Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen and midfielder Wil Trapp are expected to play, but Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almirón isn’t when the teams meet in an Eastern Conference showdown at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus on Wednesday.
Atlanta (9-3-3) leads the conference with 30 points, ahead of New York City FC’s 28 and the Crew at 27 with a 7-3-6 record.
Almirón, who has six goals and six assists, suffered a left shoulder injury in the 1-1 draw at New York City on Saturday.
With the quick turnaround, Atlanta coach Gerardo Martino said Monday it’s possible Almirón won’t be ready in time for the Crew but might be available for the U.S. Open Cup match versus the Chicago Fire on June 20.
“Luckily, we don’t think it’s anything serious, but because there are four days between games, we are going to evaluate the risks and see if we can count on him in the next game,” Martino said.
The Crew are riding a 4-0-5 streak that includes draws in the past three matches. The two most recent, 3-3 versus Toronto FC on June 2 and Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls, came with Steffen and Trapp away for a pair of U.S. National Team friendlies, including 1-1 tie at France on Saturday.
Steffen has five straight shutouts for the Crew, accumulating a stretch of 495 minutes in which he has not allowed a goal.
The Crew were disappointed in not getting the three points against the Red Bulls after a strong first half that produced the go-ahead goal.
“We’re still unbeaten in nine, so there’s a lot to take from it,” forward Mike Grella said. “I think if we do what we did in the first half for 90 minutes, we’ll become a really strong team for sure.”
—Field Level Media