Home > Match Preview > Match Preview: Union vs Columbus Crew

Match Preview: Union vs Columbus Crew

Saturday, August 20, 7:30pm, from Crew Stadium in Columbus, OH, televised on The Comcast Network

Briefly stated, this is the game of the season-to-date.

If Union have any designs on proving to be more contender than pretender, they must get a result in a matchup of the MLS Eastern Conference’s top two teams.  Union have stumbled through an ever-changing lineup into an abyss of draws.  Some of those were acceptable, like last week’s draw to the 2nd best team in the league, FC Dallas.  Far too many of them have been the despicable, punch-a-stranger-in-the-face frustrating variety.  Columbus, however, has ascended to the top spot in the East, though they have 1 more game played than Union do.  They have won 3 of their last 4 matches.  I hope they do not make it 4 out of 5.  I don’t know how the hell they’re doing it, they’ve scored fewer goals on the season than Union have.  And I complain about Union’s offense CONSTANTLY. 

What to (A)du?:  The Union’s midfield composition confounding.  But here’s what I think will happen:  Carroll as the CDM, Adu as the CAM, Mapp on the left wing (I was grinding my teeth typing that last part), and Le Toux on the right.  And up top will be Mwanga and Paunovic, because…. this team seems to have a quota for older guys being on the field.  Be that as it may, Keon Daniel should start on the left, and Michael Farfan should start on the right, with Mwanga and Le Toux as strikers.  I’m starting to believe that Peter Nowak is a reader and makes his lineups in a manner to irritate me.  Justin Mapp can win me back, however, if next time Seba thinks he’s taking a free kick or a corner kick, Mapp punches him in the face and says “no.”

This match will come down to how well Freddie Adu plays (and same can be said about the rest of the season, really).  Union have seemingly hitched their wagons to Adu, and will only ride as far as he takes them.  If he is the dynamic playmaker everyone thinks he is/can be, then Union will begin winning games with the same regularity that they have been drawing them over the past month or so.  This match will be tough for Freddie to prove my point, as Crew have only lost once at home in 12 matches this season.  But, as Danny Califf noted in an interview this week, this match is a “6-pointer,” meaning a non-draw result would mean they’ll be tied atop the conference, or Union will be 6 points behind.  This is precisely why I foresee a conservative lineup from Nowak.  He plays conservatively on the road, and this is a match where a draw would leave them 3 points in arrears with a game in hand.  As much as I would love for Union to attack from the opening whistle and earn 3 points with inspired play, I think this one ends in a draw, and I’ll predict 1-1.

Nick Y., the other .5 of Unholy Union

  1. High Expectation Asian Father
    August 24, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Match Preview? Why no recap?

  1. August 19, 2011 at 9:57 AM

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