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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
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
Final
ATL 4
BOS 2
Final
STL 5
NYM 4
Final
PHI 0
NYY 10
Final
MIN 2
PIT 4
Final
WAS 1
STL 1
4th
BAL 0
TAM 0
 
Final
TOR 4
DET 1
Final
CHC 6
CWS 3
Final
OAK 7
TEX 6
Final
ANA 2
ARI 7
Final
ARI 3
CLE 2
6:05pm Friday
HOU 0
MIA 0
 
Final
KAN 5
SEA 1
Final
SDP 7
COL 5
Final
CIN 6
MIL 8
Final
LOS 4
SFG 8
1:05pm Today
NYY
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
HOU
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
DET
STL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
TOR
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
WAS
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
MIL
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
COL
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
KAN
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
LOS
 
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
ORL 97
DET 111
Final
PHI 98
LAC 119
Final
NYK 92
BOS 96
Final
BRK 106
CLE 98
Final
TOR 94
LAL 83
Final
ATL 99
MIA 86
Final
MEM 84
GSW 107
Final
HOU 120
MIN 110
Final
NOP 102
SAC 88
Final
SAN 94
DAL 76
Final
DEN 107
UTA 91
Final
PHO 81
POR 87
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
GSW
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
OKC
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
DEN
 
Final
GONZ 74
UCLA 62
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
Final
NARZ 74
KSU 73
Final
OKLA 58
MSU 62
6:09pm Tonight
WISC
ARZ
 
7:30pm Tonight
YALE
CAN
 
8:49pm Tonight
KENT
ND
 
Final
MIN 4
CAL 2
Final
CHI 2
CLB 5
Final
EDM 4
DAL 0
12:30pm Today
WAS
NAS
 
1:00pm Today
NYI
ANA
 
1:00pm Today
PIT
ARI
 
1:00pm Today
BOS
NYR
 
1:00pm Today
PHI
SJS
 
2:00pm Today
DET
TAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CLB
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL