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Massive Predictions: Crew at New England Revolution

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How will the Black & Gold play in Game 2 of the 2019 MLS season?

MLS: Columbus Crew at New England Revolution Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

And just like, we’ve reached Week 2 of the Major League Soccer season. After a 1-1 draw at home against the New York Red Bulls to open the year, the Black & Gold head on the road to take on the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon. The Revs are also coming off a 1-1 tie, but New England went to FC Dallas and came from behind to get the draw.

The Revolution will present another interesting challenge for the Black & Gold, as, like the Red Bulls, they are a team that wants to pressure the opponent and play physical. Can Columbus go on the road and get the team’s first win under new head coach Caleb Porter? Let’s see what our staff thinks of this game.

Elmer Plasencia

Despite drawing in the opener, Columbus was able to dictate most of the match. The Crew had a heavy advantage on possession and were the more clinical team in passing in their opening match. New England drew 1-1 with FC Dallas in their opening match but looked the inferior team in possession. Despite adding Spanish playmaker, Carles Gil, I think it will be difficult for the Revs to break through a strong Columbus backline. On the offensive end, I suspect Porter will have his squad prepared to be more clinical in the final third than they were in the opener.
Columbus Crew 2 New England Revolution 0

Nick Hudak

The Revolution are coming off of an all-but-inspiring draw against FC Dallas where they were dominated on the stat sheet. They were out-possessed 69 percent to 31 percent and didn’t complete a half of the 680 passes (310) that Dallas strung together.

While the Black & Gold aren’t coming off of an exceptional first game of their own, Caleb Porter seems to have the side motivated to improve. They came out slow against the New York Red Bulls but steadily improved as the game played out. The Revs are coming off of a dismal season and even at home. Columbus will go in and see out its first three point haul of the season.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 0

Mike Crosky

The Crew turn it around with a come from behind for a win on the road. The Revs play a similar style, though less frantic, to the Red Bulls, so the Crew should have a better grasp on how to combat such a high-pressing style. I expect to see the fullbacks more involved. The Red Bulls stymied the movement of the outside backs at times in Week 1. While I anticipate the Revs to come out excited and eager in their home opener, I believe Zack Steffen, the Crew backline and midfielders will hold down the fort and eek out a solid performance. I anticipate Zardes opening up his 2019 goal scoring account as well.
Columbus Crew 2 New England Revolution 1

Collin Johnson

Last week’s match was a dud of a debut for Caleb Porter’s tweaked Crew system. The same problems that typically plagued Columbus against the high-pressing Red Bulls came back to haunt them. Now, Porter and the Black & Gold will have their first road test of the season at a New England side that earned a surprising draw against Dallas despite giving up more than 60 percent of the possession.

The biggest positive to take from the lackluster draw against New York is that there were specific points that the Crew could point to where they needed to improve. There is a clear path to fixing the issues, and it will be up to Columbus to do that.

Like the Red Bulls, the Revolution also employ a high-pressure defensive system. Luckily, it is a system that didn’t trouble the Black & Gold too much last year. With another week of training under their belts, the Crew should be able to deploy the lessons learned from last week against a side still trying to figure out who it is.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 1

Abagail Hintz

Going into a team’s home opener is always a challenge, especially when that team hasn’t been beaten in their last 12 home openers. However, the Crew has only lost to the Revs once in their last six meetings. Not only that, but the Crew is hungry for a better start after an underwhelming 1-1 draw in their own home opener. New England also came out of last weekend with a tie, though it was a positive result for the team who were dealing with injuries and being on the road.

The Revs still have players who are question marks coming into Saturday’s match, including Juan Fernando Caicedo and Michael Mancienne. I think a healthy Crew side could potentially come out of Gillette Stadium with three points, but another tie seems to be the more likely outcome.
Columbus Crew 1 New England Revolution

Ralph Schudel

Get ready for win number one (officially) of the Caleb Porter era. New England is a bit questionable with Brad Knighton as the starting goalkeeper, but I think Gyasi Zardes and the Black & Gold find the board early in the match and put another on the board to seal the deal. New England won’t go down without a fight. Expect Cristian Penilla to cause havoc on the wings for the hosts and keep the game close.

Should be a fun one, but it’ll be a win for the Black & Gold.
Columbus Crew 2 New England Revolution 1

Jay Homan

The Revs look like a team that could fight for a playoff spot again this year. Even with the measly 32 percent possession last week, they were still able to get nine shots off. Expect a very similar game as last week for the Crew. They will control the ball for large portions of the game and create some astonishing opportunities, but convert very few as they continue to try to find their rhythm for the season. I am expecting the crew backline to redeem themselves for the goal last week and tighten up to give Zack Steffen his first clean sheet of the season.

