Union-Crew: Lineups and pre-game thoughts
- It’s no surprise that Kleberson is unavailable due to a hamstring strain. He’s replaced in the middle by Keon Daniel, who’ll pair with Brian Carroll.
- Without Kleberson in the lineup, Union manager John Hackworth is back to his flirtation with a 4-3-3-type formation, although it’s likely he’ll use Sebastien Le Toux in the midfield, likely wide right. The position, which the Frenchman has said over and over again that is not his preference, will mean the formation is mostly a 4-4-2. There will be a fair amount of interchange between the two wingers, but the matchup that is likely preferred is Danny Cruz running down the left to attack Chad Barson rather than the stalwart Tyson Wahl. I’d even expect to see some of Jack McInerney tracking into the midfield into that space behind the two forwards, with Le Toux generally more adept at running the forward line than creating from the midfield.
- Columbus’ attack will be all about how they cope with departures. Eddie Gaven is out for the year with a knee injury while Jairo Arrieta is on international duty. Justin Meram has deputized well on the wing, and Ben Speas has also played well in that role. They’ll be vital to opening space between dual forwards Dominic Oduro and Federico Higuain, who should interchange a lot into midfield.