Columbus Crew SC ended a mini drought of two matches without a win against the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday. The 1-0 score line is deceptive when considering the amount of scoring opportunities within the 90 minutes. In the first half, the Union had multiple chances where the 18-yard box turned into a rugby scrum between the two sides with Eloy Room coming up with key saves and Darlington Nagbe clearing a ball mere inches from crossing the goal line.
The home side, playing in front of their friends and family, had their fair of chances going into halftime too, with a few shots threatening the camera operators on the stage more than Philadelphia’s former Goalkeeper of the Year, Andre Blake. In the second half, Lucas Zelarayan broke the club’s two-match scoreless drought with a shot taken right outside of the penalty box, which deflected off a Union defender and into the top left-hand corner of the net, just over the outstretched arms of Blake.
Caleb Porter, post-match, told reporters that the Union were the best team the Crew has played all season and his starting XI supported that. Questions about managing minutes and getting fresh legs into the lineup went out the window with the gravity of facing a Philadelphia side that hadn’t lost in seven straight matches. In a throwback to the first two, normal regular season matches of the season, Porter only used three of his five available subs, bringing on Derrick Etienne Jr. for Youness Mokhtar, Fanendo Adi for Gyasi Zardes and Fatai Alashe for Zelarayan.
On Sunday, the Crew welcomes FC Cincinnati to MAPFRE stadium, in front of up to 1,500 supporters, in a quick return to the Hell is Real Derby. For the contest, we want you to choose the 11 that start. Is there a combination that can break through the tight FC Cincinnati defense? Does anyone from Wednesday’s match get the night off?
You decide in this match’s Supporters’ XI. On game day, we’ll share your lineup compared to one from a Massive Report Contributor.