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MLS Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, May 24, 2014 (All times Eastern)

Chicago (2-2-6) at Columbus (3-4-4), 7:30 p.m.

Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Crew returns home with the hope of snapping an eight-game winless streak as the Crew welcomes the Chicago Fire to Crew Stadium on Saturday.

Columbus started its season with three straight wins, but has failed to collect three points from a game since March 29, and the team faces a Fire side that enters the match on a two-game winning streak.

Chicago failed to win any of its first eight games, but Frank Yallop's men snapped that skid with a 5-4 win at Red Bull New York that was followed by a 2-1 triumph over Sporting Kansas City last Sunday.

Sporting was missing a number of players in that match, including defenders Matt Besler, Lawrence Olum and Aurelien Collin, and Chicago was able to take advantage with a pair of goals from Mike Magee in the opening 15 minutes.

On Saturday, Chicago will have a similar situation with Columbus, which will be without defenders Michael Parkhurst, Giancarlo Gonzalez and Waylon Francis.

But Yallop doesn't think the absences of those players will be a big factor for his team on Saturday.

"We said the same with Kansas and that was a tough game," Yallop said. "I never look at the week ahead on paper and I would never tell the team that. It's always tough."

The Fire could be missing a handful of players themselves as Bakary Soumare, Alex and Patrick Nyarko are unlikely to feature, while Magee left practice on Thursday with a sore calf.

Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter will have a number of decisions to make regarding his back line, and he got a chance to get a look at a few of them in a friendly on Tuesday with Dayton.

Among the players who Berhalter has to choose from on Saturday, he got a chance to see Kevan George, Ben Sweat and Eric Gehrig in action, while Hector Jimenez remains an option at right back.

Chad Barson got the call against Portland last time out, and he believes that no matter who plays in defense on Saturday, that they have enough versatility to get the job done.

"It's obviously a big rivalry - Crew and Fire," said Barson. "No friendly acquaintances. It's going to be a challenge; we know that. They're a talented team. They have a very good attacking presence. The ability to get minutes as a back line [at Dayton] and to get more familiar with each other [was important]. Guys have been itching to play that haven't had a lot of minutes so far, so I think we'll be ready."

05/23 17:08:39 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
SYR
 
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
Final
NOP 109
DAL 106
Final
ORL 99
IND 106
Final
PHO 100
LAC 120
Final
ATL 112
MIN 100
Final
TOR 114
DET 110
Final
SAN 101
MIL 95
Final
GSW 114
BOS 111
Final
DEN 115
WAS 117
Final
LAL 87
HOU 99
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
ORL
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
PHI
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
BOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
DEN
 
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Final
TENST 55
BEL 63
 
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
VILL 71
CREI 50
Final
MD 68
NW 67
Final
UTAH 77
WASH 56
7:00pm Tonight
AMER
ARMY
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
CLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
PBY
HIGH
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
SYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
DET
WRST
 
7:30pm Tonight
NCAT
COPST
 
7:30pm Tonight
SCST
HAMP
 
7:30pm Tonight
COOK
HOW
 
7:30pm Tonight
NWST
NICST
 
8:00pm Tonight
NO
CARK
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAMP
GWEBB
 
8:00pm Tonight
FAM
MDES
 
8:00pm Tonight
INCWORD
MCNST
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAV
NORST
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
SHSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
TAMCC
 
8:05pm Tonight
VALPO
UWMIL
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAAM
ALCOR
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAST
SOUTH
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARKPB
PVU
 
9:00pm Tonight
ISU
TEX
 
9:00pm Tonight
MVSU
TXSOU
 
Final
TEAMFOLI 12
TEAMTOEWS 17
Final
CARTER 28
IRVIN 32