ExLink - 04/28/18 - CLBvSJ

Columbus Crew SC vs. San Jose Earthquakes | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Columbus Crew SC vs. San Jose Earthquakes
2018 MLS Regular Season - Week 9
MAPFRE Stadium - Columbus
April 28 - 7:30 pm ET
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Two teams looking to get back to winning ways meet up at MAPFRE Stadium Saturday night, with Columbus Crew SC seeking their first April victory while the San Jose Earthquakes haven’t captured all three points since the opening weekend of the season.

Crew SC snapped a three-match losing streak in a spirited 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution last Saturday and the Earthquakes fell to Orlando City SC, 3-2.

A return to MAPFRE could suit Crew SC well. Columbus are unbeaten in their last five home matches against the Earthquakes (2W-3D), conceding just two goals in those games, per Opta.

Columbus Crew SC

The losing streak is over, but the winless one remains after Crew SC (3-3-2) played the Revs to a 2-2 draw at MAPFRE last Saturday.

Gregg Berhalter made one change to his starting XI from a 1-0 loss to D.C. United the previous week, bringing on Niko Hansen for his first start of the season.

Twice Columbus had first-half leads — on an own goal in the ninth minute and Gyasi Zardes’ fifth goal of the season two minutes from halftime — only to concede the equalizer both times in a four-goal first half.

“I think that sometimes young players have amnesia, it doesn’t get to them, and they’re not affected by it,” Berhalter said of the winless skid. “We try very hard to focus game by game and to focus on the upcoming opponent and that is the best we can do. We’re obviously not happy with four games in a row not winning, but again, I think the effort was outstanding and the desire was outstanding, and we played some good soccer along the way.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Eduardo Sosa (right ankle), GK - Ben Lundgaard (left thumb surgery); QUESTIONABLE: M - Luis Argudo (left knee), M - Mike Grella (left knee), D - Gaston Sauro (left knee)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2–3-1, right to left)
GK: Zack Steffen — Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams, Milton Valenzuela — Artur, Wil Trapp — Pedro Santos, Federico Higuain, Niko Hansen — Gyasi Zardes

  • Notes: Federico Higuaín is one of two players this season with 10+ chances created from open play and from set pieces, along with Real Salt Lake’s Albert Rusnak. … Columbus have won nine of their last 13 league home matches inc. playoffs (1L-3D), averaging 2.1 goals per game in that time.

San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose (1-3-2) conceded twice in the first half and fell in a 3-0 hole when Dom Dwyer scored his 100th professional goal in the 69th minute, before Florian Jungwirth struck for a brace in the final 12 minutes and Andrew Tarbell denied Justin Meram from the penalty spot in a 3-2 loss.

Mikael Stahre made two changes to his lineup, bringing Chris Wondolowski back in and inserting Jahmir Hyka into a 4-4-2 formation.

Despite the defeat, Stahre called it his team’s “best road performance so far.”

“This week, we talked about possessing the ball better, controlling the game better,” he said. “There were definitely less mistakes than the Houston game, for example. Don’t get me wrong, we have plenty to improve on, but without being too optimistic, I believe that was the best road performance so far.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Tommy Thompson (illness)

Projected Starting XI
(4-4-2, right to left)
GK: Andrew Tarbell —Nick Lima, Harold Cummings, Yefferson Quintana, Shea Salinas — Magnus Eriksson, Florian Jungwirth, Anibal Godoy, Jahmir Hyka — Chris Wondolowski, Danny Hoesen

  • Notes: Jungwirth finished with two goals and two key passes against Orlando City, just the second Earthquakes player to do that in a league game in the last three seasons. … San Jose have gotten one win in their last 13 MLS road games (10L-2D). Their -25 goal differential since the start of last June is the second worst in the league.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Columbus Crew SC 19 wins, 66 goals … San Jose Earthquakes 15 wins, 59 goals … 7 ties
  • At Columbus: Crew SC 13 wins, 31 goals … Earthquakes 3 wins, 19 goals … 3 ties
  • Last meeting at Columbus: Columbus Crew SC 2, San Jose Earthquakes 0 (Aug. 27, 2016)


Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: CJ Morgante, Gianni Facchini
4th Official: Joseph Dickerson
VAR: Younes Marrakchi