preview - 10.07.20 - web

PREVIEW | Columbus Crew SC vs. Montreal Impact | Oct. 7, 2020

*NOTE: The following editorial was provided by MLSsoccer.com and edited by ColumbusCrewSC.com

Columbus Crew SC will try to create separation in the Supporters' Shield race when the Black & Gold host the Montreal Impact Wednesday night at MAPFRE Stadium.

Crew SC (9-2-4, 31 pts.) are winless in their last two matches, playing FC Dallas to a 2-2 draw at Toyota Stadium Saturday night, while the Impact (5-8-2, 17 pts.) snapped a four-match losing streak with a 2-2 draw of their own against the Chicago Fire. 

Columbus has dominated the all-time series at MAPFRE Stadium, losing just once in 11 matches. Former midfielder David Accam scored the winner early in the second half in a 2-1 victory in the last meeting on July 20, 2019.

Columbus Crew SC

Pedro Santos continued his fine form, scoring the second-half equalizer as the Crew played FC Dallas to an entertaining draw Saturday night in Frisco. However, Lucas Zelarayan and Eloy Room suffered injuries, which added to Columbus's resolve, Head Coach Caleb Porter said.

"I'm really proud of my guys," Porter said in the post-match press conference. "You know, the way we played that second half, with all the adversity we were dealing with."

Porter added, "Our guys just never gave in. They kept fighting, they kept working and kept grinding, they rolled their sleeves up. Whether we would have won the game, drew the game, or lost the game, I would have been proud of this group. In the second half, they showed character, they showed the personality, they showed the aggression. That's the way we need to play. That's our game, relentless, and [with] intensity."

Porter confirmed Zelarayan will be out for Wednesday's match as Columbus is 2-1-1 this season, including 2-0-0 at MAPFRE Stadium, without the Argentine midfielder.

It's certainly not anything new, Porter said, when asked about having to deal with rotations this season. In fact, as much of an obstacle as it is, the silver lining entails a boost of confidence for those waiting for the opportunity.

"I think you gain confidence when you go to your bench and you get results, and it works the other way; you rotate and you don't get results and now you lose confidence and those guys lose confidence," Porter said.

"So, I think what we have going right now, because we've had to manage a lot of injuries, we have confidence and the guys have confidence that when we rotate and when it's next man up, that we can still win, and I think we're seeing that."

Montreal Impact

After looking physically and mentally exhausted during a four-match losing streak, the Impact recharged their batteries back in Montreal and returned to earn a point in a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire at Red Bull Arena Saturday. They had a second-half lead through Maxi Urruti, but conceded a Francisco Calvo equalizer just six minutes later. Thierry Henry backed goalkeeper Clement Diop, whose gaffe gifted the Fire their first goal.  

“This is what I don't understand in the game," Henry said after the match. "How many times did he save us? Sometimes it can happen that you're going to make a mistake. When a striker misses a 1-v-1 for me, it's as bad as anything else. It's a mistake also, but it's less highlighted because you don't concede a goal on that play. We conceded the goal, it can happen, but Clement has been magnificent in games for us, he's saved us so many times."

Kickoff on Wednesday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports GO (App), 97.1 FM The Fan, and ColumbusCrewSC.com/liveaudio (Spanish audio).

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