Preview: Crew faces quick turnaround against first-place Impact

Black & Gold prepare for Canadian foes on short rest

Dominic Oduro

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Photos

The Crew returned from Thursday's storm-delayed 2-1 U.S. Open Cup road loss to the Chicago Fire at 2:30 a.m. ET on Friday morning following a seven-hour bus ride from the Windy City. Despite the quick turnaround, the Black & Gold is confident it can earn three points against the first-place Montreal Impact at Crew Stadium on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET / Univision Deportes, FOX Sports Ohio).

"I think the preparation is still the same," forward Dominic Oduro said. "It's just unfortunate we had to play a game on Thursday when we have a game on Saturday."

The Ghanaian striker continued, "Are we ready? I think we are, even though we had to take a bus ride to get back here to Columbus. I think our mentality is still the same. We need these points and I think we're good to go. Physically it's a little bit tiring, but mentally we're ready to go."

The Crew tied the Impact, 1-1, at Stade Saputo in Montreal back on April 14 in a snow-delayed match. Montreal striker Marco Di Vaio and Oduro traded second-half goals in the draw.

TURNING IT AROUND AT HOME

The Black & Gold have earned just one victory in six matches on home soil in 2013 depite one of MLS's best home records over the past five seasons. Saturday's match marks the first of a two-match homestand for the Crew.

The home team expects nothing less than three points on Saturday against the Impact.

"It's crucial -- we have to get points, whether it's at home or on the road," Head Coach Robert Warzycha said on Friday. "We had some success last year and in previous years at home, we've created chances this year, we just have to put them in the back of the net."

Oduro added: "We have to make this game really exciting for the fans. At the end of the day, we know Montreal is a good team and at the top of the Eastern Conference right now.

"We have to start to make winning a habit right now. We're almost halfway through the season and we need these points, especially at home. It's a must-win game. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but we're ready and we have to make it happen."

MARSHALL, WILLIAMS QUESTIONABLE

Robert Warzycha will be without Brazilian centerback Gláuber for the rest of the 2013 season after an MRI on Friday morning confirmed the defender tore his left ACL in Thursday's Open Cup loss to the Fire. However, Saturday could see the return of defensive stalwarts Chad Marshall and Josh Williams.

Marshall has been sidlelined since straining his hamstring against the Colorado Rapids on May 11, while Williams has not seen action since the Crew's match against the New York Red Bulls on May 26 with a sore calf.

Both players are questionable for Saturday's match against the Impact after participating in training this week.