It won’t be an exciting game to watch, but it will be the first win of the season.
Columbus Crew 1 New England Revolution 0

Guilherme Torres

The New England Revolution under Brad Friedel is still an enigma to me. The team has some nice pieces, such as defender Edgar Castillo, midfielder Diego Fagundez and forward Juan Agudelo, but the final product is rarely as good as the sum of the parts seems to indicate.

The Crew has been dominant against New England lately, having won three of the last five meetings, and I could see another win coming Columbus’ way on Saturday. I trust the Black & Gold’s defense will hold the Revolution and the offense will do just enough to take home all three points.
Columbus Crew 1 New England Revolution 0

Eliot McKinley

For a second straight week, the Columbus Crew face a team that implements a high-pressing style. Fortunately for the Crew, the New England press is not as relentless or organized as that of the New York Red Bulls. Last year at the Revolution, Gregg Berhalter changed his normal tactics to be more direct, and it will be interesting to see how Caleb Porter sets up his side on the turf in Foxboro. Last season, New England committed the most fouls in MLS since 2006 at 15.1 per game, and last week at Dallas they committed an absurdly high 24, so the Crew should be ready to create chances from set pieces. With the Crew implementing a new system on the road for the first time and Friedel having another offseason to improve his, I see the Crew waiting at least another week for their first win of the season.
Columbus Crew 1 New England Revolution 1

Tyler Fisher

Columbus is adjusting to the play style Caleb Porter envisions. While they are in search of their first win, New England is the team that stands in the way. It’s hit or miss when playing against them. With Columbus earning one point to open their season, New England is in the same boat. Both teams are looking to play their best, but I think no team will prevail.
Columbus Crew 1 New England Revolution 1

Patrick Guldan

The first road game of the season will prove a good litmus test for the 2019 Crew offense. The New England Revolution have retooled the roster with several stalwarts heading out the door and one Designated Player, Carles Gil, coming in with the promise of more on the way. The defense however hasn’t been significantly upgraded. It still has the same personnel that struggled to a middling 55 goals against record last year. They’ll give up chances.

Likewise, the Crew haven’t turned over the roster and got a very 2018 result against the New York Red Bulls last week. It will likely be the same in New England. Gregg Berhalter’s Columbus teams never look completely comfortable on turf and, barring a drastic shift in Porter’s preparation, the team still will struggle on the springy surface at Foxboro. That won’t help an offense that is still looking for production from its wings.

It’s likely going to be a sloppy game in the cold.
Columbus Crew 1 New England Revolution 1

Ethan Alonso

I can’t see many opportunities from the offense after the New York Red Bulls match. But the defense looked solid and I feel they can build on the match at MAPFRE Stadium.
Columbus Crew 1 New England Revolution 1

Jimmy Lentz

Due to the soccer ball’s faster movement on the bouncy FieldTurf at Gillette Stadium, game-changing moments should favor the teams’ playmaker — the Crew’s Federico Higuain or the Revolution’s Carles Gil — who can settle the ball and then distribute on the ground into space for his speedsters with just the right pace. Last week, New England’s defenders gave too much room to charging FC Dallas players who made multiple long runs with the ball towards goal. Revolution defenders kept pace yet closed in with pressure when it was too late from inside the 18-yard box. Dallas scored its goal from one of these runs.

Supporting Higuain and Gyasi Zardes during counter-attacks with direct intent on the outside will be key in this game and throughout the 2019 season.

Defensively, Columbus needs to be compact for 90-plus minutes because awkward ball bounces on turf just outside or inside the 18-yard box with Carles Gil and Juan Agudelo hanging around could spell danger for the Crew.
Columbus Crew SC 1 New England Revolution 1

Patrick Murphy

If you’ve been reading our predictions for a while, you know that I often don’t pick the Crew to win on the road. Winning away from home in MLS is not easy and the Black & Gold don’t do it often. Columbus’ Week 1 performance didn’t do much to change my mind, and the team is going up against a New England side that went on the road and got a result.

The Crew have spent this week focusing on the movement off the ball and being more clinical in the penalty box. That will be important against the Revolution, as the Black & Gold should be able to create chances. I expected Caleb Porter to play a little differently than he did last week, being on the road, but they won’t go entirely away from the possession style this team play.

I think finishing chances again is an issue and the Revs find a way to get one.
Columbus Crew SC 1 New England Revolution 1


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