Vissel Kobe vs. Columbus Crew SC | 2019 MLS Preseason Match Preview
|2019 MLS Preseason presented by Advocare|
|Vissel Kobe vs. Columbus Crew SC|
|Championship Soccer Stadium at the OC Great Park - Irvine, Calif.|
|Monday, Jan. 28 — 10:00 PM ET|
|Buy tickets - No stream or TV available|
Coach Caleb Porter begins his first preseason in charge of Columbus Crew SC with a match against J-League side Vissel Kobe and a star-studded squad that includes former New York City FC striker David Villa
The Japanese side finished in 10th place out of 18 in the recently concluded J1 League season (12W-13L-9D). Villa is part of a trio of European stars that anchor the team, paired alongside former Spain and Barcelona teammate Iniesta and longtime German stalwart Lukas Podolski.
Columbus Crew SC
Everything is new for the Crew in 2019, from the ownership to the coach to the certainty over the club's future.
But fans who made the long trip to Southern California to escape the Ohio winter may have to wait a bit for visible signs of how Porter's approach will differ from that of Gregg Berhalter, who left Columbus to take the US national team post.
Goalkeeper Zack Steffen, midfielder Wil Trapp and striker Gyasi Zardes are all with Berhalter on international duty, a sizable chunk of a starting lineup to miss. It also seems unlikely that Porter would push either of his veteran attackers — Federico Higuain and Justin Meram — too hard early on in camp.