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Inside the Opposition: Pipa and the struggling Columbus Crew

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The Crew makes their way to Québec this weekend, as they play the Impact in what will surely turn out to be Blerim Džemaili’s MLS debut for the Impact.

MLS: Toronto FC at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Crew makes their way to Québec this weekend, as they play the Impact in what will surely turn out to be Blerim Džemaili’s MLS debut for the Impact.

Having lost at home midweek to surging Toronto FC, Greg Berhalter’s men are now with four losses in their last six matches. They are in a playoff position, however, but need to find consistency just as their next opponent does as well.

MLS: Toronto FC at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Norwegian-born striker Ola Kamara has done his bit in becoming the next big « Kamara » since the departure of (Kei) Kamara (who was traded last season due to a teammate scuffle that occurred during a game against the Impact, but we all remember that). The 27-year-old has six goals in eleven appearances this season and has notched an assist as well. His big frame can cause problems for the Impact, who were unable to contain Kei Kamara by any stretch of the imagination, we’ll see if this Kamara can do the same type of damage against an Impact side that just merited their first clean sheet of the 2017 season.

Federico Higuain, Gonzalo’s brother, has been with the Crew since 2012. The 32-year-old Argentine playmaker has four goals in ten regular season matches so far this season. He and Kamara have linked up for many vital goals this season and will hope to get that chemistry going again after missing out on points at Mapfre Stadium against an Eastern Conference rival.

MLS: New York City FC at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Crew has conceded only fifteen goals in eleven matches, this is in large part due to the anchor in front of the defense, Wil Trapp. The 24-year-old American is in his first year of captaining the Crew, he’s the lone man playing in a role where he covers the ground and frustrates attacking players on the opposition. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him marking the likes of Piatti or Tabla, as those two were allowed way too much space in the middle of the field last week in D.C.

The last piece of the puzzle for the black and yellow is Iraq International Justin Meram. The left midfielder has been a mainstay for the Crew since he was drafted by them back in 2011. He has been clinical so far this season, with four goals and three assists in eleven matches. With Montréal having a system where the fullbacks venture up, he’ll surely have an opportunity or two to break free on that preferred side of his.

The Crew have the pieces to get goals on the road, as well as not conceding them, however they’ll face an Impact side that just came off a road win, have fresher legs, and a promise of reenergizement thanks to the acquisition of Blerim Džemaili, who will either start in the eleven or in the eighteen.