It took some late-game, one-legged heroics from Columbus Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room, but the Crew managed to hold on to draw against Eastern Conference leaders New England Revolution last Saturday. While a draw is better than a loss, Columbus had the lead in New England but the same issues — offensive paucity, costly defensive errors — continue to plague Columbus when it comes to three points on the road.
The draw kept the Crew within clawing distance of the MLS Cup playoff race, but many of the teams above the Black & Gold have games in hand. This means Columbus will have to keep working and hope for some favorable results in order to see the postseason this year.
Depth issues continue to be an issue for the Crew heading into a game with CF Montreal this weekend. Center back Vito Wormgoor is unavailable due to “MLS Health & Safety Protocol” and the same protocols make Waylon Francis questionable for Saturday’s game. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can no doubt guess as to the cause of the “protocols,” so the Black & Gold may very well be without the left back as well.
Three of Columbus’ most dangerous offensive threats are also listed as questionable on Thursday’s injury report. In a perfect world, Pedro Santos, Lucas Zelarayan and Luis Diaz would comprise most Crew supporter’s ideal midfield but all three are questionable to appear at Lower.Com Field on Saturday. The usual long-term injuries — Artur, Perry Kitchen, Kevin Molino, Aidan Morris — continue to be unavailable for the Black & Gold as well. That is a lot of talented starters and depth that head coach Caleb Porter may be without for this continuing stretch of vital games.
Coming into Columbus, Montreal sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, six points above the Crew with a game in hand. The Canadien side has been on a hot streak of late, taking 15 points from nine games since the beginning of August. Montreal comes off a 3-1 win in the Canadian Cup quarterfinal on Wednesday as well, so even with the strong play as of late, some rotation may be required. If the Black & Gold can catch their opponents a little tired on Saturday and grab all three points, Columbus can continue the recent positive run of form.
With all of that in mind, who would you, the supporters, start in this crucial match at home for the Crew? Vote below and results will be published (as well as a Massive Report Predicted XI) before the match on Saturday.