Orlando City SC looks to keep their postseason hopes alive when they host Columbus Crew SC in a crucial Eastern Conference battle. Orlando currently sits in eighth place in the East with an 8-10-6 record and 30 points. Columbus, on the other hand, are in fifth place with an 11-12-2 record and 35 points.
Columbus Crew SC vs Orlando City SC Match Preview
Orlando is coming into this match after being defeated on the road by the New York Red Bulls 3-1. It didn’t get much better when captain Kaka was sent off late in stoppage time for hands to the face on defender Aurelien Collin.
Orlando is in a pickle as the home stretch to the MLS Cup Playoffs come into view. Sitting at an 8-10-6 record with 30 points, the Lions are on the decline. This match could make or break them on making the post-season for the first time in club history.
In order for Orlando to lose, they will need to stop midfielder Justin Meram and forward Ola Kamara who is starting to heat up for Columbus.
Pedro Santos available for Columbus
On the other hand, Columbus made a statement win last week as they defeated rivals Chicago Fire by a score of 3-1. Goals by Kekuta Manneh, Meram, and Kamara sealed the win for Crew SC as they too look to continue their playoff push.
Since the match, nonvisible injuries have appeared to haunt the team. Manneh was seen in a boot, and in return is listed as questionable. However, if Manneh were to not play, they do have new designated player Pedro Santos available, as he has been given his visa.
Projected Lineups: Orlando City SC vs Columbus Crew SC
Adjusting the lineup for Orlando since Kaka is suspended shouldn’t be hard. But who can replace the maestro for the Lions? He’s one of a kind. Under head coach Jason Kries, Orlando will most likely stay in their 4-4-2 formation.
For Columbus, on the other hand, the 3-4-2-1 has been on and off, but it worked out well last weekend. Head Coach and Sporting Director Gregg Berhalter has a vision for his team, and this is it. But, will Santos get the start? Being realistic — though he is available, as stated before — Santos most likely won’t make the 18.
Columbus on the rise, Lions on the decline. This match is up for grabs for both teams, but Columbus will have the upper hand.
Columbus Crew SC 2-1 Orlando City SC