Wil Trapp calls it a “must win”. Columbus is on the edge of the playoff picture and need wins to try and make an improbable run. The Crew need a win in Hell is Real Part 2 against FC Cincinnati on Sunday night. The Crew are facing the worst team in the league, but it’s a team they have yet to beat. FCC won 1-0 in a 2017 Open Cup match and the game two weeks ago ended in a tie.
Columbus is coming out with a full strength lineup needing all three points. Gyasi Zardes comes back into the lineup, as does the rest of the attack that was rested on Wednesday night. The Black & Gold offense will be powered by Pedro Santos, who is having a career year with nine goals and three assists.
FCC’s inaugural season has been a struggle. They have five wins on the season and have the worst point total in the league. Allan Cruz has been a rare bright spot as he’s recorded five goals to lead the team.
What to read:
Mike Crosky scouts an FCC team that’s starting to evolve under Ron Jans. Pat Murphy checks in with Caleb Porter on Gyasi Zardes’ absence on Wednesday night. He also reports that the players are hoping to put on a show for their only national television appearance of the year. The staff predictions are mixed as everyone knows the Crew have the talent, but can they put a whole game together.
Injuries, suspensions and call-ups:
Columbus Crew SC: Left back Milton Valenzuela and playmaker Federico Higuain are both out for the year with ACL tears. Left back Waylon Francis hasn’t recovered from his leg injury. Ricardo Clark is also sidelined with a foot injury. Aboubacar Keita’s thigh injury also has him out with Hector Jimenez’s strained MCL.
FC Cincinnati: Midfielder Jimmy McLaughlin is the only player that is confirmed out after being sidelined with an ACL tear. Forward Fanendo Adi is still struggling with a calf injury, keeping his status up in the air. Goalkeeper Spencer Richey’s back injury keeps him off the 18 for another game. Frankie Amaya’s groin injury has him sidelined. Leo Bertone’s groin injury keeps him limited to the bench. Mathieu Deplagne had been questionable, but passed his fitness test and will play.
How to Watch:
Date/Time: August, 21 6:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Nippert Stadium (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Stream: Fox Sports GO