MLS: COLUMBUS CREW-NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Goals have been a problem for Crew all season and only Philadelphia Union in the East have scored fewer, however, things are looking up in this department. They signed pacey Costa Rica striker Jairo Arrieta almost as soon as the transfer window opened and he has hit the ground running with three goals and two assists in seven outings, but it is the signing of new designated player Federico Higuain ( brother of Gonzalo), which has really got the supporters excited . He is the highest paid player in club history and Crew have shown great ambition in bringing him to the MLS, Higuain made his debut off the bench at Houston on Sunday and his first start in the midweek win over Toronto, making a huge impact with two assists and a goal across the two matches. This has got the locals salivating and dreaming of a post season spot. They need to make the top five, they are currently 7th, seven points off the pace with a game in hand . Crew can afford few slip ups and definite not one at home against a Revolution side who cannot wait for this annus horribilis to end.
New England are already out of playoff contention, have lost their last four and six of their last seven, collecting just a single point in that sequence. The team lacks cohesion and coach Jay Heaps has fallen out with some players, unloaded a much loved other one and appears to have lost the plot, he is a former Revolution player ( 250 starts) so that might buy him a little more time, but not much. Some of his recent decisions have been very hard to comprehend. Anyway, tough game for Revolution, who desperately need a home win and they have two of those coming up next week, I think we will see them more focused on those matches.
No real problems for Crew, midfielder Bernardo Anor ( 11 matches-one goal) is out , along with a couple of long term injuries, but Anor has not played for six weeks in any case.
For Revolution, ever present midfielder Lee Nguyen (24-4-1) is said to be doubtful, he played injured last week and had to leave the field after at the break, when clearly not fit ( one of those poor Heaps decisions). Alec Purdie (midfield 4 starts), Bobby Shuttleworth (keeper 3 starts) and Blair Gavin (left back 9 starts) are all out, but not big losses.