What is going on with Columbus Crew SC right now? The Black & Gold began its season on a tear with a four-game unbeaten streak, and had not lost in the regular season since August 2017. As the calendar turned to April, things turned bleak as Columbus dropped three straight matches
Gregg Berhalter and his men look to right the ship this week against the New England Revolution and hope history repeats itself Saturday night. Crew SC proved victorious in each of its last four home games against the New England Revolution, winning by a total score of 7-1.
The Revolution look to win for the second time on the road this season which would tie their entire point total from last season when they went 1-13-3 away from Gillette Stadium. Head coach Brad Friedel has began to change the culture in New England and it’s paying dividends for the Revs early on.
New England sit above Crew SC in the table, but the teams could flip spots on Saturday evening depending on the outcome. Let’s take a look and see what the Black & Gold can expect from the visiting Revolution.
New England at a glance:
Leading Scorer: Diego Fagundez (3)
Assists Leader: Cristian Panilla (3)
The attacking movement for the New England Revolution is one of the more noticeable aspects of Friedel’s influence. The Revs take a more possession-oriented focus on offense, working to get the balls into dangerous areas and generate quality scoring chances. The Revs also opt to play on the counter as they look to play the ball long down the wings in hopes of catching their opponents off balance.
Midfielder Diego Fagundez is one of the key drivers for the Revs’ offense. Not only is he New England’s leading goalscorer, but the 23 year old leads the team in key passes (3), and owns the six best completion percentage on the team (77.8 percent).
Banking on Bunbury
With the continuing absence of midfielder Lee Nguyen due to contract issues and an out-of-form Krisztian Nemeth, forward Teal Bunbury is commissioned with picking up the slack on offense. So far the forward has performed admirably.
Bunbury has netted two goals and is responsible for causing flurries of chaos in the final third. Bunbury is a proven pest to opposing defenses this season, and has a tendency to go from having a quiet game, to making an impact on the scoresheet at a moment’s notice.
The Black & Gold will need to remain guarded, not to have any slip ups, and mark Bunbury throughout the game to alleviate any issues.
When Freidel announced Matt Turner had beat incumbent goalkeeper Cody Cropper for the starting job to being the 2018 season, many fans and pundits were left scratching their heads. Since that announcement, Turner is proving he has the chops to hack it in Major League Soccer. The New Jersey native owns a 3-1-1 record with two shutouts through five career MLS starts, all coming in the 2018 season.
Maybe Friedel kept a close eye on Turner during his time in the USL, as the goalkeeper spent a considerable portion of the 2017 campaign on loan to the Richmond Kickers. During his time in Richmond, Turner made 27 starts and recorded seven shutouts while on short-term loans. He also lead the Kickers’ goalkeepers in starts with 20.
How Crew SC win
The Law of Averages states that the goals will come, doesn’t it?
Crew SC have 45 shots in the previous two matches with a grand total of zero goals. This is frustrating for the good guys and Berhalter is looking forward to this home stand to build confidence back up for his side.
“You don’t lose three games in a row and stay 100 percent confident,” Berhalter said this week “So our job next week is to build that back up. We know we have a couple home games coming up and they’re going to be big games for us.”
Crew SC must remain persistent on the attack and cannot allow themselves to get discouraged. The Revs defense is stout but can make it 75 minutes into a game, lose concentration for a split-second and find themselves trailing.
The Black & Gold must play a complete game to defeat this hungry Revolution squad. The only question is, which version of the Black & Gold will show up?