It wouldn’t be a midweek summer evening without a Columbus Crew SC match. On Thursday, it’s the Chicago Fire coming MAPFRE Stadium as the teams return to Major League Soccer action as part of the Phase 1 restart. Prior to the game, Massive Report asked you to choose Caleb Porter’s starting 11.
Let’s see who you chose.
There are not many changes from your choices in the final MLS is Back Tournament penalty kick loss to Minnesota United, but there is less confidence in a couple of positions.
You chose center back Aboubacar Keita over Josh Williams for tonight’s match when Williams received 88 percent of the vote in the final tournament contest. Goalkeeper Eloy Room and winger Youness Mokhtar both received a considerable amount of your selections, with Room being chosen as your starting goalkeeper, but both are still up in the air on if they will be available. Only a handful of votes gave Luis Diaz a spot over Mokhtar.
At the fullback position, Chris Cadden received more minutes in the MLS is Back Tournament, which is either a sign of gaining Porter’s trust or a way to manage player minutes. From the supporters, he received 10 percent of the total votes for the two spots held by Harrison Afful and Milton Valenzuela.
Center back Jonathan Mensah, central midfielders Darlington Nagbe and Artur, winger Pedro Santos and playmaker Lucas Zelarayan appear to be written in permanent ink in Porter’s notebook, which makes sense when you watch this club compete. The defense and leadership of Mensah, combined with the distribution of Nagbe and Artur, and Zelarayan and Santos taking charge of the offense, lends to Columbus’ strong performances this season.
The only difference between the supporters’ and Massive Report 11s is in the goalkeeper slot. Since Room and Mokhtar’s injuries, there haven’t been specifics on how long the team thinks they will be out. This lends to two possible options. One, they’re nagging injuries that truly require a day-to-day decision. Second, head coach mind games with the injury list. It is likely the former but catching a team off guard does make their game planning a little more complicated.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Room in goal and Moktar on the roster for tonight’s match. The Crew is on top of the MLS table for a reason, and if Porter can play his top guys, he’s going to do it.
Find out how right or wrong we all are tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET, in the MLS Phase 1 restart.