It was an extremely interesting international break for Columbus Crew supporters the last two weeks. Lower.Com Field hosted the United States Men’s National Team in an exciting 2-1 win against Costa Rica. The CONCACAF special also featured the return of former Crew goalkeeper Zacl Steffen. Meanwhile, in Europe, Crew midfielder Lucas Zelarayan made his international debut for Armenia.
With most players back in Columbus, the Crew start up the last leg of the 2021 Major League Soccer regular season. With just six matches left in the year, the Black & Gold’s postseason chances hang by a thread.
Now that games played are all relatively even throughout the Eastern Conference, the Crew sits six points outside of the top seven that make the postseason. Can the Crew still mathematically make the MLS Cup playoffs? Yes, but there is a lot of work (and good luck) required.
As the Black & Gold are set to face Inter Miami Saturday evening, every game is going to be crucial. But it is going to be an uphill battle.
While depth has been an issue all year for Columbus, things started to look up over the last couple of weeks. Thanks to no games over the international break, the Crew did not miss having Gyasi Zardes, Lucas Zelarayan, Liam Fraser or Luis Diaz gone. The team will be without center back Jonathan Mensah for this weekend’s game, as the captain must quarantine after his time with Ghana.
Center back Vito Wormgoor, who was out under the “health and safety protocols” umbrella of late, is back but is still listed as questionable. Goalkeeper Eloy Room is the only other questionable Black & Gold player as he works his way back from a thigh injury.
The only other players on the Crew’s injury report are the ones who are out long-term, although it does seem central midfielder Artur is getting closer to returning.
Coming into Columbus, Miami sits just below the Crew in the Eastern Conference. Inter has been on a bit of late as the team is winless in the last four weeks.
Meanwhile, the Crew continues to experience a roller coaster of a season, following two exciting wins with an incredibly disappointing 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union before the international break. Caleb Porter’s side was unable to capture the Campeones Cup magic in its most recent MLS match.
If the Black & Gold can catch their opponents on the continual dive on Saturday and grab all three points, Columbus can continue the recent positive run of form.
With all of that in mind, who would you, the supporters, start in this crucial match at home for the Crew? Vote below and results will be published (as well as a Massive Report Predicted XI) before the match on Saturday.