With all the talk about logos and name changes this week, it’s difficult to remeber that there’s still soccer to be played. Wednesday, the Columbus Crew plays Toronto FC in their temporary home of Orlando, Florida. The Black & Gold come into the match giving up only one goal in three MLS matches and are coming off a 3-1 victory against longtime rival in D.C. United.
Since the Crew now has some goals under the team’s belt, after taking three matches to score the first goal of the season, Columbus looks to continue the momentum into a Trillium Cup contest. Toronto has conceded eight goals in three matches, at least two in each. TFC welcomes the Crew after losing to New York Red Bulls 2-0 last weekend.
Now, Massive Report asks who you want to start in their clash against a very different looking Toronto from 2020. For head coach Caleb Porter, there are decisions to make. Here are some for you to consider in choosing your starting 11.
The first two are on defense. Jonathan Mensah made his second straight start, after missing the first leg against Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League. Next to him was his usual pairing of Josh Williams. Outside of an 82nd minute goal from former Crew forward Ola Kamara, they didn’t allow D.C. to really compete, although United was decimated with injuries. Where does Vito Wormgoor now fit in the club?
It’s only been two matches where he hasn’t played, but against Montreal last weekend, Wormgoor had a strong defensive performance. Unless the club is taking its time in getting him back to 100 percent, supporters have to wonder if Williams is Porter’s go-to pairing with Mensah. With a match Wednesday, and another Sunday, this question could get an answer. Williams however, is questionable for the match with a shoulder injury.
Also, with fullback Milton Valenzuela missing Wednesday’s match with an injury, can Waylon Francis continue the form that he showed against United? The 2015 MLS All-Star had his strongest performance in years for the Crew. When Valenzuela comes back, he’s the number one choice, but how can Francis get involved more if both Valenzuela and Harrison Afful are healthy?
In the attack, Porter went with 36-year-old Bradley Wright-Phillips for Saturday’s start. He didn’t make a big impact on the field and Gyasi Zardes took his place in the 57th minute. After a night of tough finishes against Monterrey, Zardes looked like a different player. With a week off coming after this week’s matches, does Porter give Zardes all 180 minutes?
These decisions and more are yours to make this shortened match week. Make picks for your starting 11 and Massive Report will share those picks before Wednesday night’s match. A contributor will share his predicted 11 alongside yours to see who is wrong and who Porter might be listening to.