The Shield defense starts now. The Philadelphia Union will look to get three points when they open on the road against the current MLS Cup winner’s Columbus Crew. So it isn’t the easiest way to start a defense. Let also hope the boys in blue do better in the state of Ohio, then they did in 2020. In three trips to the Buckeye State, the U was only able to net 1 goal.
Right now the Crew have won the last three games against the Union. Over this span, Crew SC have outscored the Union 5-1. The Crew is also undefeated in its last 8 matches at home. The last time they were shut out at home was back in the 2019 season, when they lost 2-0 to Orlando City on June 29. What may also be a concern is on top of the core group returning, they acquired some key veterans in the offseason.
In December, goalkeeper Evan Bush was traded to the crew from Vancouver Whitecaps. Later that month they signed two time golden boot winner, Bradley Wright-Phillips. They also signed Kevin Molino, Perry Kitchen and Marlon Hairston. No wonder the team took the top spot in MLSSoccer.com Pre-season Power Rankings.
For the Union, they start in the fourth spot on those Power Rankings. The team hopes to build on the success that helped them last year, which is a mixture of veteran leadership and key performances from academy graduates. This season the Union added transfers Stuart Findlay and Leon Flach along homegrown players Paxten Aaronson, Brandan Craig, Nathan Harriel, Jack McGlynn and Quinn Sullivan.
Injuries have hit both sides with Cory Burke (groin), Ilsinho (calf) and Jack de Vries (concussion) all out. The Crew have seven players listed as out or questionable. Molino is out with a long-term injury, Aiden Morris is out for the season with an ACL injury, Marlon Hairston and Evan Bush are also injured, Darlington Nagbe is out and Derrick Etienne Jr. and Vito Wormgoor are all questionable.
How to Watch
Where: Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
When: 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 18th
TV: FS1, FOX Deportes
Radio: Fox Sports The Gambler 1480 AM and 105.3 HD2
Audio Streaming: IHeart Radio App, Fox Sports The Gambler