Columbus Crew SC fans will have their first opportunity to see preseason action as the Black & Gold will kick off the Carolina Challenge Cup versus the Chicago Fire on Saturday evening. Columbus is no stranger to this tournament, winning it the round robin competition the past two preseasons.
First year head coach Caleb Porter and his players have been busy implementing his new, aggressive style of play this preseason. They have had success as they build on former coach Gregg Berhalter’s old philosophies while installing Porter’s tactics as well. So far, Columbus has amassed two wins (4-2 against Los Angeles Football Club and 1-0 against Tijuana) and one tie (a scoreless draw versus Vissel Kobe).
There are many interesting story lines to look out for in these last three preseason matches. How will Waylon Francis perform as Milton Valenzuela’s replacement after the young left back suffered a season-ending knee injury? Will Porter be able to get more production out of the winger positions? How will the new young players such as Robinho and first-round pick JJ Williams continue to develop? It will be exciting for Crew fans to see the Black & Gold once again after an exciting offseason off the field.
Most importantly though, the Carolina Challenge Cup will be the most important test to date for Porter and the teams as it will serve as a final rehearsal before the Major League Soccer season kicks off for Columbus with the New York Red Bulls coming to town on March 2nd.
Columbus Crew lineup:
Chicago Fire lineup:
How to Watch
Time: 5:00 p.m. ET
Venue: MUSC Health Stadium; Charleston, SC
Available Streaming: charlestonbattery.com
This will be your game thread as well to discuss the match with other Crew fans in the comment section below. What do you expect from the team in the Carolina Challenge Cup? Who do you think has the most to prove? How do you think we will line up? All that discussion and plenty more once the game kicks off.