Columbus Crew vs Vancouver Whitecaps preview: Two teams fighting for their playoff lives
Columbus Crew vs Vancouver Whitecaps preview: Two teams fighting for their playoff lives

Columbus Crew SC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC are two teams fighting for a playoff spot. As they go head-to-head in an East - West matchup, both teams are itching for three points, to keep their name in the playoff race. The series between the Whitecaps and the Crew since Vancouver joined the league, sees Vancouver leading with a 3-1-1 record. The most recent result between these two teams came to be a 2-2 draw when the teams met at BC Place.

Kei Kamara battles with Russel Teibert for possession. | Photo: Christopher Morris - Getty Images
Kei Kamara battles with Russel Teibert for possession | Source: Christopher Morris - Getty Images

Last time out

Columbus were unable to squeeze out a point in their last match against the LA Galaxy, falling 2-1. An Adam Jahn goal from a blocked penalty kick by Brian Rowe gave Columbus the consolation goal. Looking to rebound and win out the rest of the season, Columbus now sit eight points out of the playoff picture. Gaining seven points out of their last five matches, the Crew are on the verge of not making the playoffs, after becoming MLS Cup runner-ups last season after losing to the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup Final.

The Crew is also welcoming the return of four players -- Tony Tchani, Justin Meram, Harrison Afful, and Rodrigo Saravia -- who were on international duty with their respective countries.

Vancouver Whitecaps were also unable to pull out a win last week as they fell to Bradley Wright-Phillips and the New York Red Bulls by a score of 1-0.

In order for Vancouver to win this match, they will need to break the defense down and attack at all costs. With Eric Hurtado being their go-to guy up top, all balls will be played to him. Hurtado will have to encounter the center back pairing of Michael Parkhurst, and Nicolai Naess, who has been an astounding center back since joining the Black and Gold.

Columbus need points. The Crew has been playing strong soccer, but lacking results. If the Crew want to win this match, they need to keep playing the passing game and get in behind the Whitecap defense.

Projected Lineups

Here are the projected lineups for both teams, starting with the Columbus Crew.

Clark;

Ashe--Naess--Parkhurst--Afful

Tchani--Saeid

Meram--Higuain--Finlay

The Crew are coached by head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter.

Here is the projected lineup for Vancouver.

Ousted;

Smith--Jacobson--Parker--Harvey

Laba--Tiebert

Aird--Morales--Techera

Hurtado

Vancouver is coached by Carl Robinson.

Prediction

With seven points out of five games for the Crew, and one point out of five games for the Whitecaps, Crew SC will be on the front foot in this match. With key guys back in the lineup, and the chemistry level back where it is, Crew SC will be the winners of this matchup, defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Columbus Crew 2, Vancouver Whitecaps 0

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