Midweek matches aren’t just reserved for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – MLS plays on weeknights, too. Following Saturday night’s draw against Orlando City SC, the Columbus Crew returns to Lower.com Field on Wednesday night to host Western Conference foe LA Galaxy.
Three Things to Know
513 vs. 614 - If you’re already looking ahead to Saturday’s derby, save that chatter for Thursday. Crew head coach Wilfried Nancy said, yes, the club is aware that its next two matches after LA are the Hell is Real Derby and a big Open Cup game, but the Black & Gold are treating the Galaxy matchup as the most important game to date. “The idea is to put the best team against LA, so again when I’m saying the best team, it’s all about freshness,” Nancy said. “I can stay with the same team, I can change five players, six players, four players, I don’t know. But the idea is to step back, analyze the opposition, and figure it out what is the best profile regarding the opposition.” Speaking of profiling the opposition, assistant coach Yoann Damet was an assistant for the Galaxy last year. When asked if that could help the Crew approaching Wednesday, Nancy smiled.
1 – Jacen Russell-Rowe said he’s entering new territory as a professional player. Yes, he is on the field — on Saturday night, he scored his second-ever MLS goal. But the new waters are in relation to the club balancing a congested scheduled because of MLS and U.S. Open Cup schedules overlapping. “Honestly, this is my first time doing this, so it's new to me,” the forward said. “But it's definitely tough to move on after, whether we win, like our win against (Loudoun United) on Wednesday, and now we’re out here and we have a tie that feels like a loss, and we have to be ready to go against LA on Wednesday. So, it’s definitely tough but we can do it, it’s our job, it’s what we do.” While the Crew has played midweek games this season, this Wednesday is the first time the club’s faced an MLS opponent. The other matches were against USL Championship teams, as will be the case next week against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Highmark Stadium in the Open Cup.
13 - Nancy made it clear the Crew isn’t underestimating the LA Galaxy. Yes, the club has struggled this season — it’s one spot removed from the bottom of the Western Conference — but the visitors enter Columbus with momentum. Last Wednesday, LA beat Seattle Sounders FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup. On Sunday night, the Galaxy won the California Clásico, 2-1, against the San Jose Earthquakes. That said, it’s worth noting this is the first time the Galaxy have played an Eastern Conference club this season and enter the match with one less day to recover from its weekend match.
When They Last Met
If it feels like it’s been a minute since the Crew played the Galaxy, that’s accurate. These teams haven’t met since the other side of the pandemic – May 8, 2019 at Historic Crew Stadium. The Crew won, 3-1, that night, as Héctor Jiménez, Federico Higuaín and Gyasi Zardes powered Columbus past the visitors.
Who: Columbus Crew hosts LA Galaxy
When: Wednesday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Lower.com Field
Tickets: Come Cheer For The Black & Gold
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 – Eighth in Eastern Conference; LA Galaxy – 13th in Western Conference
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