Can a battered Nashville SC pull the upset in Columbus?
Coming off of its biggest win of the inaugural season and traveling to face its toughest opponent on Saturday night, Nashville SC is battered and bruised. Badly.
The Boys in Gold have had the luxury of their second consecutive full week in training, but that has not stopped a bout of the injury bug from spread through the first-team.
Looking to make it four matches in a row with a point, manager Gary Smith's side will travel to face Eastern Conference leader Columbus Crew Saturday night, but they will be without a few key contributors on the offensive end.
It's incredibly troublesome to see that three of Nashville's goalscorers will not make the trip, especially when one of them is Randall Leal. Leal missed the 4-2 win over Atlanta last weekend and it was Abu Danladi who started in his stead.
Now, the depth on the bench is lacking even further. It's no mystery that Nashville has struggled late in games to bring on players who will create a spark. David Accam scored as a substitute against FC Dallas, but otherwise, all of Nashville's goals have come from the starting lineup.
Jimmy Medranda and Ken Tribbett have been sidelined with injury problems for nearly the entire season, but man does it hurt to lose three forwards who have scored and happen to play on the win as well.
It's going to be interesting to see who replaces Leal and now Danladi on the right wing. Could we see Alan Winn starting? Or a formation change?
It is impossible to tell what coach Smith do with his starters, but Nashville will need to stay compact at the back and make sure they don't let Columbus Crew striker Gyasi Zardes get a good look on goal.
The American international has eight goals and two assists in 11 appearances already this campaign and has been unstoppable.