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Massive Predictions: Crew at Chicago Fire

The Massive Report staff makes their picks for Saturday’s game between the Black & Gold and Fire.

Darlington Nagbe (L) of Columbus and teammate Lucas... Photo by Angel Marchini/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Columbus Crew is in the midst of back-to-back three matches in a nine-day stretch. The second one of those stretches begins on Saturday, when the Black & Gold take a short trip to Chicago, Illinois. On tap are the Chicago Fire, a longtime rival for Crew supporters, but a side that sits on the bottom of the Eastern Conference table.

Before the first kick, the Massive Report staff put on their prediction caps and decided what they think will happen in Columbus’ 10th road match of the season.

All season, Massive Report contributors have shared their guesses on match outcomes. Here’s where the staff stands in our in-house prediction standings:

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 18 4 5 9 17
Collin Johnson 17 3 3 11 12
Brian Moracz 18 2 5 11 11
Caleb Denorme 17 1 7 10 10
Theodore Sovinski 13 1 6 6 9
John Pearson 10 1 4 5 7
Ryan Schmitt 13 1 4 8 7
Nathan Townsend 14 1 4 9 7
Drew McDaniel 14 1 3 10 6
Abigail Hintz 6 1 3 2 6
Devin Weisberth 14 1 2 11 5
Kyle Jackson 10 1 1 8 4
Adam Miller 15 0 4 11 4
Thomas Costello 18 0 4 14 4
Grant Miller 6 0 1 5 1
Tyler Fisher 4 0 1 3 1

Now let's look at Saturday’s result picks.

Brian Moracz

Earlier this week when I was looking ahead to Saturday’s match at the Chicago Fire, I felt that there weren’t any goals in the match. The Crew failed to score last Sunday against the Philadelphia Union and the Fire is tied for the least goals scored in MLS with only 16.

However, I want to believe in something. I want to believe that the Black & Gold will deliver a season-changing, momentum-swinging moment that people will point back to and say “that’s the moment everything changed.” So, I am predicting just that. A slow, plodding game, scoreless at the 60th minute. On comes Cucho Hernandez. The Crew continues to knock on the door and Hernández breaks through in the 85th minute.
Columbus Crew 1 Chicago Fire 0

Caleb Denorme

It is the moment all Crew fans have been waiting for, the debut of Cucho Hernandez in true black and gold. It could not come at a better time, with Columbus needing to pick up points and heading on the road this week to face Wooden Spoon contenders, the Chicago Fire.

I think the Crew will win this game comfortably with goals from Lucas Zelarayan and Darlington Nagbe. I don’t think Hernandez will get on the scoresheet in his first game with the Crew, but I expect goals to come in droves as he gets settled into his new team.
Columbus Crew 2 Chicago Fire 0

Collin Johnson

Somehow, the injury-plagued Crew limped the team’s way through June (and the first week of July) without a loss. One more win would have gone a long way to sending the Black & Gold up the standings but the away points will prove vital now that the team is fully healthy, has an available Hernández and is out of excuses.

Columbus’ old rivals in the Chicago Fire are also rounding into a more healthy version of themselves even if wins have been difficult to come by. The Crew needs to seize this chance and grab another road point (or three) in Soldier Field. Maybe we’ll even get a Hernández goal.
Columbus Crew 1 Chicago Fire 0

Drew McDaniel

Columbus will continue its good road form of the 2022 season with a win in Chicago. While the Crew doesn’t normally play well in Chicago, the Fire’s lack of offense will be the team’s undoing as they will not be able to come back from a single goal deficient. Nagbe will keep shooting, getting another goal for the Crew outside of the penalty box.
Columbus Crew 1 Chicago Fire 0

Nathan Townsend

Cucho Hernández has arrived! After weeks of anticipation, the Crew’s new striker will be suiting up for the Black and Gold in an important rivalry match against the Chicago Fire. The Fire is strong Wooden Spoon contender and the Crew should expect to win despite playing on the road. I will go with a nod to the Crew’s Chicago supporters group on this one and predict that Hernández will score in his first Columbus appearance.
Columbus Crew 3 Chicago Fire 1

Patrick Murphy

This game is being billed as the Cucho Hernandez debut, but Hernandez isn’t going to feature much. In fact, if the Crew has to rely on Hernandez to come on for the last 20 minutes and get a result, the Black & Gold haven’t handled business as they should against one of the worst teams in MLS.

Columbus’ attack still won’t be great but this is a chance for a win on the road. Milos Degenek won’t lineup on the three-man backline for the Crew, but this team has the depth to sustain.

Start the Cucho Hernandez era off on a good note without much from Cucho Hernandez.
Columbus Crew 2 Chicago Fire 1

Thomas Costello

Cucho Hernández takes a lot of attention this week. A club-record contract and time in the English Premier League has that effect, but I’m not putting extra pressure on Saturday’s match. Outside of the new signing, looking at the table, it’s a lower-half-of-the-standings contest between two teams underperforming in 2022.

Of the two though, the Crew has the best form recently and the team continues its five-match unbeaten run. This time with a win, to match the Black & Gold’s entire 2021 season with three total road wins. It’ll be a striker scoring one of Columbus’ goals, and that striker is Erik Hurtado. Lucas Zelarayán will score the Crew’s second.
Columbus Crew 2 Chicago Fire 0

Tyler Fisher

It’s another road match for the Black & Gold. It can either end really well or really badly and normally the ladder prevails. However, unbeaten in the team’s last five games is a good sign that the club is trending upwards. With the Fire losing its last match, and Columbus having the fire in the disallowed goalless draw against Philadelphia, the momentum is surely with Columbus.

But, Chicago is at home. This team has kept five clean sheets in its eight home matches and hs kept 10 in its last 15 home matches. It’s difficult to break down the defense, but with the solid midfield Columbus has in Aidan Morris, Darlington Nagbe and Sean Zawadzki along with Lucas Zelarayán and Jacen Russell-Rowe, the Crew is itching for goals. Goals will come, but in what capacity? That is the million-dollar question.
Columbus Crew 2 Chicago Fire 1

Massive Report wants to know what you think will happen when Columbus travels to Chicago’s Soldier Field. Share your prediction in the comments below or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.