It was a night of mixed emotions in Frisco, Texas last Saturday. Columbus Crew SC came back twice to draw FC Dallas 2-2 in the team’s most recent regular season match and avoided losing a second straight game for the first time this year. On the downside for the Black & Gold, record-signing Lucas Zelarayan looked to suffer a muscle injury and goalkeeper Eloy Room left the match early as well with an issue.
Two days later, and it was confirmed Columbus will be without Zelarayan, who has missed four games already this season, once again after head coach Caleb Porter described the injury in more detail Monday afternoon.
“We are getting scans for both of them (Zelarayan and Room) today so timeline-wise, we’ll know and have a better sense of how long the injuries are,” Porter explained. “With Lucas, it’s definitely a high kind of hamstring. He did it when he stretched for that ball to bring it down when he was in the box. So he is definitely out this next game. So we’ll have a timeline of how long that he will be out. But it is probably a couple of weeks, maybe more.”
Zelarayan stretched for a ball before taking a shot just before halftime in Dallas. The midfielder landed awkwardly and remained on the ground before medical attention was brought to him. He will be inactive for Columbus in Wednesday night’s game against the Montreal Impact, marking the fifth time the Argentine will miss a match due to injury. Zelarayan sat out two consecutive games on two separate occasions in late August and early September from an injury to his ankle.
The Crew’s No. 10 has scored five goals and assisted four in his debut MLS season and with a plethora of games incoming for the Black & Gold in October, it is unclear how much Zelarayan will feature. In the absence of Zelarayan, Pedro Santos has often slotted into the central attacking midfield role.
Room’s second injury of the season is less serious, according to Porter.
“On Eloy, we’ll see,” the head coach updated. “He’s feeling a lot better today so could be out this next game but I wouldn’t expect he is out long.”
Room has started 12 games for Columbus in goal and has kept seven clean sheets during this 2020 campaign. The Curaçao international suffered an injury at the MLS is Back Tournament during a 2-0 win against the New York Red Bulls. Room missed the following two games in Florida and two more when the regular season restarted in home markets.
With Room out, new signing Andrew Tarbell stepped in goal, where he kept clean sheets against Atlanta United and the Chicago Fire. Tarbell did appear on Saturday night for 19 minutes against Dallas and it’s possible Crew fans will see him again on Wednesday if Room can’t suit up between the posts.
Columbus has matches against Montreal and Orlando City SC this week and a possibility of missing Zelarayan, Room, Darlington Nagbe and Waylon Francis for both encounters. Midfielder Fatai Alashe and forward Fanendo Adi were both off the injury list prior to the game in Dallas but neither made the trip to Frisco.