Picture Credits: ESPN
The day is finally here! The Columbus Crew will open up their brand-new, state-of-the-art stadium, Lower.com Field this Saturday, July 3rd. And what a game it looks to be. The Crew will take on the First Place team in the Eastern Conference, the New England Revolution. Here are some keys to the game, as well as the projected starting XI:
Venue: Lower.com Field Columbus, Ohio
Kickoff: 5 p.m.
How To Watch: ESPN
Projected Starting XI
Picture Credits: Devin Weisbarth via Lineup 11
OUT: Artur, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Morris
Questionable: Luis Diaz, Pedro Santos, Josh Williams, Gyasi Zardes
What To Expect
This game will be one for the ages. It is something that the Crew faithful were able to get done, and something they will cherish.
With this being the first game in the new stadium, the atmosphere in the stadium is bound to be one of the best. The Nordecke, the supporters group for the Columbus Crew are starting new traditions this Saturday. Among those new traditions is the singing of "Wise Men Say" before the start of the match, as well as during the normal time after the final whistle. Another new tradition is the jackhammering of a concrete slab, one that honors the clubs roots with the original logo of three construction workers with hardhats. Also, former Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen will be in attendance at this match, including leading the March To The Stadium before kickoff.
Picture Credits: Columbus Crew Twitter (@ColumbusCrew)
Last Game At Full Strength For The Time Being
The Gold Cup squads were announced for those nations participating. Among those nations, a total of 5 players from the black and gold will represent their countries at this years Gold Cup. Gyasi Zardes (United States), Eloy Room (Curaçao), Kevin Molino (Trinidad and Tobago), Derrick Etienne Jr. (Haiti), and Liam Fraser (Canada) will all leave the team after this weekends game.
Keys To The Match
The obvious is the Crew need to start scoring goals. They have been shutout the past 2 games at Philadelphia and Austin. If the Crew want to break there two game winless streak, they are going to have find some offense, and that starts at the front with Gyasi Zardes.Pedro Santos and Kevin Molino can both get on the score sheet if necessary, but Zardes will be the main man up top.
Winning The Midfield
Once again, the Crew will have to win the midfield battle. Going up against the likes of Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou, Darlington Nagbe, Liam Fraser and Lucas Zelerayan are going to have to make sure they keep their shapes in the middle of the park, as well as make sure they can posses the ball and keep control of it.
Stay Solid At The Back
Through the first part of the season, the Crew defense has been solid. It has been the attack that has fizzed out in recent games, and it has been there defense that has kept them in games. In order for the Crew to get back to winning ways, and to open the new stadium with a win, the defense is going to have to stay rock solid, and not let anything, or anybody through.
I have not had a good track record with prediction thus far. With the way the crowd is going to be, I expect the Crew to come out with intensity and speed. I do think, however, that the Revolution get on the board, but a Zardes goal and Lucas Zelerayan free-kick are to much for the Revs. Columbus wins 2-1.