Fire, Crew try to build on impressive wins
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - The Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire will square off at Crew Stadium on Saturday after producing impressive midweek wins.
Chicago fell behind at home on Wednesday but came back to earn a 2-1 win over FC Dallas thanks to goals from Sebastian Grazzini and Marco Pappa.
The Fire have won three games this season after allowing the first goal of the contest.
"The positive thing is that we never gave up. The trend in this league is that the team that gives up the first goal normally does not win," said Fire coach Frank Klopas. "I'm proud of the guys because they believe in themselves."
The only worrying note of the club's win over Dallas was Dominic Oduro coming off at the hour mark after picking up a slight hamstring strain.
"It was just a little tweak," Oduro said. "We're just putting a little bit of ice on it and taking it easy. It was just tight a little bit, nothing crazy. We're just trying to go easy with it."
Chicago's weakness on the defensive side of the ball this year has been defending set pieces. The club has allowed four goals from set plays, three of which came on corner kicks.
If Columbus is able to make the most of its set pieces, it could be well on its way to extending its unbeaten run to five games.
The Crew most recently earned a fantastic road result, picking up three points with a 2-0 defeat of Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday. Columbus has conceded just two goals in its last four league games.
"We're not conceding too many goals. We're weathering storms, it's a tough road trip on the west coast," said goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum. "Typically it's been more tough for us. I think we weathered the storm, made a goal ourselves and they had to come out of their shell and we countered and got a second one."
Offensively, the Crew are riding the superb form of Justin Meram. He has scored a goal in each of his last three games - the first three goals of his professional career.
If Meram can conjure another pivotal goal and Gruenebaum anchors another solid defensive display, the Crew could grab a win to see them go level with the Fire on 18 points.
05/25 16:28:41 ET