MLS Preview and Prediction: Columbus Crew vs New England Revolution

Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew vs. New England Revolution 

Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Wednesday, June 24 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Columbus Crew 19/20 – Draw 5/2 – New England Revolution 11/4

Match Preview

Columbus Crew host New England Revolution in their midweek clash as they look to win their first game in six regular season ties.

Despite the Crew’s winless run they are still sitting in a playoff spot but will need to turn things around if they are to avoid dropping out the top six.

They come into this one off the back of a 1-1 draw with LA Galaxy, which isn’t a bad result as they equalised in the second half through Federico Higuain.

Gregg Barhalter‘s side need to tighten up at the back, having conceded ten goals in their last five regular season outings.

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Kei Kamara hasn’t netted in his last three regular season games and will be hoping to rediscover his golden touch in front of goal which has seen him bag 10 in 15 appearances.

New England Revolution have struggled lately, winning just once in their last eight regular season games. They are still sitting in second place but last weekend’s loss to DC United has made their chances of finishing at the top of the pile much harder, as they are now seven points adrift.

Jay Heaps will be hoping a win in this one could be the start of a revitalisation for his side, as they have Orlando City bearing down on them in third.

They come into the game off the back of that defeat to DC United, which was bitterly disappointing as they threw the game away after being a goal to the good at halftime and need to ensure the players stay focused for longer here.

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Charlie Davies has had a bright start to the season, netting seven in 16 appearances and he will be hoping to build on that in this game.

The Revs thumped Columbus in last season’s playoffs but the two sides played out a 0-0 draw at Gillette Stadium in the first meeting between the two this year.

Team News

Columbus Crew could be without up to three players as Matt Lampson, Will Trapp and Chris Klute are all doubtful. We can expect to see Federico Higuain in the thick of the action, as he has scored in his last two games.

New England Revolution will be without Darrius Barnes and Jermaine Jones, who both remain sidelined.

Key Points

Columbus Crew’s last five: D/D/L/L/D

New England Revolution’s last five: D/D/L/W/L

Key Stat: New England have conceded at least two goals in their last four regular season games and have lost their last three away from home.

Key Player: Federico Higuain – The playmaker has been in good form of late. He has netted four so far this season and registered one assist. Expect him to be involved.

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Score Prediction

Columbus Crew 2-2 New England Revolution – Another tight affair expected, with neither side doing enough to take all three points. There should be more goals than the earlier meeting as neither side has been good defensively.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Saturday, May 30 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST – Sunday, May 31)

Match Odds: Orlando City 5/4 – Draw 12/5 – Columbus Crew 21/10

Match Preview

Orlando City and Columbus Crew clash in MLS for the second time this season when they meet at Citrus Bowl on Saturday evening.

Head coach Adrian Heath can be very happy with Orlando’s last two results as they picked up a valuable point in a 1-1 draw away at San Jose Earthquakes last weekend, and thrashed LA Galaxy 4-0 at home the week before.

The win over the Galaxy was the Lions’ first ever victory at home and they’re now sixth in the Eastern Conference standings with 13 points from their opening 12 games.

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If Orlando avoid defeat in this game, it will also be the first time they have strung together a run of three games without defeat.

Columbus Crew are fourth in the Eastern Conference with 15 points and drew their last game at home to the Chicago Fire in disappointing fashion as they let a two-goal lead slip, conceding a devastating last-minute equaliser to tie the game.

The Crew have managed just one victory in their last four games (D1, L2) and also haven’t won a game away from home yet this season, so they’ll be looking to break that trend (D2, L3).

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Gregg Berhalter’s Columbus side eased to a 3-0 victory when these two sides met in the reverse fixture in April, thanks to goals from Federico Higuain, Justin Meram and Kei Kamara.

Team News

Orlando City will be without Pedro Ribeiro (hamstring) and Kevin Molino, while Lewis Neal (neck), Tony Cascio (back) and Aurelien Collin (hamstring) are all doubts. Brek Shea will miss the game through suspension after his red card against San Jose.

Columbus Crew midfielders Wil Trapp (concussion) and Ethan Finlay (toe) are both doubtful.

