Playoff Preview: RSL at Columbus

Playoff Preview: RSL at Columbus

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On November 5, 2009
  • 8 Comments
  • 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs, Alejandro Moreno, Chad Marshall, Chris Wingert, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Jamsion Olave, Jason Kreis, Robbie Findley, Yura Movsisyan
Eric Brunner and Columbus try to slow down Robbie Findley and RSL tonight. (Getty Images)

Eric Brunner and Columbus try to slow down Yura Movsisyan and RSL tonight. (Getty Images)

Tonight the second leg of the first round playoff matches kickoff in Columbus as the Crew host Real Salt Lake. RSL holds a slight 1-0 lead in the goals department in this two-legged series thanks to the late goal from Robbie Findley last weekend.

Now is really where the fun begins for each side. Columbus went defensive in the first game by sitting Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Alejandro Moreno. Each should see plenty of time in this game as the Crew will be gunning for goals to take the advantage back. Most figure RSL will go defensive in this game and bunker down as much as possible.

To come away with a victory on the road won’t be easy as the Crew were one of the best home teams in the league this year while on the flip side RSL was one of the worst road teams. RSL’s lone game at Crew Stadium this year was a 3-1 loss back in July. Going defensive means they will have to rely more on the play of guys like Jamison Olave and Chris Wingert. I’d also imagine we’ll see a little more Clint Mathis in this game as well from Jason Kreis.

RSL has to continue to hope that the Crew stays cold. Its been a few games since the Crew have scored a goal and one has to figure that streak will end at home. The pressure is on the Crew to score but it is also on a very much on the RSL defense to do well in this one. During the regular season RSL gave up 24 goals on the road while the Crew scored a mean 25 goals at home.

I think having a rested Schelotto goes far for the Crew in this one. It was a big gamble sitting him in game one but he sees the field like no one else out there. RSL will rely a lot on the speed of Robbie Findley and Yura Movsisyan up top but with Chad Marshall a little more fit going into this game I just like the Crew at home. Its still very hard to pick RSL on the road anyways. Columbus escapes this series but only by a slim margin.

WVH Prediction: Columbus 2, RSL 0

  • Casey

    Cameron should have won it

  • Casey

    Cameron should have won it

  • fan

    "thanks to the late goal from Robbie Rogers last weekend" "RSL will rely a lot on the speed of Robbie Rogers and Yura Movsisyan up top" Oh dear… your preview loses a lot of credibility when you don't even know which player play on which team. RSL will tie this game 1-1, and go through.

  • fan

    "thanks to the late goal from Robbie Rogers last weekend" "RSL will rely a lot on the speed of Robbie Rogers and Yura Movsisyan up top" Oh dear… your preview loses a lot of credibility when you don't even know which player play on which team. RSL will tie this game 1-1, and go through.

  • wvhooligan

    brain fart on my part…thanks for pointing it out.

  • brain fart on my part…thanks for pointing it out.

  • fan

    Haha.. no problem. I actually shouldn't be too critical. There are too many Robbies in this one.. Findley, Rogers, Russell. Easy mistake. I think the talk in the media from RSL about playing defensively is a bluff. I think they're going to be "defensive" by trying to dominate the posession and relying a lot on their midfielders to control the flow of the game. They won't drop 10 guys behind the ball all game like Columbus did in Salt Lake. They've tried that and it doesn't work. I think they'll absorb everything the first 15 minutes, then look for a goal to really put the pressure on. I think they can score on this defense, especially if they aren't bunkering. Schelotto and co will need more than 2, maybe even more than 3 goals in this one if they have any hope of going through.

  • fan

    Haha.. no problem. I actually shouldn't be too critical. There are too many Robbies in this one.. Findley, Rogers, Russell. Easy mistake.

    I think the talk in the media from RSL about playing defensively is a bluff. I think they're going to be "defensive" by trying to dominate the posession and relying a lot on their midfielders to control the flow of the game. They won't drop 10 guys behind the ball all game like Columbus did in Salt Lake. They've tried that and it doesn't work. I think they'll absorb everything the first 15 minutes, then look for a goal to really put the pressure on. I think they can score on this defense, especially if they aren't bunkering. Schelotto and co will need more than 2, maybe even more than 3 goals in this one if they have any hope of going through.