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Massive Predictions: Crew at Real Salt Lake

Our staff gives their thoughts on the Crew’s Wednesday night matchup.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Columbus Crew SC Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

You know the story: Columbus Crew SC, missing a number of key players, has just one win in 12 matches. After a Gold Cup break, the Black & Gold returned with two home matches, losing 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City two weeks ago and 2-0 to Orlando City SC on the weekend. In both matches, the Crew were arguably the better team but couldn’t find the net.

On Wednesday night, it’s a return to the road when Columbus travels to take on Real Salt Lake. Could a change of scenery be what the Black & Gold need to at least get a result?

Let’s see what our staff thinks of this match:

Mike Crosky

Winning on the road in MLS is often a tall task for any team. Right now, scoring goals seem to be a tall task for Columbus. I want to believe that the Crew stroll into Rio Tinto Stadium and steal all three points in the standings, but my mind is telling me otherwise. RSL seems to be finding their rhythm, having captured points in seven of their last 11 matches. The Crew will get Harrison Afful back, which should boost the team offensively. If the Black & Gold can pop in a goal early, perhaps this is the turn around game we all want to see. However, I am sad to say I predict an RSL victory.
Real Salt Lake 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Elmer Plasencia

The skid continued on Saturday night for Columbus and I don’t see it getting much better against Real Salt Lake on Wednesday. The team is very thin still due to injuries and international call-ups, they have been largely uninspiring for the better part of two months now. Real Salt Lake will still be without Jefferson Savarino but otherwise should be full strength. Columbus needs to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net, they are almost bottom of the league in goals scored and can’t seem to find any answer on how to fix that. I just don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Real Salt Lake 2 Columbus Crew SC 0

Tyler Fisher

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Turning this club around after the previous regime left it a mess, isn’t easy. Let it settle folks. Caleb Porter and company is the right move. They now turn their sights to Real Salt Lake in a midweek match. Salt Lake is coming off of a win against Sporting Kansas City. They’re in a pretty good spot, just one place out of a playoff position. Columbus, on the other hand, are desperate for points after dropping three at home, losing 2-0 to Orlando City on Saturday.

The guys know the fans are frustrated. They know. Porter knows. They’re frustrated too, but it’s unnecessary to bomb a front office that took charge seven months ago.

I have high hopes for this match. Do I think a turnaround will happen? Yes.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Real Salt Lake 1

Collin Johnson

It’s hard to see how this version of the Crew get a goal on the road following their dismal finishing at home, but at least there were some positives to take from the Orlando match. Scoreboard watchers saw the 2-0 win by City but didn’t see that coming only only three Orlando shots or that Columbus had 10 shots, 13 corker kicks and most of the possession. Still, while those stats may be positive, they don’t add up to a win or even a point. At some point, the Black & Gold have to start scoring. Might as well be in Salt Lake.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Real Salt Lake 0

Jimmy Lentz

If Caleb Porter doesn’t change his ineffective and pedestrian tactics for a mid-week road game against Real Salt Lake, then it’s difficult to envision a reversal of fortune for Columbus Crew SC, regardless of the opponent. Columbus defenders are struggling just to stay with their marks and the Crew’s 1-6-0 road record thus far in 2019 doesn’t inspire confidence for this game in Utah.
Real Salt Lake 2 Columbus Crew SC 0

Jay Homan

A road match for the Crew, two time zones away from, with a late kickoff time, in high altitudes and seven contributing players not available. Nothing in that list makes me comfortable for the tie with Real Salt Lake. If the Crew are able to leave Utah with a point, they should celebrate like it’s a win. Expect a multiple goal game from Real as Columbus drops another on the road.
Real Salt Lake 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Patrick Murphy

I do believe a result is coming for the Crew. I think Caleb Porter is doing what he can with a group of players that isn’t up to his standard. He has adjusted based on what’s available, but it just hasn’t worked. The players have to start putting the ball in the back of the net on one end and keeping it out on the other. I worry that losing is starting to become a way of life for the Black & Gold and there’s only one way to change that.

Maybe a trip away from MAPFRE Stadium and the pressure of playing in front of the home fans is the trick. If the Crew can get the first goal, or get any goal, I think that will make a major difference. I expect a good amount of rotation in this contest and maybe that will be a breath of fresh air for players attempting to prove themselves
Columbus Crew SC 1 Real Salt Lake 1

Nick Hudak

Being optimistic is not the easiest thing to do with this Columbus side at the moment. They’ve been struggling in all areas but the additions of Romario Williams from Atlanta United and Luis Diaz from Costa Rica will help down the stretch. Unfortunately, they can’t make their presence known until July 9 at the earliest, and Caleb Porter is desperate for immediate help.

While the moves look very promising moving forward, the Crew have a tough opponent in Real Salt Lake who are in a similar position in the standings, just on the outside looking in for a playoff spot. Traveling to Utah on a short week doesn’t help whatsoever.
Real Salt Lake 3 Columbus Crew SC 1

How do you see this game between the Crew and Salt Lake playing out? Let us know in the comment section below.