Columbus Crew challenge Nashville SC at breakneck pace

Columbus Crew, on the other hand, are showing no signs of fatigue. They've won six of their last seven games
Nashville SC v Columbus Crew SC
Nashville SC v Columbus Crew SC / Emilee Chinn/GettyImages

When it comes to a team that simply refuses to let its foot off the gas, the Columbus Crew are the perfect example in the 2024 MLS season. If anyone had any doubts about the reigning champions' ability to repeat the feat, the recent run of games has rubbed an undeniable truth in everyone's face: the Crew are stronger than ever, even after the departure of Aidan Morris.

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You know that story "when one giant falls, another rises"? Well, the departure of midfielder Aidan Morris could have been a mortal blow for many teams, but not for the Crew. They turned this potential crisis into a golden opportunity for other talents to shine. And who else stood out in this scenario? Cucho Hernández, the Colombian striker who decided to set the MLS on fire. With goals in four consecutive games, the top scorer has already racked up 10 goals and 4 assists this season, making opposing defenses lose sleep.

But the Crew's magic doesn't stop there. Diego Rossi and Rudy Camacho, two other 2024 MLS All-Stars, have been key to Columbus' dominance. The team now sits comfortably in the top four of the Eastern Conference, an impressive feat considering the uneven start due to participation in the Concacaf Champions Cup.

Now let's talk about a challenge that already has a date: Nashville SC, who are looking to bounce back after a bitter defeat to Inter Miami CF. The stage? The imposing Field, home of the Crew. Nashville's MVP, Hany Mukhtar, is the name to watch. The 29-year-old is in his fourth consecutive season with double-digit goals and assists, and is the main offensive weapon for the team led by Rumba Munthali, the interim coach who is trying to keep his playoff dream alive.

While Nashville SC are struggling to stay competitive, the gap between them and the conference leaders seems to be widening. Columbus Crew, on the other hand, are showing no signs of fatigue. They've won six of their last seven games, a run that was only interrupted by a 2-1 defeat to league leaders Inter Miami. But like true champions, the Crew returned to winning ways in style, crushing Sporting KC 4-0 at home and humiliating the New England Revolution with a 5-1 away win.

This avalanche of goals - 21 in the last seven matches - is a direct reflection of Columbus' firepower. In the previous 11 matches, the team had scored just 13 goals, which shows an impressive transformation. It's an attacking renaissance that leaves opponents breathless.

Nashville SC, meanwhile, have shown a certain inconsistency throughout the season. After a 2-1 win over Toronto FC and a slender 1-0 victory over New York City, it looked like the team had finally found its rhythm. However, the 2-1 defeat to Inter Miami on the last matchday was a blow to their hopes. Still, the team remains optimistic, believing they can turn things around and reach the playoffs.

In the Eastern Conference standings, the Columbus Crew are in fourth place with 33 points from 18 matches. With only three defeats this season and three games in hand on leaders Inter Miami, the 11-point gap doesn't seem insurmountable for a team in such good form. Nashville SC, meanwhile, are fighting to secure their place in the playoffs, currently in seventh place with 26 points from 20 games. Coach Rumba Munthali will have to work hard to keep his team focused and consistent in the coming rounds.