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Pregame Notes: Islanders @ Crew

August 18, 2009

I have a feature on the Champions League for Columbus Underground. Getting into the specifics for tonight’s game, I fully expect a mostly starting lineup for the Crew. They will have a tough time to break down the bunkering Islanders.

Patience: The Islanders will bunker to get a point on the road and will be hard to break down. I expect to see Schelotto in the starting lineup, as well as most of the starters. Guille’s skill will be very useful in finding the seams in the Islanders defense.

Set Pieces: The Crew have a decided advantage in set pieces. The team will have to take advantage and get a goal to open up the game.

Solid Defense: Puerto Rico has a knack for getting results on the road. The only goal scored in the qualifier, the Islanders scored at BMO Field. Being solid at the back will keep the pressure off the offense.

Depth: This is a team that is deeper than most MLS and USL teams. If the game is close, the Crew will have worn out Puerto Rico and should be piling on the pressure late.

Final Thought: I still see this as a semi comfortable Crew win. 2-0 Crew.

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