The New England Revolutions travels to take on the Columbus Crew this weekend, and this will be a major test for the Black & Gold to see if they can compete at the top of the Eastern Conference. Head coach Wilfried Nancy has instilled confidence in his players before this difficult match with three consecutive victories.
Nancy believes this could be an open game, but has said Columbus will need to be good defensively. Unfortunately, the Crew might be without goalkeeper Eloy Room, who remains questionable with a knee injury. Patrick Schulte has started the last three matches and recorded two clean sheets in his last two games.
Winger Luis Diaz was mentioned as having a slow recovery from his back injury and remains sidelined for this game. Nancy did let on that Designated Player forward Cucho Hernandez is recovering well from his knee injury but is still out aginst New England. Center back Josh Williams remains on the injury report with an ankle injury and playmaker Kevin Molino continues to recover from his knee surgery.
Let’s take a look at how the Crew might line up against the Revolution:
Schulte continues to man the goal in Room’s absence. Schulte’s ability to play out of the back, hit good passes, shot-stopping ability and growing confidence has created conversations about who should be the starting goalkeeper for the Black & Gold.
The last couple of weeks have featured the same starting center backs and it is unlikely any changes are made. Steven Moriera will man the right center back and Gustavo Vallecilla will line up as the left center back with Milos Degenek in the center. Nancy spoke about how the communication along the backline is improving, and he will look to use this improvement to try and shut out a good New England team.
Will Sands and Mohamed Farsi continue to be the first-team wing backs, with Sands on the left and Farsi on the right. Their chemistry with their teammates has developed nicely.
Aidan Morris recently signed a contract extension and got called up to play for the United States Men’s National Team against Mexico on Wednesday. He has been crucial to the team’s success and will continue to start alongside captain Darlington Nagbe in midfield. Morris’ call-up will not affect his availability for this match.
Lucas Zelarayan and Alex Matan have the coach’s trust as wide drifting playmakers, behind a central attacker. Christian Ramirez has occupied the striker role with Hernandez out. Ramirez has done well in Hernandez’s absence and remains the starter forward in this match.