The Columbus Crew take on the league-leading LA Galaxy on Saturday night at Crew Stadium (7:30), in front of what is expected to be a sold-out crowd. Columbus is still currently sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference with 41 points (11-10-8). Meanwhile, the Galaxy are seven points in front of everyone in the league. They are 16-3-10 (58 points) on the season, and favorites to win the Supporters’ Shield.
The Crew are coming off a 1-0 loss in Philadelphia last Saturday night, extending their winless streak to four games. Los Angeles continued their great regular season with a 3-0 win at home on Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps. They most recently played in Costa Rica on Wednesday night against LD Alajuelense in the CONCACAF Champions League, losing 1-0.
When Columbus and LA faced off at the Home Depot Center on July 20th, the Galaxy prevailed as 1-0 winners. Right back Sean Franklin scored the only goal in the 70th minute from a long-distance shot that deflected off Eric Gehrig and past goalie William Hesmer.
Crew forward Emilio Renteria could make his return against the Galaxy. He hasn’t played since picking up a concussion against Toronto on September 10th. Captain Chad Marshall is also slated to maybe make a return after missing the last match against Philly due to a hip flexor injury.
Spice Boy David Beckham will not be playing on Saturday night, instead returning to LA. The game would be Beckham’s third in eight days. Head coach Bruce Arena said it has been a policy to keep Beckham from playing three times in a week. Beckham played all 90 minutes against LD Alajuelense.
Ireland international and LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane could also be sidelined after picking up a right glute injury on Wednesday.
Former Crew captain and fan-favorite Frankie Hejduk may start for the Galaxy due to Sean Franklin’s knee injury.
Prediction: Crew 1-1 Galaxy
The Galaxy have another CONCACAF Champions League game next Wednesday, so the Crew might not see their strongest lineup they can put on the field. Meanwhile, Columbus needs to get a good result at home to stay near the top of the East. Behind great home crowd support, a tie should be the least the Crew get out of the game.
Columbus Crew- OUT: DF Ben Sippola; MF Tony Tchani; DOUBTFUL: DF Rich Balchan; MF Corey Veeder; QUESTIONABLE: MF Eddie Gaven; DF Chad Marshall; PROBABLE: FW Emilio Renteria; GK Andy Gruenebaum; MF Bernardo Anor
LA Galaxy- OUT: DF Sean Alvarado; DF Gregg Berhalter; DF Sean Franklin; DF Leonardo; QUESTIONABLE: MF David Beckham; FW Robbie Keane; GK Donovan Ricketts