This Saturday, Columbus Crew SC takes the field in Frisco, Texas against FC Dallas. What is different about this match from the others is that the Crew come into it coming off the team’s worst loss of the season, giving up three goals in a 3-1 loss to Toronto FC.
Toronto exploited the left side of the Columbus defense, scoring all its goals on movement and passing originating on the left. Milton Valenzuela, who normally starts in the left back position, came on in the second half in relief of Hector Jimenez, who played only 72 minutes since the Black & Gold returned from the MLS is Back Tournament.
Up front, head coach Caleb Porter went with Lucas Zelarayan, Pedro Santos and Luis Diaz. A Santos pass led to the only Columbus goal of the evening, an own-goal from Chris Mavinga’s failed clearance attempt. Both Diaz and Santos were substituted in the second half, for Derrick Etienne Jr. and Youness Mokhtar, respectively.
With Darlington Nagbe and Fatai Alashe both out with injury, Sebastian Berhalter took over the central midfield position opposite Artur, who played in his 100th regular season game with the Black & Gold.
In response to the outcome, Porter told reporters post-match that Sunday’s loss is “more of a stepping stone, not a stumbling block.”
FC Dallas will be Columbus’ first opportunity to grow from the loss. The Crew will travel to play the fourth-place team in the Western Conference, with 20 points overall. Dallas comes into the match with a win, draw and loss in the team’s most recent contests, after a Sunday evening 0-0 draw against 10-man Orlando City.
For this match, we’re once again asking you to pick who you’d start in this bounce back match. As of Wednesday afternoon, there is no new updates on Columbus midfielders, Nagbe and Alashe. Should Berhalter start again or did Aidan Morris’ time off the bench warrant more minutes? Diaz drew a lot of attention and played well against Toronto. Would you have Porter continue starting him or give Etienne Jr or Mokhtar the start?
These questions and more are on the table in the next Supporters’ XI. Make your picks, and a contributor from the Massive Report will share his choices before Saturday evening’s match down south.