Can Columbus Crew SC dig themselves out of the hole that’s been their 2019 season?
The Black & Gold head down south for an interesting matchup against Orlando City SC who are looking to make a run of their own for the playoffs in the second half of the Major League Soccer season. The importance of this matchup is unheralded for both Columbus and Orlando.
With United States Men’s National Team players Gyasi Zardes and captain Wil Trapp back, can the Crew find a much-needed result or will it be the same old story?
Let’s see how our staff is looking to expect in this weekends contest.
It’s Columbus Crew SC matchday and they face off against Orlando City SC. The last time these two teams met, Orlando City defeated the Black & Gold 2-0 at MAPFRE Stadium. But that’s in the past. The loss hurt, but you can tell things were starting to change just a little bit after their 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders. Things are certainly changing for the Crew as they are building up the roster. It looks promising. Orlando are coming into this match after their dramatic penalty kick shootout win against New York City FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals. If Columbus can catch the Lions on lack of rest, there is a good opportunity that this can kickstart a change for the second half of the season.
Columbus has the upper hand in the matchup with proper training, being well rested and gaining back captain Wil Trapp and striker Gyasi Zardes. If all things fall into place, Columbus will win this match.
Columbus Crew SC - 2 Orlando City - 0
So while the losing continues, we’re finally at a point where some optimism can come into play. With Ghana out of AFCON and the conclusion of the Gold Cup, the players Columbus had for international duty will soon be back. Crazy to think that, in addition to the moves that Caleb Porter and company have made, we’re going to be looking at a completely different group of players starting for the Black & Gold. With Trapp and Zardes back at the very least, I think their presence will provide a spark for the Crew that they’ve been lacking for some time.
I’m optimistic, but only so much.
Columbus Crew SC - 2 Orlando City SC - 1
The Crew will look to make amends for their loss versus Orlando in late June. It was a match where the Crew dominated in possession, shots, corner kicks and passing percentage. The one stat area Columbus failed to dominate, just so happened to be the one that matters most: goals. It was one of the more frustrating losses of this long and arduous 2019 season. Columbus will see the returns of Wil Trapp, Gyasi Zardes and Jonathan Mensah. That trio is the spine of the team, so a boost in play and morale should be prevalent. The Crew’s record on the road is abysmal (1-7-0) and I think the losing trend will continue.
Orlando City SC - 1 Columbus Crew SC - 0
After a dramatic win in the Open Cup in penalty kicks, Orlando will be riding high for Saturday’s match up against Columbus. This will be Orlando’s fourth match in 11 days and I would expect they’ll have to do some squad rotation. Columbus on the other hand should have Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes back from international duty. This should give the Black & Gold a boost as they try to break this terrible run of form and luck they’ve been on. I’m optimistic that the Crew will be able to capitalize on Orlando’s fatigue and their boost from returning players to earn a result.
Columbus Crew SC - 1 Orlando City SC - 0
Saturday begins another stretch of three matches in eight days for the Crew. With all the movement going on off the pitch, we will have to see how quickly Caleb Porter can get everyone integrated into the team over the next week and a half. Even though it is unlikely we will see any of the new names on Saturday, the return of Gyasi Zardes and Wil Trapp will surely give the Crew a boost as they take on Orlando City SC. Orlando City is coming off of an exciting but elongated U.S. Open Cup match from Wednesday night. Tired legs for the Lions will likely keep this match closer than the encounter two weeks prior. While the return of Zardes does increase the chances of the Crew scoring on the road, it won’t help them secure the win.
Orlando City SC 2 Columbus Crew SC 1
It’s been a very, very bad few weeks...well months. The good news is that reinforcements are coming. Wil Trap and Gyasi Zardes should be available and Jonathan Mensah isn’t far behind. The bad news is that this team is still plagued by injuries and won’t have its recent acquisitions available for this weekend’s match against Orlando City. The Lions will also be without Sacha Kljestan, given a red card for an awful tackle against Philadelphia last week, but should other wise be at nearly full strength. Maybe Zardes and Trapp are enough to at least kick-start the offense, but it will be hard to come away with even a point on the road.
Orlando City SC - 2 Columbus Crew SC - 1
Columbus Crew SC travels to Florida to play Orlando City SC this Saturday night and will try to even the season series after losing 2-0 to the Lions at MAPFRE Stadium just a couple of weeks ago. The good news is Gyasi Zardes, Wil Trapp and Jonathan Mensah have returned from international duty. But if frustrating defensive errors continue, which have occurred during critical moments in too many games this year, then it’ll be tough (yet again) for Columbus to earn at least a point on the road. Unfortunately, the Crew’s 1-7-0 road record this season doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence for a struggling Columbus team in Orlando.
Orlando City SC - 2 Columbus Crew SC - 0
The record regarding the Crew this season is so broken I don’t know what else to say. This team keeps playing well enough to win and not getting the result due to mistakes at the back and not finishing chances up top. I think the addition of the national team players will help but the new additions -- with the exception of Romario Williams -- are still awaiting their visas to play. I can’t see this team doing anything different than in recent games on the road at Orlando.
Orlando City SC - 2 Columbus Crew SC - 1