vs. Columbus Crew
The Bee Girls have no chance.
1st meeting of the year.
Columbus (1-0-0) 2nd West
Burn (0-0-1) Tied 2nd West
Columbus: (4-4-2) The Crew unloaded the best MLS keeper Brad Friedel (sorry Walter and Mark) but picked up Juergen Sommer, so there’s little drop-off. The Crew has a veteran back line, but not particularly fast. They also spent the offseason trying to find a striking partner for McBride and picked up a couple: Stern John, and Andrew Williams. We like Jason Ferrel instead, look for him to start up front against vs the Burn. In midfield, they have Brian Maisonneuve, who is ready for his breakthrough year, and the always-tricky Robert Warzycha. Dougherty started in goal last week but we should see Sommer this weekend.
Burn: (4-5-1) The Burn lineup last week was as we expected except for Eck. Never underestimate Dir’s love for Eck’s work rate in midfield. As we suggested Dir went with Soehn in the back, look for the same this week. Against the Crew, Washington should be able to use his speed to get by the veteran D (read slow). If Alvarez can stop the flow through Maisonneuve the Crew will have little chance for success. It will also be important to match some height up against McBride on set plays as he is lethal in the air (Haynes or Eck). Alvarez and Sutter were a little out of phase with each other, hopefully, they click more against the Crew. The Burn 5-man midfield should be no trouble with the crew midfield. Don’t be surprised if Dooley pushes into midfield to try and stop Sutter.
3rd Degree’s Prediction: Burn 2 Crew 1…