Columbus Crew SC are returning the favor and heading to Pennsylvania after a quick four-day turnaround from two sides' meeting on Saturday. That match sent the Union packing with a 1-0 loss. The second and final meeting between the Eastern Conference teams is set to kickoff on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET at Talen Energy Stadium.
Here are the storylines we will have our eyes on:
“In West Philadelphia, Born & Raised”
Crew SC is heading to Pennsylvania for the final leg of their home-and-home series between the Philadelphia Union after a quick four-day turnaround. After Saturday's win, the Black & Gold are back for more with the match set to kickoff on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET at Talen Energy Stadium.
After the conclusion of Saturday night’s 1-0 victory thanks to Justin Meram's 65th minute goal, Crew SC hold an overall 10-7-1 record against the Philly side and are currently sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with the Union trailing in ninth.
“Okay, fellas, now let’s get in formation.” (3-4-2-1)
The Black & Gold played in a 3-4-2-1 formation; their second time doing so, and have won both matches with a shutout in that shape. The shutout was largely in part thanks to the solid back line consisting of Jonathan Mensah, and rookies Alex Crognale — who was later named to the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week — and Lalas Abubakar — who was selected as the Acura Man of the Match by supporters.
The heavy muscles combined for a total of 90 successful passes in the Black & Gold’s half, nine clearances, and seven successful tackles. With all the work the backline put in, it will be interesting to see if goalkeeper Zack Steffen will bring a crossword puzzle to keep him busy this time around since he wasn’t required to make a single save in Saturday’s match.
Ready for More?
The Philadelphia squad will only have four days to figure out what went wrong in Saturday’s match. Both sides were missing some key components such as Crew SC star playmaker, Federico Higuain and Union leading goalscorer, C.J. Sapong, both due to injury.
Columbus Crew SC will travel to Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 26 to play the Union once again at 7:30 p.m. ET before traveling west to face Real Salt Lake on Saturday, July 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET on the road. The Black & Gold return home on Saturday, August 12 to battle the Chicago Fire at 7:30 p.m. ET at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus.