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Massive Predictions: Orlando City SC vs. Crew SC

Who wins in a battle of two clubs struggling to find some form right now?

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If you think the recent poor form by Columbus Crew SC has been bad, then your lucky stars you aren’t an Orlando City fan this season.

The Lions loss nine consecutive games from May 13 until July 14 when OCSC finally got back to winning. Over that stretch, Orlando fired head coach Jason Kreis and hired James O’Connor, formerly of Louisville City. On Saturday, the men in purple head to Columbus hoping to take advantage of a struggling Black & Gold side that has one win in its last eight matches and can’t seem to score a goal at the moment.

In a battle of two teams on the wrong side of luck recently, something has to give. Or you end up with a draw. Do we believe Crew SC can turn things around this weekend? We ask our staff for their thoughts on this weekend’s match.

Collin Johnson

It has not been a fun month for Crew SC. The Black & Gold are struggling to score goals and leaking goals like they haven’t for most of the season. Orlando has had an even more bleak few months. Early in the season, the Lions looked to be the class of MLS, rolling off a big win streak. After crashing back to Earth, Orlando City will play Crew SC with a new manager and looking to build on a win last week.

The Lions might present the recipe to temporarily mend Columbus’ scoring woes. Orlando has given up a league high 42 goals so far. If Crew SC can play their possession-based style, the Black & Gold should be able to get all three points and a few goals.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Orlando City SC 0

Eliot McKinley

A home game against the struggling Orlando City may be just what the doctor ordered for Crew SC. Prior to new head coach James O’Connor’s first win against Toronto FC last week, Orlando had lost nine in a row, tied for the third-longest losing streak in MLS history. However, Crew SC has been on a bit of a slide as well, winning only one in the last eight games, with both the attack and defense in a slump.

According to American Soccer Analysis, Orlando and Columbus are both average attacking teams at 1.5 xGF per game, but Crew SC continues to lead MLS in defense at 1.04 xGA, while Orlando is second-to last at 1.78. Orlando’s off season make over has not gelled yet, especially former Crew SC winger Justin Meram, who has had a particular rough fun of form lately. Give this, Orlando’s fixture congestion (including a 1-0 U.S. Open Cup loss to the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday), and a return to the Tiny Demon Fortress, I expect Crew SC to claim victory.
Columbus Crew SC 3 Orlando City SC 1

Patrick Murphy

It’s a pretty simple recipe for Crew SC on Saturday: return home against a struggling Orlando City team and get a win. Easy, right? You would think so. The problem of late has been putting the ball in the back of the net, which is a weird thing to say of a Gregg Berhalter-coached side. If Columbus can find a way to do that on Saturday against an Orlando team that has conceded 42 goals this year, it should be a victory.

Given we’re reaching the end of July and this is around the time of the year things start to swing back in the Black & Gold’s favor, I’m going to say they get the job done.
Columbus Crew SC 3 Orlando City SC 1

Patrick Guldan

This is a game that Columbus has to win. This is the rare home game in the summer stretch and they’ve already bled points at MAPFRE, getting 21 of a possible 33. This team desperately needs goals with the defense showing signs of stress. Getting Federico Higuain back fully fit and sharp will help. He came off the bench against the LA Galaxy and started in New York. He’s likely ready to play a full 90 minutes and Crew SC are better when he can do that.

The opponent, Orlando City, might appear to be an easy make. The team has struggled mightily since a six-game winning streak, prompting the dismissal of Jason Kreis. James O’Connor has been brought in to revive the team’s playoff chances. There are a lot of good parts on this team, but they haven’t been put together well. O’Connor is going back to basics and this team shows signs of life.

Still, if Columbus wants to join the conversation for best in the conference, then a win on Saturday is a must. A fully fit and in form Higuain and the stabilizing influence of Jonathan Mensah lead Crew SC to victory.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Orlando City 1

Guilherme Torres

This is a game that can be pretty telling about Columbus. The team is going through a hard stretch of matches, having won just one of its last eight, but so is Orlando City, as last weekend’s victory over Toronto FC was the team’s first after nine straight losses. On top of that, they also had a head coach change, with James O’Connor taking over, and some of their most talented players, including Justin Meram, are not playing for a variety of reasons.

With all that considered, this is a game Crew SC should win and I’m confident the team will do so. Orlando has been a pretty one-dimensional team to the sense that all their offense flows towards Dom Dwyer and Columbus’ defensive system has been solid enough to keep him under control. Their defense has not been good, though, and this could be a good chance for one of the Black & Gold’s wingers to finally break through.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Orlando City SC 0

Ralph Schudel

Things haven’t been great for Crew SC recently, but at least it’s not as dire of a situation as the Lions find themselves in. Before their win against Toronto FC, Orlando had lost its previous nine matches, leading to the dismissal of head coach Jason Kreis. In steps former USL head coach James O’Connor to turn things around.

The new manager has his hands full, as a struggling Orlando City defense fails to clean up on second ball opportunities. Former Crew SC defender Amro Tarek has looked shaky. The defender was directly involved in opposing goals from the run of play. Should Crew SC put him under pressure, it’s only a matter of time before he cracks.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Orlando City SC 1

You’ve read our predictions, now let’s hear how you think the match will play out on Saturday.