Orlando City-Crew Preview
With one victory over their last 11 MLS matches, the Columbus Crew are not necessarily putting fear into any opponent.
They'll look for that to change while trying to avoid going winless in six straight matches Saturday night against visiting Orlando City.
Mired in a 1-9-1 stretch, Columbus (5-10-2) is looking for anything positive as it tries to keep the season from spiraling out of control. The Crew did mange a 2-2 draw versus New York City FC right before the recent break from league play, but came out of that hiatus a 1-0 home loser to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
It marked the third time in five MLS matches that Columbus has failed to score a goal. It's also another missed opportunity for the Crew to be taken seriously within the ranks of the league.
"We cannot be wasting any more points," midfielder Arthur told the Crew's official website. "Especially at home.
"We need to make (our opponents) fear us and be more confident and aggressive."
As Columbus aims avoid its first six-game winless streak since 2016, it reportedly will be without midfielders David Accam (hamstring) and defender Harrison Afful (red card suspension) for this contest. The good news for the Crew is that they are 3-0-1 all-time at home versus Orlando City (5-8-3).
While Columbus has that positive history at home in this series and Orlando is coming off a 1-0 loss at D.C. United from Wednesday, City is one point ahead of Saturday's hosts in the Eastern Conference table.
However, Orlando was somewhat embarrassed by how it allowed that lone goal against United. Legendary striker Wayne Rooney chipped a long-range ball of roughly 70 yards from just beyond midfield that sailed over the head of City keeper Brian Rowe - who had come way out of his box - and into the net some 10 minutes into the contest.
It was the fifth loss in the last seven MLS contests for Orlando, which has split the first two of a three-game league road stretch.
"Obviously, very disappointed not to get anything," coach James O'Conner told Orlando's official website. "I think when you look at it, it's one of (D.C. United's) moments of brilliance from a world-class player.
"I thought we managed the game really well … Once we have chances and shots, we need to have a little bit more quality, a little bit more concentration to be a little more clinical."
Orlando star Nani has a team-leading eight goals, but just one in the last three games.
Updated June 28, 2019