MLSsoccer.com's Dan Haiek and Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle preview the Wednesday night match between the Columbus Crew and Sporting KC.
The Crew enters the week looking at a three-match homestand with a pair of League tilts on Wednesday and Saturday. The Black & Gold are unbeaten (1-0-2) in their last three contests at Crew Stadium dating back to May 24 against Chicago. In the current home unbeaten span, the team is averaging 13.33 shots per game.
Since 2006, Columbus and Sporting Kansas City have traded off streaks of at least five consecutive matches of success for one club in the all-time regular-season series. The Crew dropped five straight matches from 2006-2007 before the Black & Gold rattled-off a six match (5-0-1) stretch of points against the Kansas City side from 2008 to 2010. With Sporting KC now 4-0-1 in their last five matches against the Crew since 2012, the historical tides are due for a shift for the better in Columbus against Sporting.
For the second straight week, the Crew faces one of the League’s top goal scorers in its upcoming match. Last weekend, Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his League-leading 15th of the season. On Wednesday, Sporting KC’s Dom Dwyer comes to Columbus with the Crew looking to keep his season total at 14 tallies.
MOVING FORWARD AFTER LOSS AT NEW YORK
Following the club’s 4-1 defeat on Saturday in New York, Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter remained positive in providing a course of action heading into a stretch of four matches in 11 days, beginning Wednesday ... said Berhalter, “We got to pick ourselves up, right? We got to pick ourselves up and move on. Put this game behind us. It’s over as of now and we’re moving forward. I think the message to the guys is ‘Let’s not talk about it, let’s do it.’”
FRANCIS, GONZALEZ AVAILABLE FOR SELECTION
Crew defenders Waylon Francis and Giancarlo Gonzalez represented the Crew in Brazil during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and are now available for selection this week after meeting the team in New York last weekend ... Gonzalez started and played in every single match for The Ticos ... Gonzalez also added successful spot kicks during penalty kicks on June 29 as Costa Rica advanced past Greece and in the team’s final match against the Netherlands on July 5 in the Quarterfinals ... Gonzalez last played MLS action on May 17 at Portland while Francis departed ahead of that trip and last took the field in League play on May 10 against Portland.
BEDELL BAGS HIS FIRST
Adam Bedell came on as a substitute and provided the Crew’s lone goal on Saturday night in New York ... the tally was Bedell’s first career strike in his rookie campaign ... per MLS, he also becomes the tallest player (6 feet, 7 inches) to score a goal in MLS history.
FOLLOWING ARRIETA INJURY, BERHALTER TURNED TO BEDELL
Needing to make an early substitution due to a Jairo Arrieta leg injury, Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter turned to forward Adam Bedell in the 25th minute ... Bedell went on to score his first career goal 14 minutes later ... said Berhalter, “I think it’s great that he got off the mark and he got a goal. He’s a good finisher. We need to keep creating opportunities for him because he can finish.”
On Saturday, July 12, the Dayton Dutch Lions fell to the Harrisburg City Islanders by a 3-1 score at DOC Stadium.
Dayton, playing without leading goal-scorer Aaron Schoenfeld, conceded two first-half goals in the contest. Brock Granger made it 2-1 in the 77th minute, but a late insurance goal by Harrisburg's Robbie Derschang sealed the three points for the visitors.
Crew loanees Ross Friedman (pictured) and Matt Wiet started the match. Matt Walker entered as a first-half substitute.
Photo Credit: Jeremi Blurton