Orlando City are the last team in the Eastern Conference that currently makes the playoffs.
Their 34 points is one better than DC United and New England's 33.
The Columbus Crew, who has been in must win mode for weeks or months, must win this week at 26 points. Gaining three points against the last playoff team is definitely a bit crucial now.
But as Crucial For Opponent
Jason Kreis will get things right in Orlando, like he wasn't able to, or got the chance to in New York.
Kreis is not overlooking Columbus and as long as his team is focused should win at home this week, which will give him a chance to get some things right this year.
"We know Columbus is a quality team. The difficult thing that you run into with matches like these is sometimes people may walk into a match like this and say, ‘Oh Columbus is at the bottom of the table,’ and look at the number of points that Columbus has instead of the quality that Columbus has,”
"Columbus is a very good team. It’s a team that we know was in the MLS Cup Final last year."
Great. Sometimes I need reminding.
If Kreis wants to downplay an opponent one week, I would say your safe bet can be Columbus. But, he isn't.
Yet, still lucky for him Columbus is next in his headlights.
Like having Bambi in your headlights currently, as Columbus lost at home to Vancouver last week 3-1. A Vancouver team who scored once in their prior seven Major League Soccer games before that matchup.
So, I have a tough time seeing a drastic differing output this Saturday. But, is MLS.
Play Two Center Backs Please
Crew Manager Gregg Berhalter made the decision (or no decision) that he must play Parkhurst at all times, must find a place on the field for new signing Nicolai Naess, and has to start Gaston Sauro who is back from injury.
But, that's three players in two positions.
So, Berhalter has played Naess out of position at defensive midfield the last two weeks, which hasn't been very impressive.
I don't expect it to be.
Naess has been promising at center back and all three are good. But, you have to just pick two, the two that have had the best week. Simple.
Berhalter's failure to be able to make a simple decision on this could perhaps summarize 2016. Naess is good both progressively and defensively at CB, not so much at DM, and that would go for all three.
Which is fine since all three are center backs.
Injuries and such
Antonio Nocerino is unlikely to be in this game for Orlando City with a slight hamstring strain.
Nooooooooooooo! Ne dubito proprio!
I think Justin Meram is rationally onto something here.
Every time Columbus scores first, it's like why celebrate, you know what's going to happen. Other team is going to get back into it.
Some stylistic changes throughout a game is okay. I rather win, than play pretty for 90 minutes.
On top of that, let's be more appealing in decisions when there's injuries. When a defensive midfielder is injured don't put a center back there. When an attacking midfielder is injured don't put a defensive midfielder or a right back there (Jimenez) earlier in the year.
Instead, play the topic starter at attacking midfield. Or in that second category, since we have six defensive midfielders. Play ONE at DEFENSIVE MIDFIELD.
I would even find it more appealing currently to play Saravia at defensive midfield compared to Naess for Wil Trapp; as despite being a rookie Saravia is pretty much a stalwart already for the Guatemalan national team. Give him a go because season is over.
Yet, only place Saravia has seen the field this Summer is out of position at center back. Some advice on this. Look at the US national team.. It gets easier when you play players in position.
And Meram better watch with opinions, might have an Atlanta address next year. Kidding. Although wouldn't be bad for him.
Columbus at this point probably stifles his play, not the other way around.
Prediction: Orlando City 3 (Rivas 31st, Molino 57th, Kaka 78th) Columbus Crew 0