Atlanta United vs. Columbus Crew SC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

ExLink - 08/19/18 - ATLvCLB

Atlanta United vs. Columbus Crew SC
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 25

Mercedes-Benz Stadium — Atlanta
August 19 - 4 pm ET


Katie Witham discusses FS1's historic all-female broadcast team on Sunday:

With challenges coming from both New York clubs, Atlanta United look to maintain hold of the Supporters’ Shield lead when they host in-form Columbus Crew SC Sunday afternoon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Five Stripes last played on August 4, tying Toronto FC, 2-2, to extend an unbeaten streak to five, while Crew SC ran their win streak up to three after defeating the Houston Dynamo, 1-0, last Saturday.

The teams also met on June 18, with Atlanta winning, 2-0, at MAPFRE Stadium. Josef Martinez opened the scoring on the half-hour and Hector Villallba added an 82nd-minute insurance goal.

Atlanta United

Atlanta (14-4-6) were disappointed to not claim all three points, conceding a late equalizer in an entertaining 2-2 draw against Toronto FC on August 4.

After Sebastian Giovinco put the visitors in front in first-half stoppage time, Martinez struck for a brace, increasing his season total to 26 goals, before Tosaint Ricketts leveled in the 90th minute.

“We’ve lost seven points this season in the last five minutes or so of games — Dallas, New England and today,” coach Tata Martino said. “We could close a game down if we score the third goal. One way to do it is to score. What some other teams do - especially when they come here - is once they’re in a good, favorable result for them they slow the game down. … I think that’s part of why we’ve lost seven points. We could have 55 points right now.” 

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M/D - Jeff Larentowicz
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Greg Garza (shoulder surgery), M - Darlington Nagbe (right adductor injury), D - Sal Zizzo (right knee injury), D - Mikey Ambrose (right knee surgery)

Projected Starting XI
(3-4-1-2, right to left)
GK: Brad Guzman — Jeff Larentowicz, Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez — Julian Gressel, Kevin Kratz, Eric Remedi, Chris McCann — Miguel Almiron — Hector Villalba, Josef Martinez

Columbus Crew SC

Columbus (11-7-6) captured a third consecutive win by beating the struggling Houston Dynamo, 1-0, at home last Saturday.

Gyasi Zardes scored the lone goal in second-half stoppage time, his third in as many games, latching onto a lobbed pass from Harrison Afful to tap in the winner.

“We know it’s a tough team, we know we’ve had problems in the regular season playing against them and we know they have threats — [Miguel] Almiron on counter attacks, Martinez, I think the best goal-scorer this league has seen over this period of time, he’s been phenomenal,” Gregg Berhalter said. “They have good defense, good wingers and it’s going to be a difficult game for us.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Eduardo Sosa (right knee meniscectomy)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Zack Steffen — Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Gaston Sauro, Milton Valenzuela — Artur, Wil Trapp — Pedro Santos, Federico Higuain, Justin Meram — Gyasi Zardes

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Atlanta United 3 wins, 7 goals … Columbus Crew SC 0 wins, 1 goal … 0 draws
  • At Atlanta: Atlanta United 1 win, 3 goals … Crew SC 0 wins, 1 goal … 0 draws
  • Last meeting at Atlanta: Atlanta United 3, Columbus Crew SC 1 (June 17, 2017)


Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Jeffrey Greeson
4th Official: Ted Unkel
VAR: Jon Freemon