For the second time this season, the Columbus Crew come off a match in which it dropped points to CF Montreal after taking a lead into the 88th minute. The Black & Gold do not have much time to feel sorry about themselves, as they travel to Inter Miami Tuesday night in the hopes of getting the bad taste of Friday night out of their mouths.
The matchup against Miami is an interesting one, as the Herons have begun to sputter towards the finish line and slowly see the team MLS Cup playoff chances slip away. Following a solid run of form in which Inter took eight points from five matches, Inter has dropped each of the team’s last three games, including a 1-0 loss in Columbus on Aug. 31.
Miami’s last three matches were all on the road, where Inter has struggled all season. However, the Herons have proven to be a different team at DRV PNK Stadium, posting an 8-3-3 record at home and taking 10 points from the team’s last four matches in the friendly confines in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Despite the quick turnaround from Friday, head coach Caleb Porter should have close to his full first-choice 11 available for selection on Tuesday night, with the exception of two players, Luis Diaz (red card suspension) and Pedro Santos (right thigh), who is questionable.
With all of the above being said, here is who Massive Report believes will start for Columbus on Tuesday night in Miami:
As stated above, Diaz will be suspended for Tuesday night’s match following a red card he received in the 76th minute of Friday’s match in Montreal. The young Costa Rican right winger let his emotions get the best of him and kicked Montreal veteran and former Crew forward Kei Kamara in the back of his leg despite the ball already being clear from Kamara’s feet.
In Diaz’s absence, expect Derrick Etienne Jr. to slide to right wing and for Kevin Molino to start at left wing for the second time this season. Molino, who has played well coming on as a substitute this season, has shown to be the only winger beyond Etienne and Diaz who deserves a spot in the starting 11 for a big match.
With Molino on the left, Etienne Jr. will start at right wing for the third time this season. The Haitian international has proven to Porter that he can play multiple positions on the pitch, having played right wing and right back already this season, in addition to manning his normal post on the left wing.
Lastly, Santos has been upgraded to questionable for Tuesday’s match. However, despite the upgrade in injury status, do not expect the Portuguese left back, who has missed the last four matches with a right thigh injury, to be in the starting 11. With the weather in Fort Lauderdale expected to be wet and hot at game time, it is not the best environment for Santos to return for extended minutes. Expect Will Sands to start his fifth match in a row at left back, as he has played well in Santos’ stead.