MLS: Columbus Crew SC Lose To LA Galaxy — Prepare For Vancouver Whitecaps FC

With just eight games remaining in the 2016 Major League Soccer regular season, the Columbus Crew SC (26 points) lost to the LA Galaxy (43 points) and are stuck in last place in the Eastern Conference. Currently in sixth place, D.C. United (32 points) have played one more game than Columbus and only have a six-point lead in the standings. While catching even the fifth place Montreal Impact (37 points) may be too much for the Crew SC to hope for at this point, back-to-back wins would put Columbus right back in the MLS Playoffs race.

In 2015, the Crew SC finished the regular season in second place in their conference. After they advanced to the MLS Cup, they allowed the Portland Timbers to score two goals in the first seven minutes. Unable to catch up, they lost the Cup 2-1. As disappointing as that loss was, it would pale in compassion to how disappointing it would be to follow up such a solid 2015 by not only failing to reach the MLS Playoffs but possibly finishing dead last in their Conference. If they hope to turn things around and make a run as the regular season comes to an end, they will need to start with a win over the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday.

LA Galaxy 2 — Columbus Crew SC 1

The Crew SC’s loss to the Galaxy was not all that different than their loss to the Timbers in the MLS Cup. While the teams remained scoreless at halftime, LA drew first blood in the second half. Just four minutes later, they did it again, taking a 2-0 lead. Columbus came back near the end to make it 2-1, but Adam Jahn’s stoppage-time goal was too little, too late.

Columbus were missing some key players on Saturday, however. Midfielder Wil Trapp was on the MLS Injury Report for a head injury and did not play. Federico Higuain was also listed for abdominal pain but did serve as a substitute. Higuain has not consistently started for Columbus since returning from injury in late July.

Wil Trapp playing for the 2016 MLS All-Stars. [Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]

Additionally, Justin Meram, Harrison Afful, Tony Tchani, and Rodrigo Saravia were absent from Friday’s game. As noted by Massive Report, the four players were called up for international duty. Afful helped Ghana defeat Rwanda 1-0 in a 2017 Africa Cup qualification. Tchani is playing for Cameroon, also in a 2017 Africa Cup qualification match. Meram is playing for Iraq in the Asian Football Confederation, trying to earn a spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Saravia is playing for Guatemala, as they also work towards a 2018 FIFA World Cup spot.

Columbus Crew SC Upcoming Schedule

As Columbus returns home from Los Angeles, it would be an ideal time for the Crew SC to get hot. The Vancouver Whitecaps FC are currently ninth in the Western Conference and will be coming off of a tough loss to the New York Red Bulls. They leave home the following week to play the Orlando City SC, who are currently five points ahead of Columbus in the Eastern Conference in seventh place. The week after that, the Crew SC play the New England Revolution, who are currently just four points ahead of Columbus in the Eastern Conference in eighth place.

All three of those games are very winnable against teams who have all lost more games than they have won and currently don’t qualify for the MLS Playoffs. After traveling to New England, they’ll travel to Washington, D.C., to played United. The following two weeks, they play the Chicago Fire, who are currently in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 26 points — two more very winnable games. Columbus will need to take advantage of the seemingly weak portion of their schedule, as the final two games of their regular season will be spent in New York in games against the first-place New York City FC and the second place New York Red Bulls.


Where to Watch

The Columbus Crew SC will travel to play the LA Galaxy for their 27th game of the season on Saturday, September 10. The game will be televised regionally on the CW Columbus and TWC SportsChannel and is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. EST.

[Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images]

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