Columbus Crew SC vs. New England Revolution | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Columbus Crew SC vs. New England Revolution
2017 MLS Match Preview
MAPFRE Stadium – Columbus, Ohio
Saturday, May 6 – 7:30 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE
Both Columbus Crew SC and New England Revolution have achieved their 2017 success in bursts. Crew SC ripped off four victories in five matches (before dropping two straight) and New England won its only two matches during a three-game unbeaten streak followed by a loss and three straight draws.
Each roster has shown tantalizing flashes on the offensive end, with Columbus' Justin Meram breaking through with a strong start (4 goals, 3 assists), and Federico Higuain providing a spark in his return from injury. The Revs have experimented with variations on a 4-4-2 diamond, and the combination of Kei Kamara, Juan Agudelo, Lee Nguyen and Diego Fagundez have taken turns as the focal point of the attack.
Columbus Crew SC
Having dropped three of four, including last week's crusher at home against New York City FC, it's time for Crew SC to correct course if they want to reassert themselves as a contender in the Eastern Conference.
They're struggling through several key injuries – Artur's broken wrist looms perhaps larger than expected – a few players have begun to return, most notably star playmaker Pipa Higuain, who scored in last week's loss. The offense has papered over struggles along the backline – Crew SC have a single clean sheet through nine games.
- Suspended: NONE
- Int’l Duty: NONE
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Gaston Sauro (left PCL surgery), M - Ben Swanson (right ankle surgery), D - Connor Maloney (concussion), M - Artur (left wrist surgery); QUESTIONABLE: GK - Brad Stuver (right elbow strain), D - Alex Crognale (ankle sprain)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): GK - Zack Steffen – Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Nicolai Naess,Jukka Raitala – Mohammed Abu, Wil Trapp – Ethan Finlay, Federico Higuain, Justin Meram; Ola Kamara
Notes: Columbus is one of four teams in the league this year that have yet to score a goal from outside the box. Last season, they ranked last in that statistic with just two goals from outside the box … Crew Sc's 3-2 loss against NYCFC last weekend snapped a six-game home unbeaten run (5-0-1). They have scored in 15 straight home games.
New England Revolution
It looked temporarily like the Revolution had shifted into fifth gear after their offense was humming through a three-game undefeated streak through early April, but it appears they've gotten stuck in neutral, drawing three straight against all levels of competition. The last came in dramatic fashion, with New England going up 3-0 on defending MLS Cup champion Seattle and then allowing three strikes in the final 15 minutes.
Perhaps it's no surprise that they've both scored and allowed 14 goals in 2017, and – in typical MLS fashion – are undefeated at home (2-0-2) and without an away victory (0-3-2). Knocking off Crew SC at MAPFRE is always tough, and they're likely to be feisty after dropping points late in front of the home fans last week.
- Suspended: NONE
- Int’l Duty: NONE
- Injury Report: QUESTIONABLE: D Chris Tierney (hip irritation)
Projected Starting XI (4-4-2, diamond): GK: Cody Cropper — Andrew Farrell, Benjamin Anguoa, Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Kelyn Rowe – Xavier Kouassi, Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen – Juan Agudelo, Kei Kamara
Notes: New England is winless in their last seven regular-season road games (0-5-2). Their recent 3-3 draw in Seattle was the only time they scored multiple goals in any of those seven games.
- OVERALL Columbus: 34 wins (104 goals); New England: 22 wins (84 goal); 12 draws
- AT COLUMBUS Columbus 19 wins (62 goals); New England 8 wins (37 goal); 6 draws
Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski, Felisha Mariscal
Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos