Saturday’s continuation of the Hell is Real rivalry, against FC Cincinnati, was anything but an offensive explosion. In a 0-0 draw, Columbus Crew SC did not have the smooth offense that fans have seen over this anything-but-normal season. While FC Cincinnati came into the match coming off a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Fire, the Black & Gold were not able to break through the Cincinnati defense.
Columbus brought back three players that missed the first two Phase 1 restart matches in goalkeeper Eloy Room, winger Youness Mokhtar and attacking midfielder Lucas Zelarayan. Room had a great game, notching three saves, with a couple of those being highlight reel quality. There was excitement for the return of Zelarayan and Mokhtar, after New York City FC showed that the Crew offense was missing both player. Their performance was as expected, coming off injury as they did not always look like they were on the same page and the offensive connection was lacking.
One trend of the Phase 1 restart is player rotation. Columbus welcomes the Philadelphia Union to MAPFRE Stadium on Wednesday, with Philadelphia coming off an impressive 4-1 victory against D.C. United. With only three days’ rest, head coach Caleb Porter will need to make difficult decisions, at a time when consistency would help this Columbus offense.
Derrick Etienne Jr, Fatai Alashe and Emmanuel Boateng came on in the second half against Cincinnati and the shake-up did give Columbus a little spark, but not enough to make an impact on the scoresheet. Boateng has come on in each of the Phase 1 matches.
With now only Vito Wormgoor on the injury list, you have nearly a full slate of players to choose from for the next Supporters’ XI. Go through and choose who you think should start against the Union this week. On Wednesday, your selections will be compared to a lineup created by a contributor on the Massive Report.