For the second time in four days, Columbus Crew SC takes the field in Major League Soccer play. On Saturday, Crew SC earned a 0-0 draw at the Seattle Sounders despite playing a man down for 75 minutes after a red card to Pedro Santos. For the second time this season, the opponent will be the Philadelphia Union.
Similar to the Black & Gold, the Union played over the weekend, albeit on Friday, losing 3-0 to Toronto FC.
The first meeting between these two Eastern Conference rivals took place back in mid-May. That result was a boring 0-0 draw. What has gone on with Philadelphia since then? What should Columbus fans expect of this clash at MAPFRE Stadium? We turned to our guy, from SB Nation’s Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph to answer some of our questions.
Questions for Brotherly Game
Massive Report: Since Crew SC last saw the Union, it hasn’t been the best stretch of results with Philly going one win in six. For our readers who don’t pay close attention to other teams in MLS, could you sum up Philadelphia’s season through eight games?
Brotherly Game: It hasn’t been good I can say that. Aside from a season opening win over the New England Revolution aided by an early DOGSO and a come from behind win over D.C. United at home a couple weeks ago, this team has been as frustrating a team as Union fans have seen. Their big off-season acquisitions, David Accam and Borek Dockal have been mostly ineffective and CJ Sapong is really struggling to put the ball in the back of the net. Defensively, they’ve had a lot of injuries that have forced them into playing younger and inexperienced players that have shown their inexperience.
MR: Given the recent struggles and the fact that Union currently sit on only eight points, what do you expect the approach to be in this game Wednesday night given the travel and another game on the road on Saturday?
BG: I don’t know that they’ll change their approach all that much. They’ll try to possess the ball and create scoring chances -- something they haven’t been awful at this year -- but ultimately leave themselves vulnerable to turnovers in the midfield that put the backline on its heels.
MR: The big addition for Philly this offseason was David Accam, yet I look at the stats page and don’t see his name in the top five of goals or assists. To me, this seems like a problem. Is Accam contributing in other ways? How would you evaluate the trade thus far?
BG: The stats in this case pretty much tell the story. Not only is he not contributing on the score sheet, he’s barely registering a pulse in long stretches of the game. Part of this may be his added defensive responsibilities and his teammates not finding him. But so far the trade has not been kind to the Union and goes down as another misstep by Sporting Director Earnie Stewart, who is compiling quite a greatest misses list at this point in his tenure.