Columbus Crew SC have just two games to set their playoff path. Today they face a team that has struggled mightily in 2018. The Black & Gold need points to confirm a playoff spot and three points to keep their hope of a first round home playoff game alive. The game will serve as a measuring stick of where Crew SC is.
Orlando City has been bad, just how bad? DLLWWWWWWLLLLLLLLLWLLLDLLDLLDLLL, that’s Orlando’s season. They last won on July 14th against Toronto. You have to go back to May 6th for their next win. Hoping to turn their season around, they brought in James O’Conner in July, he’s 1-11-3 since taking over. They have the worst defense in league history with 72 goals against. This team has quit and has little to play for.
Crew SC has struggled to score in the last month. They have been shut out by the Philadelphia Union and the Montreal Impact. They have dropped from fourth place in the Eastern Conference to fifth. The Union are two points ahead and D.C. United is a single point behind. Another slip up and Columbus could be in sixth place by the end of the weekend.
Halftime: Scoreless between Orlando and Columbus
3 minutes of stoppage to go.
45’ Long spell of Crew SC possession ends in an Artur shot from distance.
38’ Crew SC break fast in transition with Higuain finding Hansen. The winger cuts back into traffic and the chance ends.
37’ Dwyer picks up a retaliation yellow card for running into Jonathan.
32’ Jonathan picks up a yellow card for a challenge against Dom Dwyer and he’ll miss the season ender due to Yellow Card accumulation.
27’ Chances from Columbus! Zardes sent into the box from Santos, but the defense is able to blocks the ball. The Crew SC cross zips across the box, but no one can redirect. Still 0-0.
26’ Santos fires in a direct free kick. Jonathan gets on the end and sends it wide. He he was offside though.
22’ Big chance for Orlando as they capitalize on a turnover. Johnson fires a shot and forces a Steffen parry. The Lions keeping up the pressure.
20’ Orlando calls for a penalty as Trapp makes slight contact on a challenge in the box. Stott waves off the protests.
19’ Orlando gets a chance as Kljestan gets free and sends a ball wide to Sutter. Open shot from an angle is high and wide.
18’ Four straight corners before Santos sends his corner out of bounds and bails out Orlando. Still goaless.
15’ Corner for Crew SC. Higuain sends in a ball and Grinwis punches. Jonathan heads it forward and forces a big save. 0-0
10’ Still 0-0. Crew SC hasn’t found much going forward. Orlando is playing with some fire. D.C. United is 1-0 up on NYCFC. Columbus currently in 6th in the live standings.
Per Neil Sika, Gregg Berhalter will talk about Justin Meram’s absence from the game in his post game comments. He is not injured.
1’ Kickoff in Orlando.
Orlando City’s season is all but over. Ralph Schudel takes a look at how the season has gone from bad to worse to the worst in Orlando. Crew SC on the road aren’t good, but Orlando is even worse. The staff is optimistic that they’ll get three points. Crew SC tells Pat Murphy that Orlando won’t make the game easy.
Injuries & Suspensions:
Columbus Crew SC: The team is healthy and fully fit. There’s no one on the injured list and there are no suspensions. Zack Steffen is fully recovered from the nagging ankle injury that sent him home from the U.S. National Team camp early. The biggest concern is that Jonathan Mensah is in yellow card danger for the rest of the season. A yellow card today will keep him out of the game against Minnesota.
- Orlando City: The Lions injury list is very long. Home grown goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar has been out for the season as he continues his recover from cancer treatments. Midfielder Pierre Da Silva’s torn meniscus suffered this month will also keep him out for the rest of the year. Captain and center back Jonathan Spector will be out as his back injury has kept him out of training. Richie Laryea hasn’t been cleared from concussion protocol after suffering a concussion earlier this month. Forward Stefano Pinho will be a game day decision as his quad injury is recovering, but not quite at 100%.
How to watch:
Date: Sunday, October 21st, 2018, 3:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Orlando City Stadium (Orlando, Florida)
TV: CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2