Crew eye fifth straight road win, face undermanned Inter Miami

League: MLS

Posted on: 18 Jun, 2024 at 07:02 PM

Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Crew's four-match winning streak has been accomplished on the road, but earning a fifth straight will be no easy task when they play at short-handed but resilient Inter Miami on Wednesday.

Miami (11-3-5, 38 points) is coming off a 2-1 win at Philadelphia on Saturday despite the absence of Lionel Messi (Argentina), Luis Suarez (Uruguay) and Matias Rojas (Paraguay), who are away for the Copa America tournament which starts Thursday.

The Herons then lost David Ruiz to a second yellow card in the 68th minute and Tomas Aviles to a red card in the 84th vs. the Union but pulled off a miracle win when Leo Afonso broke the tie in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

If that doesn't give the Supporters' Shield leaders confidence heading into the matchup against the reigning MLS Cup champions, nothing will, even though they will be without those five players.

"Had it been a defeat, they would be more criticized, their self-criticism would have been much greater," Miami coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino said. "In this case, since there was a win, we can be a little bit more calm."

The Crew (7-2-6, 27 points) have faced adversity as well. Their 3-2 win at New York City FC on Friday was their first MLS match since May 25. The Crew lost 3-0 at CF Pachuca on June 1 in the final of the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

Because of that, the Crew had two league home matches rescheduled, setting up the current five-match trip. They were expected to struggle but instead have scored 11 goals in the first four matches to run their season away mark to 4-1-3, the best eight-match start in team history. They won a total of four regular season road matches in 2023.

"It's a massive run and just shows how good we are mentally," Crew defender Mo Farsi said.

While the match is important for the Crew to close the gap with Miami, Columbus has played four fewer matches.

If Crew midfielder Darlington Nagbe plays, he will become the 10th player in MLS history to make 400 regular season appearances.

He has played 129 matches for the Crew since 2020 when the Crew won the MLS Cup.

--Field Level Media