent starter for the Cascadian club. As a former member of the Tchani faithful, I couldn't be happier for him.

Columbus will be far from home. Enough said.
Vancouver Whitecaps 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Collin Johnson

Visiting Vancouver for the first time this season, Crew SC has a chance to continue its current unbeaten streak. Even though Vancouver, and former Crew SC center midfielder Tony Tchani, are on top of the Western Conference, there is an opportunity for Columbus to steal a point on the road. Vancouver showed Wednesday that it attacks heavily down the wing, so it will be up to the Black and Gold to stop this recognized pattern of play. Crew SC's attacking wing-backs are useful in pinning back opposing wing attackers, but both sides will have to avoid getting caught too far upfield and getting hit on the counter attack. The Whitecaps also lead the league in set piece goals (with 14), which is luckily one of Columbus' strong suits defensively.

Overall, I think that Vancouver's strengths play into the Black and Gold's, so a draw is absolutely not out of the question.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Vancouver Whitecaps 1

Ralph Schudel

I don't particularly feel great about this fixture for Crew SC. Vancouver has played like a team possessed over the past couple of weeks and has worked its way up from hugging the red line to the top of the Western Conference. The Whitecaps are 7-2-2 in the last 11 matches and unbeaten in their last five.

Crew SC can also lay claim to being unbeaten in its last five and sit in fourth in the Eastern Conference. With five matches remaining, the Black & Gold can drop little to no points over the next few weeks to keep them out of a potential playoff predicament.

That being said, I think Vancouver's knack for scoring on set pieces will be the deference in this one.
Vancouver Whitecaps 2 Columbus Crew SC 0

Patrick Guldan

Columbus Crew SC isn’t great on the road and Vancouver knows how to play on its fast turf at BC Place. The home side will be direct, blazing up the wings and looking to get the ball centrally. If Crew SC plays open, then Vancouver will find some chances. However if Columbus chooses to counter, as the team did in its 2015 match in BC Place, then Crew SC can possibly come out with a result, most likely a tie.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Vancouver Whitecaps 1

Guilherme Torres

Crew SC has a tough match up this weekend as the team faces the red-hot Whitecaps. The Canadians won four of its last five matches and amassed 10 of 12 possible points playing at home over the past weeks. The recent form pushed the team to the top of the Western Conference.

The Whitecaps are very strong on set pieces and when playing in transition, especially with Yordi Reyna, Cristian Techera and Brek Shea. Because of the team’s speed, I expect Lalas Abubakar to replace the suspended Jonathan Mensah instead of Alex Crognale. Anyway, it will be a tough test to Crew SC and I see the team playing a good match but ultimately failing to take any points home.
Vancouver Whitecaps 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Not an optimistic bunch this week the Massive Report staff. How do you feel Crew SC fans? Let us know in the comments below.