The Columbus Crew for the second straight match will try to take advantage of a team coming off a midweek match when they host Orlando City SC at Mapfre Stadium on Saturday.
It didn’t work out so well last time when the Crew lost 2-0 at New York City FC on July 14 for their fourth loss in the past five games to fall to 8-7-6 (30 points).
Orlando City (7-11-1, 22 points), ended a franchise-record nine match losing streak with a 2-1 home victory against Toronto FC on July 14 before dropping a 1-0 decision to the Philadelphia Union in a quarterfinal match of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday in Chester, Pa.
“Bitterly disappointed to be honest,” Orlando City coach James O’Connor said after the defeat. “When we look at tonight, I don’t think we really got into the game.”
The Union fatigue will get no sympathy from the Crew, who over the past four weekends played once at home while making two trips to Los Angeles plus the trip to Yankee Stadium last week.
Columbus is 6-2-3 at home but have scored just three goals in 10 road games (2-5-3).
“Home games are important. We’re still looking to find our away form,” Crew coach Gregg Berhalter said. “We’ve played well but haven’t gotten the results we wanted. It’s nice to come back home and not travel. We’ve put some big miles on lately.”
Former Crew forward Justin Meram will return to Mapfre Stadium for the first time since being traded to Orlando City on Jan. 29. He had 33 goals and 37 assists in 188 games over seven seasons in Columbus. He has a goal and three assists in 17 games this season and was benched for the Toronto game.
—Field Level Medium