The Black & Gold didn’t have playmaker Lucas Zelarayan, who missed his second straight match, and Darlington Nagbe, who missed his first of the season, available. What resulted was a first half with not much possession and was met by a Chicago side that got behind the league’s most successful defense twice.
Head coach Caleb Porter said that both of the Crew’s top midfielders are suffering from “minor knee knocks,” and doesn’t expect both to be out long. Enter Phase 2 of MLS’s restart.
Columbus starts the next phase with a match against expansion side, and the Eastern Conference’s ninth place team, Nashville SC, followed closely by third in the Western Conference Minnesota United and Toronto FC, sitting in third in the East by goal differential. A tough three matches, but the Black & Gold fortunately start with two straight at MAPFRE Stadium.
Derrick Etienne Jr and Luis Diaz started on the wings against the Fire, with Pedro Santos sliding into the No. 10 role due to injuries. Fatai Alashe saw his second start in a row next to Artur in the midfield. The remaining lineup looked the same with Gyasi Zardes up front, and Milton Valenzuela, Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah and Josh Williams playing in front of Eloy Room.
It is hard to predict who will start week after week, but that is exactly what we are asking you to do, in the Supporters’ XI. Do you think the knee knocks will hold Nagbe and Zelarayan out another match or does the come-from-behind draw change things? Give us your thoughts.
On Saturday, Massive Report will share your picks alongside those from a contributor to the site.