Match Preview: Columbus Crew vs. NYCFC
Picture Credits: Columbus Crew Twitter
Columbus starts a two game home-stand when they welcome NYCFC to Lower.com Field. NYCFC, currently in 6th place in the Eastern Conference, will look to bounce back after dropping their previous game to CF Montreal by a scoreline of 2-1. Columbus, meanwhile, will look to get back to winning ways and keep the form they had from there last game in the 2-2 draw at FC Cincinnati while down a man. The last time Columbus picked up all three points was the final game at Historic Crew Stadium back on June 19th.
How To Watch
Television: Bally Sports Ohio
Radio: 97.1 The Fan
Kick-Off: 7:30 p.m.
Projected XI And Injury Report
OUT: Derrick Etienne JR (International Duty), Gyasi Zardes (International Duty), Kevin Molino (International Duty), Liam Fraser (International Duty), Luis Diaz (International Duty), Artur (Hip), Morris (Knee), Valenzuela (Hamstring)
Questionable: Josh Williams (Ankle), Bradley Wright-Phillips, Eloy Room (COVID Protocols)
Projected Starting XI
Photo Credits: Devin Weisbarth via Lineup11
Picture Credits: PRO Referees Twitter (@PROreferees)
Three Keys To The Match
Can The Crew Carry Over The Momentum From Their Last Outing
After being down 2-0 and going down to 10 men, the Columbus Crew fought their way back and earned a draw in their last match against FC Cincinnati. That win was described as "character builder" by head coach Caleb Porter. If the Crew can carry the momentum they gained throughout the last 45 minutes of that game, albeit still massively short handed, the Crew should walk out of Lower.com Field with all three points.
Has The Crew Fixed Their Issue Of Giving Up The Early Goal
This has been a major issue for the Columbus Crew. The Crew have been notorious this season for giving up early goals, which was evident in their last match when Cincinnati scored just 25 seconds into the match. If the Crew can solidify the backline, and not give NYCFC many early opportunities, this is a game Columbus would walk out happy with, as that is the message that has been preached all week in training.
MVP Lucas Zelerayan
A lot of people may not agree with me, but Lucas Zelerayan is in the MVP discussion 13 weeks through the season. Zelerayan has carried this team thus far, and has not shown signs of slowing down. Lucas Zelerayn will be tasked with continuing the momentum with a whole squad of players out fort his match, and maybe the next couple matches as well.
The previous match between these two teams can be summed up with four words: The Lucas Zelerayan Show. Zelerayan single-handily beat NYCFC with two gorgeous free-kick goals. And he has carried that form throughout the season.
I have yet to make a correct prediction. Columbus will look to get their first win at Lower.com Field. But I think it will have to wait as I see this game finishing 1-1.