After a week off and a 5-1 midweek win against Loudoun United FC in the Round of 32 U.S. Open Cup, the Columbus Crew returns to Lower.com Field to face Orlando City SC. The Crew lost each of the team’s last two MLS games, making Saturday’s match more important.
Orlando comes into the match in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points. OCSC exited the Open Cup after a 1-0 loss against Charlotte FC on Tuesday, making it five losses in the team’s last eight games in all competitions. The Lions come into the match with no major injuries to the team. Midfielder Mauricio Pereyra, who has played and started in eight matches for the Lions this season, is questionable with a lower leg injury.
Can Colummbus continue the team’s winning ways against Orlando? The Massive Report staff gives their prediction below.
Columbus and Orlando had very different fortunes in their midweek Open Cup matches. The Crew dismantled Loudoun United FC with a large number of reserve players while Orlando lost to Charlotte FC with a relatively strong lineup on the pitch.
I expect this to play a part in this match. Orlando is traveling to Columbus and will be on short rest for many of the team’s key players. Both sides look to rebound after losses in their most recent league matches and I think the Crew comes away with three points here. Lucas Zelarayan and Cucho Hernandez will take the goals for the Black & Gold and lead the Crew to victory, but I don’t think the Crew keep a clean sheet.
Columbus Crew 2 Orlando City SC 1
Columbus comes into this game against Orlando even on points with the opponent, so this game is massive for the Black & Gold. It’s imperative over the course of the season to grab points in these types of games against opponents in the same part of the table. I think the Crew will tie this game. Columbus had a recent dip in form and the midweek U.S. Open Cup match doesn’t help, but grabbing a point is always better than a loss.
Columbus Crew 1 Orlando City SC 1
On this week’s Massive Report podcast, I predicted the Crew to defeat Orlando 2-0. As we’ve gone through the week and the center back situation has become more clear, I’m a bit more concerned. Neither team comes into this game playing well, but the home field advantage for the Black & Gold should be enough to get them over the line.
Columbus Crew 2 Orlando City SC 1
The Crew takes on Orlando City and is in need of a result. Head coach Wilfried Nancy will have worked his attacking players during the off week to build chemistry as Cucho Hernandez returns to full health. The attacking trio of Hernandez, Alexandru Matan and Lucas Zelarayan getting more time to work together, and with Hernandez finally getting off the mark last matchday, Columbus’ attack should be buzzing. Each of the three attackers scores a goal on a fun night at Lower.con Field e route to a comfortable victory.
Columbus Crew 3 Orlando City SC 1
Columbus comes into the game winless in the team’s last three MLS games. I think the off week happened at a perfect time for the team to come together to practice breaking down low blocks, which should help to get the offense to have more ideas and be more fluent during the later stages of the game. I think the Crew wins the game, but not without defensive mishaps.
Columbus Crew 3 Orlando City SC 2