Pregame 28: Crew @ Revs
The playoffs are locked up and the conference crown could follow tonight. Warzycha again will have to juggle the lineup. O’Rourke, Marshall, and Hejduk are missing on defense. Rogers and Moreno are gone from the offense. It’s hard to get continuity when the Crew are constantly shuffling players into the lineup.
Crew on Offense: With a couple of starters out and Schelotto usually kept off of turf, the Crew have some holes to plug up top. Lenhart and Renteria have been the preferred options off the bench as of late, meaning they may get the chance to run around (or over) the Revs backline. Ekpo and Gaven are the best options on the wings with Rogers out. Since the Crew live or die by the wings. The ability of the Crew to open up the wide areas will be key, but if the Crew move to a 3-5-2 as rumored. That puts more defensive responsibility on the wingers.
Crew on Defense: Without three starters in the backline, Columbus may move to a 3-5-2. Iro has played sparingly and may get overlooked again. Padula and Zayner would have much more defensive responsibilities with Brunner in the middle. The team is not ideally set up for a 3 man backline with the personnel available. The Crew may be better served sticking with the more mobile 4 man back line with Zayner and Padula given the ability to overlap the wingers.
Final Thoughts: This is a big game for the Revolution. They need results to get back into the playoff picture. This however is a big game for the Crew. Columbus is habitually looking feeble on offense. It could be the busy schedule or symptoms of an offense that is missing a spark in midfield. Today is a good test; I have to think they grind out a tie against a dangerous and wounded New England team.
Crew 1 – Revs 1