For the first time since March, Columbus Crew SC is playing a Western Conference team in the regular season. The last match was against the Seattle Sounders, where the Black & Gold drew 1-1 on the road in a pre-COVID world. Now, the first-place team in MLS meets Minnesota United at MAPFRE Stadium in front of 1,500 fans.
These two sides met in the Round of 16 of the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, Florida. The match ended in a 1-1 draw and Minnesota was victorious in a penalty kick shootout. Since then, the Crew has played seven games and lost only one. Columbus’ form has been perfect at home with five wins and five clean sheets in Ohio’s capital.
Since the Loons semifinal loss to Orlando City SC, the team has only won two of its last seven matches out west. Despite the poor form, Minnesota still sits in fourth place just three points behind Western Conference leaders Seattle.
The staff gives their predictions for today’s game. Andrew Atkins scouts the Loons. Pat Murphy crosses the touchline with E Pluribus Unum managing editor Ashle Norling. We further preview the match on the latest episode of the Massive Report Podcast. Orri Benatar does his breakdown of the latest Crew schedule reveal.
Crew (4-2-3-1): Eloy Room; Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Milton Valenzuela, Artur, Fatai Alashe, Luis Diaz, Lucas Zelarayan, Pedro Santos, Gyasi Zardes
MNUFC (4-2-3-1): Dayne St. Clair; Romain Metanire, Michael Boxall, Jose Aja, Chase Gasper, Jacori Hayes, Hassani Dotson, Robin Lod, Emanuel Reynoso, Thomas Chacon, Kei Kamara
Injuries and suspensions:
Crew: Defender Vito Wormgoor is OUT with an ankle injury. Midfielder Darlington Nagbe and Forward Fanendo Adi are OUT with undisclosed injuries.
MNUFC: Goalkeeper Tim Miller is OUT with a hip injury. Defender Ike Opara, Midfielder Ethan Finlay, Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, Goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh, and Forward Luis Amarilla are OUT with undisclosed injuries. Midfielder Jan Gregus is SUSPENDED after a red card on Saturday against Houston Dynamo.
How to watch:
Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
TV: FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports North Plus
Radio: English: 97.1 The Fan - Spanish: Columbus Crew YouTube
1. Columbus Crew (12 GP, 27 pts)
2. Philadelphia Union (12 GP, 24 pts)
3. Orlando City (12 GP, 22 pts)
4. Toronto FC (12 GP, 22 pts)
1. Seattle Sounders (11 GP, 21 pts)
2. Sporting KC (12 GP, 20 pts)
3. FC Dallas (11 GP, 19 pts)
4. Minnesota United (12 GP, 18 pts)
Around the league:
It is a literal FULL day of midweek MLS action with 13 games, which means every team is playing. The big evening matches include New York City FC hosting Toronto FC, Sporting Kansas City facing off against Orlando City and the Portland Timbers playing host to the Sounders.
Last four matches:
July 28, 2020 (MLS is Back R16): Minnesota United win on penalties (ESPN Complex)
May 18, 2019: Minnesota United 1, Columbus Crew 0 (Allianz Field)
October 28, 2018: Columbus Crew 3, Minnesota United 2 (MAPFRE Stadium)
July 4, 2017: Minnesota United 0, Columbus Crew 1 (TCF Bank Stadium)