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Massive Predictions: Crew vs. Charlotte FC

See who the Massive Report staff picks in Saturday’s match featuring a legend returning to Columbus.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Charlotte FC Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Crew is back to the MLS regular season. It’s been three weeks since the Black & Gold last competed and almost a month since their last match at Field. Now, with 20 matches to go in the year, the Crew’s goal is to improve, welcome a new Designated Player striker signing and make it back to the MLS Cup playoffs. Charlotte FC is the first step on that hopeful road to improvement.

Columbus plays Charlotte for the first time in regular season play, meaning that former Crew fullback and team legend Harrison Afful could play in his first match against his prior club. Afful’s potential return, a celebration of Pride and Juneteenth and a perfectly forecasted day of conditions make for an exciting evening in Columbus but before any of that happens, the Massive Report staff has to make their picks.

Here’s where the standings look coming out of the international break in the staff competition for best predictor:

Massive Report 2022 Predictions

Name MP Correct Score/Result Correct Result Wrong Result Points
Name MP Correct Score/Result Correct Result Wrong Result Points
Patrick Murphy 14 2 5 7 11
Brian Moracz 14 2 5 7 11
Collin Johnson 13 2 3 8 9
Theodore Sovinski 13 1 6 6 9
Caleb Denorme 14 1 4 9 7
John Pearson 10 1 4 5 7
Drew McDaniel 12 1 3 8 6
Abigail Hintz 6 1 3 2 6
Ryan Schmitt 10 1 3 6 6
Nathan Townsend 12 1 3 8 6
Kyle Jackson 6 1 1 4 4
Adam Miller 14 0 4 10 4
Thomas Costello 14 0 3 11 3
Grant Miller 6 0 1 5 1
Tyler Fisher 4 0 1 3 1
Devin Weisberth 10 0 1 9 1

Now let's see this week’s picks.

Brian Moracz

Charlotte, who currently sits three points ahead of Columbus in the Eastern Conference (having played two additional games), has been atrocious on the road, taking only one point from seven matches. And while Field hasn’t necessarily been a fortress this season, there is no excuse for the Crew to not come away with all three points. Despite likely missing at least four usual starters, I fully expect the Black & Gold to take care of business against a Charlotte team that has been overachieving with the talent that is on their roster. While not the most exciting match, the Crew comes away with the win on the back of an Erik Hurtado goal.
Columbus Crew 1 Charlotte FC 0

Caleb Denorme

After what seemed like a long two weeks off for Columbus Crew action, I think the break was a good thing to happen for Columbus, it allowed the team to reassess and tweak some things to get back to where they want to be. I see this ending in a win for the Crew, with goals coming from forward Miguel Berry and winger Derrick Etienne. Charlotte is a good team that should not be taken lightly, but I think the experience of the Black & Gold and the rest from the two weeks off will propel them to victory.
Columbus Crew 2 Charlotte FC 0

Collin Johnson

It feels like it’s been an eternity but the Crew is back! When we last saw Columbus’ black and gold soccer team, they were taking a physical beating in Atlanta, from both the turf and the Five Stripes. Three weeks later and they’re still dealing with the toll from those injuries.

This make-shift Crew will welcome a Charlotte FC team that is playing its second match with a new manager and is still winless on the road. What should be a recipe for success has Columbus fans afraid of an embarrassing defeat. The Black & Gold are lucky that Charlotte FC got the new-manager-match out of their system last week and will hopefully come crashing down to earth for their first trip to Ohio’s capital.
Columbus Crew 2 Charlotte FC 1

Devin Weisbarth

Coming off two weeks of no action and a lengthy Injury report, this game will be tough. This game was going to be tough anyway, although the Black & Gold are undefeated against teams in their inaugural season. Coming back home, and this being the only home game in the month of June, I expect Columbus to come out with energy. With that, and the uncertainty of who will play, I think the Crerw comes out with a draw.
Columbus Crew 1 Charlotte FC 1

Drew McDaniel

Charlotte FC has changed the team’s head coach and won its last game. Will the coaching change galvanize Charlotte to get the victory over the Crew while many regulars are injured? I think not my friends. The Black & Gold will win after the long international break. Erik Hurtado will find the back of the net along with Derrick Etienne Jr.

Columbus Crew 2 Charlotte FC 1

Kyle Jackson

The Crew returned to the win column on the return of MLS action this weekend. Etienne, who’s been in fine form for both club and country, will score a second-half winner to give the Crew its fifth win of the season.
Columbus Crew 1 Charlotte FC 0

Nathan Townsend

It’s hard to predict the lineup for the Crew with a flurry of injuries from both the team’s last game in Atlanta and the international break. However, Charlotte may be in even more turmoil after firing its head coach. In the end, it’s hard to not go with the home team here, and I think Columbus will get an early goal and put the game away late with a second.
Columbus Crew 2 Charlotte FC 0

Patrick Murphy

Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have a problem picking the Crew to win at home against an MLS expansion side. But given that nine players were listed on the Black & Gold’s injury report this week, and most of them are expected to be out for this game, I have my concerns.

Head coach Caleb Porter is likely going to have to get creative with his lineup and his formation in this game. Based on his comments this week, I expect something a bit different from Columbus on Saturday. The surprise of his changes will be enough to get a win and a disappointing return home for Charlotte’s Harrison Afful.
Columbus Crew 2 Charlotte 1

Thomas Costello

The mood of the Crew right now is too high for the Black & Gold to lose. While the injury report looks bleak, head coach Caleb Porter was in good spirits on Friday after two weeks off from the regular season and coming off the back of a 2-1 away win.

Columbus has done well against okay-to-not-great teams at home this season, beating the Vancouver Whitecaps, Toronto FC and D.C. United in multi-goal matches. That continues on Saturday with Erik Hurtado scoring his third goal of the year and midfielder James Igbekeme scoring his first in black and gold. Charlotte fullback Harrison Afful gets a warm welcome from the home supporters but it doesn’t get Charlotte on the board.
Columbus Crew 2 Charlotte FC 0

Let us know your prediction in the comments or on the Massive Report Twitter page.