Columbus Crew SC return to action after a week off. The team faces a weakened Houston Dynamo team at MAPFRE Stadium with a perfect chance to get another three points in an attempt to climb up towards the top of the Eastern Conference standings. They may be doing so without Federico Higuain as he is still listed as questionable. They may be buoyed by the debut of the returning Justin Meram who was landed in a trade with Orlando City SC last week.
The visiting Dynamo have been struggling, playing 120 minutes midweek in a U.S. Open Cup game, and will be missing three players due to red card suspension. They will have to dig deep if they want to get anything out of their only matchup against the Black & Gold of the 2018 season.
FT: Crew SC 1 Dynamo 0
90’+ Afful floats a cross into the box. Mullins can’t get there but Zardes can. He beats Willis. 1-0 Crew SC!
82’ JUST WIDE! Opoku plays a good low cross in that Zardes can’t quite get on frame.
82’ Opoku plays a good low cross in that Zardes can’t quite get on frame. Ball goes just wide.
80’ Eddie Opoku in for Valenzuela.
77’ Sauro has a bad pass for a giveaway to Garcia at midfield. Manotas ends up with the ball but fires it well wide.
74’ Mullins in for Higuain.
71’ Steffen rushes out to deny Manotas on a ball played into the box. Dynamo corner.
61’ Higuain gets in behind and fires a shot but Willis takes it to the face and makes the save.
60’ Meram returns. Crew SC bring him in for Grella.
59’ Steffen has to come up with a diving save after Manotas makes a run through #CrewSC’s defense and fires a shot.
52’ Grella makes a fancy run through the middle of the field and feeds Higuain. Papa’s shot is an easy save from Willis and Grella puts the rebound over the crossbar.
46’ The second half is underway following the Dynamo kickoff.
HT: Crew SC 0 Dynamo 0
33’ Another long shot from Pedro. This one is saved by Willis. First shot on goal for Crew SC.
30’ Santos with a crack that is off the post! So close!
18’ Afful gives the ball away out of the back. Houston fires another shot on frame but it’s saved by Steffen.
13’ Afful fires a shot from a long way but it’s just wide. Good chance for #CrewSC who are dominating the early portions of this match.
10’ Steffen stuff Quioto’s shot from inside the penalty. Still 0-0.
2’ Santos streaks into the penalty area on a ball from Pipa. He plays it across looking for Zardes but it’s broken up by the Dynamo defense.
1’ Crew SC are underway!
Ralph Schudel previews the Dynamo’s recent work as they’ve drifted under the playoff redline in the Western Conference. The Massive Report staff is bullish on the chances on a Columbus win in the staff predictions.
Injuries and Absences:
Crew SC: Midfielder Eduardo Sosa is the only player out on the injury list. Federico Higuain remains questionable with back spasms.
Houston Dynamo: It’s a long list of suspensions for the visitors. Alejandro Fuenmayor, Darwin Ceren and, Alberth Elis are all out for the Dynamo. The injury list is also long with defender A.J. DeLaGarza out with a long term injury. Fellow defender Philippe Senderos is sidelined with a quadriceps injury. Midfielder Juan David Cabezas likewise is recovering from a quad injury while reserve forward Mac Steeves has a hip injury keeping him out.
How to watch:
Date: Saturday, August 11, 2018, 7:30 PM ET
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
TV: CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2