The Major League Soccer regular season is finally upon us and it begins with a phantom “USA Community Shield” match as the defending MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew host the defending Supporters’ Shield winners the Philadelphia Union. Historic Crew Stadium will welcome close to five thousand supporters to start MLS play.
Columbus started the season off right in results with two wins against Real Esteli in the CONCACAF Champions League, winning 4-0 in Nicaragua and getting a 1-0 win in Ohio on Thursday evening. The Black & Gold are dealing with injuries with the highlight being young midfielder Aidan Morris who is out for the season and will have ACL surgery on his left knee. The champions will have most of their star players ready to go for Sunday’s contest.
Philadelphia began its 2021 campaign in the same way as Columbus with two wins in the Champions League with the same score lines. The Union won 1-0 in Costa Rica against Saprissa and opened up its home season with a 4-0 victory at Subaru Park. The likes of Kacper Przybylko and Jamiro Monteiro are off to fast starts with two goals each as the Union begins its push towards its first MLS Cup title.
To be added once announced
Injuries and suspensions:
Crew: Evan Bush (right calf), Marlon Hairston (left knee), Aidan Morris (left knee), Darlington Nagbe (left hamstring), and Kevin Molino (left hamstring) are OUT. Vito Wormgoor (right ankle) and Derrick Etienne Jr. (right ankle) are QUESTIONABLE.
Union: Ilsinho (calf), Cory Burke (groin), and Jack de Vries (concussion) are OUT.
How to watch:
Date: Sunday, April 18, 2021, 5:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Historic Crew Stadium - Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: English: 97.1 The Fan - Spanish: Columbus Crew YouTube
Streaming: FOX Sports App
1. CF Montreal (1 GP, 3 PTS)
2. D.C. United (1 GP, 3 PTS)
3. Chicago Fire (1 GP, 1 PTS)
9. Columbus Crew (0 GP, 0 PTS)
10. Inter Miami (0 GP, 0 PTS)
11. Philadelphia Union (0 GP, 0 PTS)
Around the league:
The first week of the 2021 MLS season is full of intriguing and landmark games. The season began Friday night in Houston where the Dynamo defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1. The Western Conference Final rematch between the Seattle Sounders and Minnesota United ended in a blowout with Seattle winning 4-0. Joao Paulo’s goal already is a contender for the goal of the season.
Eight games took place on the first Saturday of the season with Austin FC’s first MLS match at LAFC highlighting the day. LAFC handily defeated Austin 2-0 in California. Other notable results included CF Montreal’s 4-2 rout of Toronto FC in Florida, Orlando City and Atlanta United playing to a scoreless draw and Nashville SC coming back from 2-0 down to draw with FC Cincinnati at Nissan Stadium.
The last match on Sunday following the Crew and the Union will be a Cascadia Cup meeting in Salt Lake as the Vancouver Whitecaps “host” the Portland Timbers. Real Salt Lake is the lone MLS club out of 27 that has the opening weekend off.
Last five matches:
November 1, 2020: Columbus Crew 2, Philadelphia Union 1 (Historic Crew Stadium)
September 2, 2020: Columbus Crew 1, Philadelphia Union 0 (Historic Crew Stadium)
September 29, 2019: Columbus Crew 2, Philadelphia Union 0 (Historic Crew Stadium)
March 23, 2019: Philadelphia Union 3, Columbus Crew 0 (Subaru Park)
September 29, 2018: Columbus Crew 0, Philadelphia Union 0 (Historic Crew Stadium)