Upon the return of four Columbus players from international duty, Crew SC resumes regular-season action on the road against an Atlanta United side that has won 10 of 14 total home matches and four of its last five matches overall.
The Crew defeated Atlanta, 2-0, on March 30 at MAPFRE Stadium following a game-winner from Pedro Santos in the second minute before Gyasi Zardes sealed the deal from the penalty spot in the 39th minute.
It was, in short, a bizarre match thanks to torrential downpours in Central Ohio that left the field water-logged to say the least, so Saturday’s rematch on the plastic grounds of Atlanta will certainly be more controlled.
Speaking of control, Atlanta has steadily righted the ship following a rusty start to the regular season in the post-“Tata” Martino & Miguel Almirón era. Currently, the club is on a four-match home winning streak and, overall, is unbeaten in its last 11 matches at Mercedes-Benz, including a 12-1 scoring edge in the last four marked by a 3-0 win over the LA Galaxy on Aug. 3 and a 2-1 win over Eastern Conference-leading NYCFC on Aug. 11.
Come Saturday, the Crew will be searching for their first victory against Atlanta on the road in regular-season play. In two total matches at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Crew has been outscored 3-1, with Zardes notching the lone goal on Aug. 19, 2018.
Zardes has tallied four goals in the last five road games, while Room has made at least four saves in each of the last three matches. Notably, since Room's Crew debut vs. Montreal on July 20, the Crew has lost just once in eight total matches.
On the whole, the Crew has picked up the scoring pace as the end of the regular season approaches, netting at least two goals in six of the last nine matches. However, that rate will surely have to rev up come Saturday, with Atlanta holding a 10-1-3 home record thanks to a plus-20 goal differential (29 goals-for) and a home save percentage of nearly 79-percent.
On the road, it has been an uphill climb for Crew SC to get consistent scoring. The good news, however, is that the Crew has not dropped a single point from being in a winning position on the road while each of the Club's three road wins has featured two or more goals.