The Columbus Crew returned to winning ways on Wednesday night when the Black & Gold beat the Colorado Rapids, 3-1, at Lower.com Field. Now, they’re looking to do the same against Charlotte FC on Saturday night in a second home game in four days.
Three Things to Know
9+10 – LuCucho, Pt. II. Wednesday night’s win was a reminder of how dangerous the Lucas Zelarayán-Cucho Hernández pairing can be for opposing backlines. First, Zelarayán scored just before halftime with a powerful hit to the back post. In the second half, his cross on a corner set up Sean Zawadzki for a second Crew goal, while Zelarayán and Cucho teamed up for the game-winning goal in the 72nd minute. “We have a very close relationship, and he was one of the first to welcome me to the club but it shows on the field,” Cucho said after the match. “We are very close outside, the chemistry between one another, hopefully we’ll continue that and continue to win moving forward.” If they can, talk about a lethal attack … Zelarayán already has seven goals and five assists, while Cucho has two goals and six assists.
0 – Sure, head coach Wilfried Nancy has made it clear he doesn’t like talking about the players who aren’t available, because that leads to excuses. But let’s be clear here: The Crew finished Wednesday night’s win with no natural center backs on the pitch and looked fairly comfortable doing so. After Zawadzki came on at halftime, the back three consisted of the midfielder, Malte Amundsen and Steven Moreira. The latter has played center back throughout the season, but it’s still not his natural position. The point here is the club relied on veterans helping the team and young players stepped up. That’s encouraging at any point, but especially so when veteran center backs, who are generally leaders, miss matches with injuries.
7 – Just like Columbus, Charlotte FC also played Wednesday night in a 1-0 loss at the Philadelphia Union. The loss, in addition to the Columbus win, actually allowed the Crew to leapfrog its upcoming opponent in the Eastern Conference standings. But Charlotte is off to a respectable start to the season, as the side has 21 points through 16 games — good enough for seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. Both Enzo Copetti and Karol Swiderski have four goals to lead their side, and it’ll be interesting to see if the Crew can keep both forwards relatively quiet. Swiderski has a goal in his last five games. Copetti has two, but both came nearly a month ago on May 6.
When They Last Met
These two clubs shared the field together back on Apr. 22, when the Crew lost, 1-0, to Charlotte FC at Bank of America Stadium. The last meeting at Lower.com Field was June 18, 2022 and ended in a 1-1 draw, as Erik Hurtado was the goal scorer. Columbus is seeking its first win against Charlotte since the team joined MLS last year.
Who: Columbus Crew hosts Charlotte FC
When: Saturday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Lower.com Field
Tickets: Join The Crew
How to Watch: MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app
How to Listen: 97.1 HD3/The Fan Stream, La Mega 103.1 FM
Current Standings: Columbus Crew – Sixth in Eastern Conference; Charlotte FC – Seventh in Eastern Conference
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