Another game, more depth challenges for the Columbus Crew. As Gyasi Zardes, Luis Diaz, Liam Fraser, Kevin Molino and Derrick Etienne Jr. still participate in the Gold Cup, injuries still plague the Black & Gold as they head toward Saturday’s game against New York City FC at Lower.com Field.
To make matters worse, right back Harrison Afful will be for Saturday’s match after collecting a red card last Friday against FC Cincinnati. There is some good news for head coach Caleb Porter, however. Starting goalkeeper, Eloy Room was back in training this week after Curaçao was forced to withdraw from the Gold Cup due to a COVID-19 outbreak. He should be available for selection.
That all being said, every game in this stretch remains crucial for Columbus. The Crew was able to battle back for a draw after going down 2-0 with 10 men on the field against FC Cincinnati, but only grabbing a point won’t get this to the MLS Cup playoffs. Currently, the Black & Gold are tied on points with NYCFC, although City has a game in hand, at the very bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. If Columbus doesn’t start to find its winning ways again, the team might find itself out of contention.
Fortunately, there is still plenty of talent on their bench for the Crew.
Given the absences, how would you arrange that talent for the Black & Gold this weekend? Porter used playmaker Lucas Zelarayan further up the pitch as he experimented with a false 9 against Cincinnati. Would you continue with that approach or use forward Miguel Berry or newcomer Erik Hurtado in the team’s more traditional look?
Vote for who you think should start for Columbus this weekend and we will publish the results, as well as a Massive Report predicted XI before Saturday’s match.