It’s a big Saturday afternoon for the Columbus Crew as the team plays on the road against Atlanta United at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It’s the first meeting of 2021 between the Crew and Atlanta after the teams met twice in 2020. Columbus won both matches last season and looks to get its second road win of 2021.
The Crew comes into the game riding a five-match unbeaten streak but was left wanting more with four draws and one win during that stretch. The team was held scoreless Wednesday night against Nashville SC in the Black & Gold’s fourth 0-0 draw of the season. Head coach Caleb Porter has the same player selection for Saturday as he did on Wednesday.
It’s been a tumultuous first half of the season for Atlanta United with the recent firing of former manager Gabriel Heinze. The Five Stripes are on a nine-match winless run after a midweek draw at FC Cincinnati under interim manager Rob Valentino. Saturday’s game could be a turning point for the club with star striker Josef Martinez likely to start against Columbus.
Injuries and Suspensions:
Crew: Artur (right hip), Aidan Morris (left knee), Milton Valenzuela (right thigh), Vito Wormgoor (right thigh), Gyasi Zardes (Gold Cup), Liam Fraser (Gold Cup), and Luis Diaz (Gold Cup) are OUT. Josh Williams (left ankle) is QUESTIONABLE.
Atlanta: Emerson Hyndman (torn ACL), Franco Ibarra (lower body), Mo Adams (left quad), George Bello (Gold Cup), Brad Guzan (Gold Cup), Miles Robinson (Gold Cup), and Ezequiel Barco (Olympics) are OUT. Jurgen Damm (lower body) is QUESTIONABLE.
How to watch:
Date: Saturday, July 24, 2021, 3:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium - Atlanta, Georgia
Radio: English: 97.1 The Fan - Spanish: Columbus Crew YouTube
Streaming: ESPN App
5. CF Montreal (14 GP, 22 PTS)
6. Columbus Crew (14 GP, 21 PTS)
7. New York City FC (13 GP, 20 PTS)
8. New York Red Bulls (13 GP, 18 PTS)
9. D.C. United (14 GP, 17 PTS)
10. Atlanta United (14 GP, 14 PTS)
Around the league:
It’s a weekend filled with MLS action with eight games on Saturday and five more on Sunday. With the Crew and Atlanta taking the afternoon slot, the evening is available for the other seven MLS games. Notable matches include Minnesota United hosting the Portland Timbers, Nashville SC returning home to take on Cincinnati and FC Dallas taking on the LA Galaxy.
Sunday features two clashes at the top of the Eastern Conference standings with the New England Revolution playing CF Montreal in Foxborough and Orlando City playing at New York City FC. There is also a top-of-the-table match out West as the first-place Seattle Sounders, fresh off a 1-0 victory in Austin where they started five teenagers, host second-place Sporting Kansas City.
Last five matches:
November 8, 2020: Columbus Crew 2, Atlanta United 1 (Historic Crew Stadium)
July 21, 2020 (MLS is Back): Columbus Crew 1, Atlanta United 0 (ESPN Complex)
September 14, 2019: Atlanta United 1, Columbus Crew 3 (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
June 18, 2019 (U.S. Open Cup): Columbus Crew 2, Atlanta United 3 (Historic Crew Stadium)
March 30, 2019: Columbus Crew 2, Atlanta United 0 (Historic Crew Stadium)