Picture Credits: Columbus Crew
It has been a long two weeks for Black and Gold fans. With talk of a new designated player at the striker position, Crew fans have been very active over social media. Anyways, Columbus returns to action as they welcome expansion side Charlotte FC for their first ever meeting.
How To Watch
TV: Bally Sports Ohio, ESPN+
WHERE: Lower.com Field Columbus, Ohio
WHEN: Saturday, June 18
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
Last Time Out
The last time Black and Gold fans say Columbus in action, they were on their way to a 2-1 victory over Atlanta United, their first road victory of the season. Jonathon Mensah got it stared just one minute into the game with a header off a corner kick. Erik Hurtado would double the visitors lead on the stroke of halftime, and Columbus would not look back.
Charlotte, unlike a majority of the other teams, played this past weekend. They welcomed the New York Red Bulls to Bank of America Stadium, where Charlotte would pull out a 2-0 victory over the Red Bulls.
QUESTIONABLE: Lucas Zelerayan (Thigh), Luis Diaz, (Hand), Pedro Santos (Thigh), Artur (Lower Leg), Marlon Hairston (Thigh), Jonathon Mensah (Concussion), Kevin Molino (Knee), Will Sands (Knee), Yaw Yeboah (Ankle)
OUT: Pablo Sisniega (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: Yordy Reyna (Thigh), Christian Fuchs (Ankle)
Projected Starting XI
Keys To The Match
More Production From The Front Three
Something that has lacked for the Crew this season is the production that they have gotten from the front three. The original starting front three of Miguel Berry, Derrick Etienne, and Yaw Yeboah have combined for five total goals this season. Yes, the Black and Gold have found ways to get it done other ways, but it is hard to consistently win games if your attackers are not scoring.
Mistake-Free In The Defensive Third
Columbus has actually been pretty solid defensively this season. A couple of mistakes here and there, but other than those, the Black and Gold have been a very difficult team to break down. Jonathon Mensah has had a stellar campaign but does look doubtful for Saturday's game after a head injury suffered on international duty.
The two strengths of these teams are the midfield. This could, and probably will be decided in the midfield, and Columbus should have the slight edge. How will they play? If the Crew midfield can play more dynamic and carry the ball forward, instead of back or sideways. If Columbus can play more progressive, the Black and Gold should come away with all three points.
This game bodes to be a difficult one for the Black and Gold. With nine players on the injury report, with many of them, including club captain Jonathon Mensah more doubtful, this will be a test to the squad depth of the black and gold. With that, and this being the only home game for Columbus in June, I think this game will end in a 1-1 draw.