The final stretch of the Major League Soccer regular season continues for the Columbus Crew with a historic trip on Wednesday. The Black & Gold will play an MLS match in Tennessee for the first time with an evening match at Nissan Stadium against Nashville SC. The first three encounters between Columbus and Nashville were all played in Ohio with the Crew winning two of the three games.
Columbus enter this match in 10th place in the Eastern Conference still with hope the team can make the MLS Cup Playoffs. Entering this match, the Black & Gold sit just four points back of seventh place CF Montreal with ground still to make up. In order to get back into playoff position, the Crew must win out and needs help from other East teams.
The Black & Gold will also be without its head coach, Caleb Porter, who is in health and safety protocols and didn’t travel to Nashville. Assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson will assume coaching duties.
Nashville SC should clinch its second consecutive MLS Cup playoff berth soon. The Tennessee club sits comfortably in second place in the Eastern conference table and holds the least losses in MLS this season with three. The team also has the most draws in the league with 15 to go along with the only intact unbeaten home record in 2021.
Injuries and suspensions:
Crew: Artur (right hip), Perry Kitchen (left knee), Kevin Molino (right knee), Aidan Morris (left knee), Caleb Porter (health and safety protocols), and Luis Diaz (health and safety protocols) are OUT. Jonathan Mensah (health and safety protocols) is QUESTIONABLE.
Nashville: Dan Lovitz (foot) is OUT.
How to watch:
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, 8:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Nissan Stadium - Nashville, Tennessee
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Radio: English: 97.1 The Fan - Spanish: Columbus Crew YouTube
Streaming: ESPN+ (out of market)
1. (y) New England Revolution (30 GP, 66 PTS)
2. Nashville SC (29 GP, 48 PTS)
3. Philadelphia Union (29 GP, 46 PTS)
8. New York City FC (29 GP, 40 PTS)
9. New York Red Bulls (29 GP, 40 PTS)
10. Columbus Crew (29 GP, 37 PTS)
Around the league:
The playoff race is hot in MLS with 12 spots still up for grabs between 20 clubs. The matches of consequence for the Crew will be in Orlando and Atlanta. Orlando City is hosting CF Montreal while Atlanta United welcomes New York City FC for midweek evening kick-offs. Should Columbus, Orlando, and Atlanta all win on Wednesday, the Crew would be one-point out of seventh place with four games to go.
The New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders have already clinched the playoffs. The teams eliminated from playoff contention are the Chicago Fire, Toronto FC, FC Cincinnati, the Houston Dynamo, and Austin FC.
Last three matches:
July 21, 2021: Columbus Crew 0, Nashville SC (Lower.com Field)
November 29, 2020 (East Semifinals): Columbus Crew 2, Nashville SC 0 (Historic Crew Stadium)
September 19, 2020: Columbus Crew 2, Nashville SC 0 (Historic Crew Stadium)