Columbus Crew SC’ trip to Frisco, Texas over turned out to be an eventful one. Head coach Caleb Porter started it off with a shuffle in the lineup, moving away from the usual 4-2-3-1 formation to a 4-1-4-1. With injuries to Darlington Nagbe and Fatai Alashe, Porter experimented with moving that normal holding midfield role up to the offensive side of the ball, opting for Luis Diaz, Pedro Santos, Lucas Zelarayan and Youness Mokhtar all on the field together.
Then the match started.
Columbus went into the half down one goal and down a player, with Zelarayan being subbed off for Aidan Morris due to an injury. The second half featured four goals, three of them counting, and a Columbus side that came back from two deficits to take a point on the road.
It’s a quick turnaround now, with eight matches in the next four weeks, starting Wednesday against the Montreal Impact at home. Only Porter knows if the shakeup in formation will continue, but with Nagbe and now potentially Zelarayan out with injuries, the Black & Gold will have to rely heavily on their depth in the midfield.
With a lot of questions on the table, you get to pick who you would start in this midweek match at MAPFRE Stadium. Montreal is winless in the last five matches, with four losses and a draw, three of those losses saw the Impact a man down because of red cards. Montreal travels to Columbus coming off a 2-2 draw against Chicago Fire.
In a Monday afternoon press conference, Porter announced that Zelarayan would miss Wednesday’s match and possibly another couple of weeks. As of writing this article, there is no word on if Eloy Room misses out after being subbed off due to injury against FC Dallas.
With that in mind, do you pick Morris or Sebastian Berhalter to start next to Artur? Does Zelarayan’s time away make Porter move away from his formation experiment or could Derrick Etienne Jr. or Emmanual Boateng see more minutes?
Make your picks, and a contributor from the Massive Report will share your choices alongside their own prediction, in the hours leading up to Wednesday night’s match.