How To Watch and Match Preview: Minnesota United vs. Columbus Crew - MLS - 03/02/2024

Expectations and Challenges in the First Away Encounter of the Season

Los Angeles FC v Minnesota United FC
Los Angeles FC v Minnesota United FC / Jeremy Olson/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Riding high on the thrilling victory against Atlanta United FC in their home opener, the Columbus Crew now faces a crucial test away from their turf, taking on Minnesota United FC. With the first away game of the season looming, expectations are high for the Ohio team as they square off against a determined squad keen on maintaining their initial momentum.

Upon analyzing the numbers and details of the imminent clash, it becomes evident that this won't be an easy task for the Columbus Crew. Despite their opening round triumph, finding themselves in third place in the Eastern Conference might seem somewhat disappointing to the most optimistic fans. It's essential to recognize that the season is just beginning, and standings can swiftly change as the games unfold.

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A crucial aspect to highlight is the remarkable consistency of Columbus Crew's captain, Darlington Nagbe. With his impressive streak of 102 consecutive regular-season appearances, Nagbe not only showcases his prowess as a player but also his dedication and commitment to the team. His presence on the field serves as a source of inspiration for his teammates and a driving force behind Columbus Crew's success.

The challenge facing Columbus Crew extends beyond their own ranks. Minnesota United FC is also sitting in third place in their conference, coming off a victory in the season's first week. Additionally, the recent coaching change at Minnesota United adds an extra layer of uncertainty to the showdown. While Eric Ramsay has been announced as the new head coach, his absence on the sidelines means the team will be under the guidance of interim coach Cam Knowles. This transition might offer an opportunity for Columbus Crew to capitalize on any momentary instability at Minnesota United.

Another factor to consider is the presence of Teemu Pukki at Minnesota United. With his reputation as a lethal striker, Pukki poses a significant threat to Columbus Crew. Despite his advanced age, his finishing ability and experience at the highest levels of European soccer make him a formidable opponent. Columbus Crew will need to be vigilant and focused to contain the threat posed by Pukki and ensure a solid defense.

For fans unable to attend Allianz Field in person, there are several options to watch the game. The MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app provides a convenient way to catch the live action, while radio broadcast is available through La Grande 102.5 FM, Alt 105.7 FM, and the iHeart Radio app.