There is no looking backwards, only forwards. Saturday’s match isn’t about revenge. It isn’t about MLS Cup 2020. It’s not about Jordan Morris, Joevin Jones, Gustav Svensson, or Kelvin Leerdam. It’s not about Aidan Morris, Gyasi Zardes, Luis Diaz, Hector Jiménez, or Fatai Alashe. That narrative will be popular on FOX (2:30 p.m. PT).
Heading to Lower.com Field for the first time, the Seattle Sounders are focused on their run back towards the top of the Shield race, maintaining the lead in the West, and their ability to host another MLS Cup.
Columbus Crew are focused on something different. They need to stop a slide that took them from hosting a playoff match to possibly missing the playoffs. Yes, they may just follow the Caleb Porter MLS Cup winning tradition. Crew are going to be all about overcoming their own injury crisis and stopping that slide.
For Massive Report, Orri answers Three Questions.
SaH: Columbus are in an injury crisis these days. Who needs to step and perform in order to win the match?
MR: The injuries have been a major issue with the Crew all season and right as things looked like they had turned the corner, it only got worse. Marlon Hairston, Perry Kitchen, Luis Diaz, and Gyasi Zardes all picked up injuries within the last week leaving the Black & Gold with little depth at some key positions. With Zardes now out for 2-4 weeks, the likes of Bradley Wright-Phillips and Erik Hurtado will get the bulk of the minutes at striker and need to score goals to get this team back on track. The offense has lacked composure and a killer instinct in the final third and must get that back to make sure they get to the playoffs.
SaH: Last time Caleb Porter won MLS Cup he missed the playoffs. Is that going to be repeated? Does this come from pushing too hard in a Cup year?
MR: At this rate, Columbus would miss the playoffs but its still a long season. Despite losing five in a row, the Crew still has time to make up the ground to safely put themselves in the top seven. Atlanta and Miami are charging up the table while Columbus has been losing but the Crew still maintains a slight edge ahead of them in the table. A small turnaround in the Fall should be enough to get back in the playoffs. If this losing stretch continues, there will be no soccer in Columbus in November.
SaH: Who has impressed this season?
MR: Lucas Zelarayan once again has shown he can change the outcome of a game and was rewarded with an All-Star selection. He has been a marked man in open play but his knack for scoring set-pieces has earned points for the Crew. Eloy Room has probably been the second best player this season always coming up with a highlight worthy save nearly every game and is still doing so during this losing streak.
Check out Massive Report’s previews and the Reverse where I answer questions about vengeance, Raúl’s greatness, and respect for the opponent.