OBETZ, Ohio — Columbus Crew forward Jairo Arrieta may not start a third straight game since returning from Costa Rican national team duty.
The Crew have a win and two ties in the last three games without Arrieta in the starting XI, after Dominic Oduro replaced the Costa Rican international who was gone for World Cup qualifying. Columbus head coach Robert Warzycha is hesitant to modify the lineup for Saturday's match at Chicago (8:30 p.m. ET, free Stream of the Week on MLSsoccer.com).
"The players on the field are not playing poorly," Warzycha told MLSsoccer.com. "If you have players like [Federico] Higuaín, Oduro, Eddie Gaven and [Ben] Speas who are consistent then you don't have to change. It's too bad for Jairo, but you don't have to change.
"He is a goal scorer. I'm sure he is going to back on the field sooner or later."
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Oduro solidified his spot by scoring equalizers in the 72nd minute of matches against Philadelphia and Montreal.
Meanwhile, Warzycha said Arrieta, who had a goal and an assist in starting the first three games, lost sharpness while sitting on the bench for two Costa Rican qualifiers last month.
"He came back and was probably worried a little and a little bit behind," Warzycha said. "Then we had some good games. It's my job to put the players who perform the best out on the field."
If Arrieta does not start there's a likelihood the Crew (2-1-3) will have the same lineup for the fourth straight match.
"Continuity is a big thing," Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum said. "When you're able to play with a consistent lineup it really helps you understand from a team concept what we're trying to do."
Nine players, including the entire backline, have started all six matches compared to five through the same number of games last season when the Crew were 2-3-1.
Also, Warzycha has used 12 different starters this season while 16 had been employed at this time last year.
Craig Merz covers the Columbus Crew for MLSsoccer.com.