On Saturday, the Columbus Crew traveled for the team’s final regular season match against Charlotte FC. It was an important match for both teams in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference. Unfortunately for both sides, a night of storms postponed the match. On Tuesday, a reschedule date was announced, with the Black & Gold returning to Charlotte on Oct. 5, kicking off at 7 p.m. ET.
This match will kick off in the 16th minute, when the match was delayed for storms before the ultimate cancellation. The match now falls in the final week of the regular season. On Oct. 1, Columbus welcomes the New York Red Bulls with the final match of the year on the road against Orlando City SC on Oct. 9.
A benefit of the rescheduling falls in the number of days off between matches. The Crew’s trip to Charlotte was the team’s first match of a stretch of three matches in seven days. While the Black & Gold add a third match to the beginning of October, there are three days between the trip to Charlotte and Orlando, as opposed to only two days off between Wednesday’s match against CF Montreal and Saturday’s against New York City FC.
With the match starting and ending after over 16 minutes played, there are rules surrounding the roster. Any player that was part of the original game day roster is eligible to play. That means anyone not on the roster can’t play. That benefits Columbus because Charlotte captain and center back Christian Fuchs missed the game due to a red card earned the 4-0 defeat to Toronto FC on July 23.
If a member of either the Crew or CLTFC’s July 30 starting lineup or bench is transferred, loaned or sustains an injury, one of the team’s substitutes is used to replace that player.
Another positive about the rescheduled date is that it isn’t happening during an international window. While teams have a say in when a match is scheduled, if the Crew’s options were limited it would mean potentially losing starters like striker Cucho Hernández, midfielders Lucas Zelarayán, Derrick Etienne Jr. and center back Jonathan Mensah, who have all played for their respective nations in 2022.
Saturday, Charlotte and a large group of traveling Columbus supporters were allowed into the grounds of Bank of America Stadium, but with storms in the area, the kick off was delayed. As lightning and heavy rain moved into the area, the match didn’t start until after 10 p.m. ET.
With much of the crowd leaving before kick off, both sides took the field. After 16:41 on the clock, the referees delayed the match for severe weather in the area. Once the match continues, Charlotte will have possession with a goal kick to finish the remaining 73 minutes.
It’s hard to judge a match on only 16 minutes played, and a lot could change between now and the beginning of October, but Charlotte had a strong attacking game plan before the match was postponed. Instead of sitting back and absorbing the Crew attack, Charlotte went on the offensive and forced early saves from goalkeeper Eloy Room.
The Black & Gold had plenty of time to react and change course, but it was an exciting start to a match between two sides competing in the second half of the season. Offensively, Columbus played on the counter and almost broke through on multiple occasions, with one controversial call when Hernández was tackled as the last man but called offside. Replays showed that Hernández was well onside, which is a moot point considering the postponement.
In terms of tickets, supporters with an away ticket can use the same one on the rescheduled date. Those who can’t make the new date can contact the Charlotte FC ticket office for more information.
There’s no official announcement regarding local television broadcast information, but supporters can listen to the match on 97.1 The Fan.