banner

Soccer

more stats

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

Other Stories

TV
  • World Series: Kansas City vs. San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:30 on FOX50

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ATL 117
CHA 114
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
CAR
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
SFG
Final
CLE 107
CHI 98
Final
WAS 84
NOP 88
Final
ATL 117
CHA 114
Final
NYK 107
MIL 120
Final
BRK 99
PHI 88
Final
DAL 108
MEM 103
Final
SAN 106
SAC 99
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
POR
 
10:00pm Tonight
PHO
LAL
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
LALAF
ARKST
 
Final
EDM 3
TAM 2
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
NYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
SJS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
ARI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
CAR
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
VAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
FLA
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
TAM
 
Final
PIT 30
HOU 23