May the Force be with Crew. Anyone up for a trip to the edge of the galaxy? On Saturday night, the Columbus Crew host Atlanta United FC in the Battle at the Death Star aka Lower.com Field in a galaxy far, far away.
The schedule makers have given supporters a big-time game early in the season, as the Crew welcomes the Eastern Conference leaders to town.
There’s a lot happening, so make sure you arrive early and are dressed for the occasion – either in Black & Gold or as a STAR WARS™-inspired character for an evening.
6 – After playing three road games in the first month of the season, get ready for a Crew home stand for the next two months. Beginning with the Atlanta match, Columbus will play six-of-its-next-eight matches at Lower.com Field. The friendly confines offer a chance to build momentum early in the season to carry into the summer and could be critical to head coach Wilfried Nancy and his players as they continue shaping their playing style and identity.
1 – Saturday provides the Crew an opportunity to give the Eastern Conference leaders their first loss of the season. Atlanta has 10 points from its first four regular-season matches and enters the game after dismantling the Portland Timbers, 5-1, last weekend. The Five Stripes have outscored opponents 11-3 during the first month of play, but the team’s leading scorer, Thiago Almada, will be unavailable on international duty. Caleb Wiley is the team’s second-leading scorer with three goals from four matches.
10 – Both teams will be shorthanded – especially Atlanta – because this match will be played during the FIFA international break around the world. Lucas Zelarayan (Armenia), Milos Degenek (Australia) and Eloy Room (Curacao) will all be unavailable for Nancy’s selection against the Five Stripes, while the visitors have seven players away on international duty. The Atlanta absentees are headlined by 2022 MLS Newcomer of the Year Almada (Argentina), while Derrick Etienne Jr. (Haiti), Miles Robinson (USMNT), Giorgos Giakoumakis (Greece), Ronald Hernandez (Venezuela), Luis Abram (Peru) and Machop Chol (South Sudan) will also be away. Nancy and Will Sands are confident that the Crew players will step up and take their chance in the absence of the three Black & Gold players.
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