The Union will battle Columbus Crew SC for their first of two meetings in the 2017 MLS season on Saturday at Mapfre Stadium. Kick-off for the match is at 7:30 p.m. ET and can be watched on The Comcast Network.
Team: Columbus Crew SC
Venue: Mapfre Stadium
Kick-off: 7:30 p.m. ET (TCN)
2017 Record: 9-10-1, 6-3-1 at home, 7th in Eastern Conference
All-time Record vs. Columbus Crew SC: 17-10-1
Last Meeting: 2-1 win at Mapre Stadium, August 24, 2016
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Zack Steffen – Harrison Afful, Josh Williams, Jonathan Mensah, Jukka Raitala – Artur, Wil Trapp – Ethan Finlay, Federico Higuain, Justin Meram – Ola Kamara
Player to Watch: Justin Meram
In their last two wins at home, Columbus has had two shutouts with the help of midfielder Justin Meram. Meram has had 24 regular MLS assists since the start of his 2015 season and is currently tied with the fifth most of any player in the league during that time frame. This season alone, Meram has scored 8 goals and 6 assists in his 1554 minutes of playing time. Meram also scored a hat trick in May against Montreal Impact for the team's stoppage-time winner, and became the seventh player for Crew SC to score a hat trick. He continues to be a focal point of the Crew SC attack, and will be a player the Union will have to limit in order to get the win.