After a long stretch without a loss, Columbus Crew SC has gone over a month without a win. Points have slipped away during three home games where the Black & Gold went 0-1-2 in league play against TorontoFC, the New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United. The loss last week against Los Angeles Football Clun kept them winless in June.
Saturday’s opponent, Real Salt Lake, gives the team the chance to break a five-game winless streak.
The goals haven’t come for Crew SC. They’ve been shutout in two straight losses, running thier goalless streak to 244 minutes since Gyasi Zardes scored against the Red Bulls on Jun 9. The previously staunch defense has struggled in July, giving up eight of their 18 goals this season. With an away-heavy schedule during the second half of the season, Crew SC needs three points at home.
Salt Lake has climbed into playoff position with 23 points through 16 games, but has a stunning -10 goal differential. This is a team that has struggled defensively as they’ve battled a long injury list. Unlike Crew SC’s Zardes/Higuain centered attack, RSL spreads the goals around. Corey Baird leads the team with four goals, and Damir Kreilach, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata and Luis Silva chipped in three each.
88’ Rusnak nearly ties the game, but fires his shot wide from close range.
74’ Rusnak with an easy finish after RSL pass back and forth through Crew SC’s penalty area. 2-1 Columbus leads.
69’ Hansen on for Santos as the first Crew SC sub.
68’ Kempin makes a a big save on Rusnak to deny an #RSL opening goal.
66’ Yellow card to Sosa for an elbow to Beckerman
56’ Yellow card to Beckerman for a foul on Trapp.
49’ Jimenez with a ton of space and tries his best to pull a Di Maria with a long shot. Rimando tips it off the crossbar and behind for a Crew SC corner.
46’ Crew SC kickoff and the second half is underway!
HT; Crew SC 2 RSL 0
35’ Afful plays a square ball to Santos at the top of the box, but Santos scuffs it and it’s right to Rimando.
His first MLS start, his first MLS goal! Eduardo Sosa doubles the @ColumbusCrewSC lead. #CLBvRSL— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 1, 2018
As part of #SNHUGoals, for every RT of this goal, @SNHU will donate $1 to @The_USO. https://t.co/kwJqtGqVEU
23’ Afful plays Santos down the line. The winger splits the #RSL defenders on a square pass to Sosa and he buries it. 2-0 Crew SC!
14’ Shot from outside the penalty arena takes a weird bounce, but Kepmin saves to keep it 1-0 Crew SC.
6’ Zardes gets back on the board with his 11th of the year. This goal from the penalty spot. 1-0 Crew SC.
4’ Crew SC get an early penalty kick as Argudo is brought down in the penalty area.
1’ Salt Lake kicks off and we’re underway!
Ralph Schudel looks assesses where the up and down Real Salt Lake stands as they arrive at MAPFRE. Guilherme Torres profiles the Crew SC utility man Hector Jimenez as he likely jumps back into the lineup for the suspended Milton Valenzuela. Lastly, the staff takes their guesses at what will happen tonight.
Lineups will be added once released.
Injuries & Suspensions:
Columbus Crew SC: The injury list grew a little this week. Zack Steffen remains out after his minor knee surgery. Federico Higuain has a hip problem that limited him in training. He may be available, but is more likely coming off the bench than starting. Adam Jahn is day to day with knee pain and won’t play. Mohammed Abu is dealing with a thigh strain that will keep him out of action. Josh Willams has recovered from concussion like symptoms and is officially listed as doubtful. Milton Valenzuela is suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
- Real Salt Lake: The visitors have a long injury list. Defenders Tony Beltran and David Horst, midfielder Jordan Allen, forward Ricky Lopez-Espin, and goalkeeper Alex Horwath are out with long term injuries. The backline is further thinned out as Shawn Berry’s knee , Demar Phillips ankle, and Justin Glad’s head injury will keep them out of action. Also missing will be midfield cog Luke Mulholland who is still recovering from a back injury.
How to watch:
Date: Saturday, June 30th, 2018, 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
TV: CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2