Columbus Crew SC (5-14-2, 17 pts.) hits the road for the second time in one week when they take on the Chicago Fire on Wednesday, July 17 at SeatGeek Stadium.
The Black & Gold are coming off of a 1-0 defeat at Orlando City SC, where the group maintained 57-percent possession and out-shot the Lions 11-4, but conceded the game-winner in the 84th minute on Orlando’s only shot on target. Despite not getting the result, head coach Caleb Porter felt that the team performed well while playing in a different system.
“I thought we were the better team today,” he said. “Even though it was the same result, for me it felt different. I thought the 4-3-3 was very good, that’s a good look for us. I thought the midfield three of David Guzman, Artie [Artur], and Wil Trapp were excellent today in keeping the ball and were extremely organized.”
In the midst of a three-in-eight stretch, Crew SC is focused on a quick turnaround come Wednesday.
“We have another quick game against Chicago Fire,” said forward Gyasi Zardes, “and it’s extremely important we get a result that game. This game is in the past, we’ve already played, and we just have to obviously watch film tomorrow and fix the things we need to correct and then come ready to play with the right mentality on Wednesday.”
As for Chicago (5-14-7, 22 pts.), they are coming off of a 2-1 defeat at home against FC Cincinnati where the Fire gave up the game-winner in the 83rd minute. The defeat marks Chicago's second loss at home for the season, the first of which was on March 16 against the Seattle Sounders.
Notably, the Fire have yet to be shutout at home this season and have earned all five of their wins and four of their seven draws at SeatGeek Stadium.
The Black & Gold have had their own struggles in Bridgeview as their record at SeatGeek Stadium is 1-7-4 since its opening in 2006.
With Chicago’s historical success against Crew SC at home and their overall home record this season, it is important that the Black & Gold look to score early in the match. On the season, Chicago has only earned two points at home from a losing position.
Going into Saturday, Crew SC wants to make sure that they are on the front-foot of play with slight adjustments after Saturday's match, with one, in particular, being the placement of crosses as they look for runners inside of the box.
“I just think in that final third still we are missing some crosses,” Porter said. "We need to - from our wingers - continue to get more production; some of the outside backs, their service needs to be on the money a bit more. We’ll keep working on that, of course. But there’s not a lot I want to change.”
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET and supporters can watch the match on FOX Sports Ohio, stream on FOX Sports GO, or listen on 97.1 FM The Fan or www.ColumbusCrewSC.com (English & Spanish).