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Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: L/D/L/W/D

Columbus Crew’s last five: W/L/W/L/D

Key Stat: Columbus Crew have conceded at least two goals in their last four matches in MLS.

Key Player: Kaka – The Brazilian has been excellent in Orlando’s recent good performances and will be vital to his side once again.

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Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-2 Columbus Crew – Orlando are full of confidence after their last two games and there’s always goals when Columbus play, but they just can’t win away from home. A high scoring draw could be the order of the day.

STATS – How important is Kei Kamara to Columbus Crew?

Kei Kamara has started the season in blistering form and is the leading scorer in Major League Soccer and is playing a huge part in Columbus Crew‘s Eastern Conference position of fourth.

The forward has netted an impressive nine goals in his opening eleven games and isn’t showing any signs of his strike rate dropping off.

He has been Crew’s top performer this season, so lets see how he has performed in key attacking areas.

Stats via Squawka Apps Goals Assists Pass Accuracy Chances Created Shot Accuracy Key Passes Duels Won
Kamara 11 9 2 70% 48 58% 13 48%

His nine goals and two assists mean he has been involved in as many games as he has played. Crew have scored 17 regular season goals so far this campaign and Kamara has over half of those.

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Kamara is also creating more than four chances for his teammates per-game, which shows he is not just a goal-scorer, but that he can provide as a hold-up player.

He only has 58% shot accuracy and won under half his duels, but with his goal output in mind those stats are easy to scrutinise.

Crew have only had four other players to hit the target this season, Justin Meram on three, Ethan Finlay and Federico Higuain on two and Tony Tchani with one. It is one thing being expected to score the goals for your side but another to actually provide, and Kamara is doing the best job of that in MLS at the moment.

Kamara has a good chance of breaking the record for the most goals in one MLS season, which is currently held by Roy Lassiter, Chris Wondolowski and Bradley Wright-Phillips on 27.

Hypothetically speaking, if Kamara’s strike rate stays the same, he would be on 27 goals in 33 games. That would give him one regular season game left to break the record. But it has to be mentioned that it is very hard to maintain such a great output.

How important has Kei Kamara been for Columbus Crew this season and can he break the record for most goals in a single season? 

MLS Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Columbus Crew

Venue: BC Place – Wednesday, April 8th – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Vancouver 19/20 – Draw 5/2 – Columbus 14/5

Match Preview

Vancouver Whitecaps host Columbus Crew in the first midweek MLS game of the season on Wednesday night as the Crew look to halt the ‘Caps recent surge.

Vancouver currently sit at the top of the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings after five weeks, with Saturday’s impressive 2-0 win against LA Galaxy making it four straight wins for the first time in the club’s short MLS history.

Octavio Rivero netted his fourth in five games in that win and the Uruguayan striker, who scooped the March Player of the Month award, is leading the MLS Golden Boot standing at this early stage.

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The Whitecaps look to be on a fine run and it’s going to take a huge effort from the Crew to walk out of Canada with a win on Wednesday.

One thing in Columbus’ favour is the fact that they’re coming off their second bye of the season and should be in good shape for this one, whereas the ‘Caps will have had just four days rest.

The Crew have only won one of their opening three games and have suffered two losses, including last time out at the Red Bulls.

Things haven’t quite clicked yet but a win against the side with the most points in Major League Soccer would be a real boost for Gregg Berhalter’s men.

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Recent history favours the home side though as the Whitecaps have won the last three meetings between the two, after Columbus won the first two fixtures in Vancouver’s inaugural season.

Last year’s meeting ended 1-0 to Vancouver in Columbus and this will be the first clash between the two at BC Place since 2013, when the ‘Caps sealed a 2-1 win.

Team News

Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson has three injury concerns that are set to miss out as Andre Lewis (knee), Mauro Rosales (ankle) and Marco Bustos (foot) are all injured. Gershon Koffie is a doubt with a knee sprain but should make the squad. Kekuta Manneh and Nicolas Mezquida should keep their places on the wings, with Rivero as the lone striker.

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Columbus Crew are set to be without star man Federico Higuain as the Argentine playmaker serves his one-match suspension for the red card he picked up in the loss to the Red Bulls last time out. Romain Gall (knee) and Wil Trapp (calf) are also set to miss out again and so Tony Tchani and Mohammed Saeid will continue their midfield partnership, with Justin Meram set to return to the lineup following international duty with Iraq. Kei Kamara will start in attack.

Key Points

Vancouver Whitecaps’ form: L/W/W/W/W

Columbus Crew’s form: L/W/L

Key Stat: Vancouver have recorded the lowest average possession stat in MLS this season with 43.5% while Columbus have recorded the highest (56%).

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Key Player: Pedro Morales – The Chilean playmaker is always at the heart of everything Vancouver do going forwards and he already has three assists in five games this season. Expect him to be key.

Score Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Columbus Crew – The Crew may have had a long rest for this one but they haven’t found their rhythm yet and face the Whitecaps at the worst possible time. Vancouver look strong and should follow up that victory against the Galaxy with another home win.

Columbus Crew star delighted with new deal

Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper Steve Clark has penned a new deal with the club and he is more than happy to have done so.

“Columbus is a place, I’ve said many times, that I enjoy,” Clark told the club’s official website after penning a new contract.

“I like playing for Crew SC, I like playing for Gregg and [assistant coach Pat Onstad], so to have a longer deal in place is great for stability and for my family and myself and my career and also the goalkeeping position at Crew SC.”

Clark also highlighted the importance of fans and wants to become one of their own.

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“I would like to mean something to the fans,” he added.

“In this age players come and go – that’s the business, and players should be able to come and go – but I wanted to be able to put pen to paper and say this is where I intend to be, this is where I want to be, this is where I’m developing.

“If people are willing to call me their own, I’m willing to call them my own. I’m happy to be here.”

Crew are next in action on Wednesday, April 8 against the Vancouver Whitecaps and will look to keep his second clean-sheet of the season.

The 28 year old has started all three of Columbus’ games this season and played every minute of the last campaign too, helping the Crew to reach the MLS Playoffs.

Is the long-term signing of Steve Clark great business by Crew SC?

Columbus Crew and Montreal Impact record enormous preseason wins

The Columbus Crew and the Montreal Impact got the biggest day of the MLS preseason underway in fine style as they won 7-0 and 6-0 respectively.

A total of 12 MLS sides are in action on Wednesday as the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic and Desert Diamond Cups get underway.

The Montreal Impact played their second game against Mexican opposition in as many days in the days early kickoff and they put in a fine display to win 6-0 against FC Cuautla in their final friendly before next week’s CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final clash with Liga MX side Pachuca.

Jack McInerney, who was sent off in yesterday’s 1-0 win against Cruz Azul, opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Blake Smith added a second just before halftime.

Cameron Porter came on at halftime and the 21-year-old third round MLS SuperDraft pick bagged himself a hat-trick, while McInerney added his second of the game to seal a comfortable 6-0 win against the Mexican third division side.

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Columbus Crew got the first game of the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic underway against London United and were also in a goalscoring mood as they found the net seven times.

New signing Kei Kamara opened the scoring in just the third minute before Ethan Finlay scored a second on 19 minutes. Finlay then turned provider as he teed up new right-back Hernan Grana to make it three before Grana then grabbed an assist for Kamara’s second of the game, making it 4-0 after just half an hour.

Columbus weren’t prepared to see out the half four up though and added two more as Grana made it five with his second of the game from defence before he got his second assist of the game by setting up new left-back Chris Klute on the stroke of halftime, making it 6-0 at the break.

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Crew SC weren’t as devastating in the second-half but still added one more through second-round draft pick Sagi Lev-Ari in the final ten minutes. Lev-Ari was making his preseason debut for the Black and Gold but is not yet registered on the club’s roster for the 2015 season.

Kei Kamara may have bagged two but it was fellow new boy Hernan Grana who impressed most as he registered two goals and two assists from right-back in an impressive attacking display.

Both the Montreal Impact and Columbus Crew have lost just once this preseason and will be hoping they can take their goalscoring form from today’s friendlies into the new 2015 MLS season in the Eastern Conference.