2019 Season Preview: Columbus Crew SC

It's a new era for Columbus Crew SC ... with new ownership, decision makers and a head coach, there is plenty of reason for optimism in Ohio.

Tim Bezbatchenko and Caleb Porter return to their Ohio roots, inheriting a team largely unchanged from last year's Conference semifinalist side. Unfortunately they've already suffered a major injury, as left back Milton Valenzuela is expected to miss the entire season with a torn ACL. 

Star players

Key acquisitions and departures

Projected Starting XI

Team strengths and weaknesses

  • Strength: They have a foundation. Caleb Porter will tweak what Gregg Berhalter built, but he doesn’t have to reinvent the 4-2-3-1 here. The backline is settled and solid – outside that unfortunate injury to Milton Valenzuela – and the midfield is balanced. Wil Trapp, Artur and Federico Higuain fit their roles perfectly.
  • Weakness: Chance creation and goal dangerous play from the wings. Justin Meram can do it, but he didn’t at the levels we’ve come to expect in 2018. Pedro Santos seems like he can, then he usually doesn’t, which is unfortunate given the pricetag. Robinho (no not that one) is the only real reinforcement. Will it be enough for a team that scored the fewest goals among playoff teams in 2018?

Predictions

  • Ben Baer: 2nd in East
  • Calen Carr: 5th in East
  • Charlie Davies: 8th in East
  • Matt Doyle: 7th in East
  • Bobby Warshaw: 7th in East
  • Andrew Wiebe: 6th in East

LIVE YOUR COLORS: Download the free MLS app - The official MLS app gets a major update for 2019, making it easier than ever to keep up with your favorite club, check standings, watch videos and much more.