Picture Credits: Columbus Crew Twitter (@ColumbusCrew)
How To Watch:
TV: Bally Sports Great Lakes, ESPN+
Where: Paypal Park San Jose, California
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Last Time Out
In the 2022 season opener, the Crew ran rampant on the Vancouver Whitecaps. Miguel Berry got the party started with a deflected goal in the 8th minute. From the opening whistle, it was all Columbus, and they will look to carry that momentum to the west coast as an old "rivalry" is renewed.
San Jose Earthquakes
San Jose did not have the same success that Columbus did in their 2022 season opener. The Earthquakes fell to the New York Red Bulls 3-1 at PayPal Park, after drawing even in in the 69th minute. The Quakes lined up in a 3-4-3, and in his pre-match press conference, San Jose manager Matias Almeyda said that not much would change tactically leading up to the match against the Crew.
August 3, 2019 Paypal Park, San José, California
San José 1-1 Columbus Crew
OUT: Kevin Molino (R Knee), Jake Morris (R Foot), Josh Williams (L Thigh)
San Jose Earthquakes
OUT: Shea Salinas (right knee), George Asomani (left hip), and Nathan (knee)
What To Expect
Columbus and San Jose started their respective 2022 seasons on separate ends of the spectrum. Columbus had a dominant performance in a 4-0 route of Vancouver, whereas San Jose lost at home to the New York Red Bulls 3-1. It should be noted though that Columbus has not won in San Jose since 2009, drawing the last time the Black and Gold visited PayPal Park. I do fully expect the Crew to come out with a some kind of result, but San Jose will make it very difficult.
Keys To The Match
Get That Early Goal
It is in the Crew identity to have possession of the ball. Caleb Porter wants this to be how the Crew play, and that was on the forefront in the season opener, when Miguel Berry scored in the 8th minute to begin the route. If the Crew can get on the board early, it may prove to be too much for the Quakes.
Continue To Have Wingers Contribute
Game 1 proved to be way better than all of last season. The Crew lacked production from all aspects of their winger last season, but that was not the case last Saturday as Derrick Etienne Jr and new signing Yaw Yeboah both had major contributions for the Crew, both offensively and defensively.
Stay Solid Defensively
When the Crew won MLS Cup in 2020, Columbus was one of the best defensive teams in the league. Last season, they lost that part of their game, majority of it through injury. Now that they are almost 100% healthy, the Crew will look to return to their 2020 defensive form, and getting back-to-back clean sheets would be the perfect start to that.
I was throughly and happily surprised by the way the Crew dismantled Vancouver last weekend. I think it will be totally different this Saturday, but I do think Columbus scrapes out a 2-1 win, with Yaw Yeboah and Lucas Zelerayan as the goal scorers.