The Columbus Crew left for Orlando coming off a 2-1 victory against the top team MLS, the Philadelphia Union, with the team starting core back from injury. Going into that Sunday match, the team response was focused on being prepared for the MLS Cup playoffs and Wednesday was another pre-postseason test. What followed was a difficult match for a side that looked unprepared.
Orlando City received a gift in the 27th minute in the form of a heavy Harrison Afful pass to Artur, with Orlando pressing in the offensive zone. The Mauricio Pereyra interception led to a Chris Mueller goal.
A red card in the 52nd minute gave the Black & Gold a man advantage and Afful scored the equalizer in the 56th minute, but couldn’t hold on for the draw. The 84th minute Benji Michel goal kept Columbus from winning a single away match all season, outside of the MLS is Back Tournament.
Sunday is a big match for the Crew if the team wants to have any home matches in the playoffs. New York City FC is behind Columbus in the overall standings but a Crew loss and New York City win would flip their places in the standings.
Atlanta United will come to MAPFRE Stadium with no midweek match to recover from. Columbus control its fate for getting at least one home match in the playoffs, but supporters will be keeping an eye on the NYCFC match against Chicago Fire.
For the final regular season game, Massive Report wants to see your starting lineup. Make your selections below for the last Supporters’ XI before the playoffs. Here are some things to consider:
Josh Williams was available against Orlando, but didn’t get any minutes following the end of his four-match suspension. Does he get the start? Waylon Francis started against OCSC and played the entire match. Are Francis’ increased minutes a sign of a competition at the fullback position for Milton Valenzuela or is it precautionary to keep the Crew’s best side ready for the playoffs?
Who starts opposite Pedro Santos on the wing? Derrick Etienne Jr. got the start against the Union but Luis Diaz was chosen on Wednesday. Will that flip again or does Youness Mokhtar or Emmanuel Boateng get a surprise game from the kick?
Let us know in the Supporters’ XI. Your picks will be compared to a predicted lineup from a Massive Report contributor on match day.