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Massive Predictions: New York Red Bulls at Crew SC

The Black & Gold are back at it, welcoming the Red Bulls to town. How do we think this game will play out?

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

After a quick trip into, and then out of, the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night, Columbus Crew SC returns to Major League Soccer play on Saturday, welcoming the New York Red Bulls to MAPFRE Stadium.

The New York side, which also competed in the Open Cup on Wednesday, comes to Columbus in search of three points. After going win then loss for the first six weeks of the season, the Red Bulls won four matches in a row to climb back up the MLS standings. New York hasn’t won in two games (a draw and a loss) and currently sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, four points back of the Black & Gold with three games in hand.

This is an important contest for both sides as Crew SC wants to put as much space as possible between the teams below it before they start catching up on games played. Meanwhile the Red Bulls could continue to the climb up the East while maintaining those games in hand. Neither team will be at full strength in this one due to international call-ups.

What does our staff think of this nationally televised games? Let’s take a look at their predictions.

Guilherme Torres

After a painless elimination in the U.S. Open Cup, the Crew turns its focus to MLS again as the team faces a very important match against the Red Bulls. The New Yorkers are four points behind the Black & Gold in the Eastern Conference standings, but they have three games in hand, so Columbus would do itself a big favor by winning the match.

Both teams are hot right now with the Crew undefeated in its last eight matches while the Red Bulls lost just once in their last seven and celebrated 4-0 victories over rivals New York City FC twice over the period.

Both teams will miss players to international duty — Zack Steffen and Wil Trapp for Columbus, Tim Parker, Tyler Adams, Kaku, Michael Murillo and Fidel Escobar for the Red Bulls — but they have capable replacements on their rosters. It will be a very tough match with two of the most organized teams in the league and, once again, details will be the difference.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New York Red Bulls 1

Collin Johnson

Against the press-happy Jesse Marsch-led side, the Black & Gold will have to avoid turnovers in dangerous positions, but if they do so, they should be able to catch New York on the counter. The first half of the recent tussle between Atlanta United and NYRB provide an excellent blueprint on how to beat and get beat by the Red Bulls. If Gregg Berhalter can work his magic again, potentially eschewing the play-it-from-the-back ethos of his system and sticking more toward the long balls that worked against the New England Revolution, Crew SC should be able to extend their unbeaten streak.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New York Red Bulls 1

Patrick Murphy

Games between Crew SC and the Red Bulls come down to one thing, which style wins out on the day. Columbus likes to possess the ball to create chances while New York prefers to press and cause mistakes to generate their opportunities. The Black & Gold must be careful playing out of the back in this one, but we’ve seen Gregg Berhalter’s willingness to change his tactics against teams like this.

My only other concern for Crew SC goes back to last weekend. This was the start of the true tests for Columbus and it took a three-goal comeback at home just to get a tie. Was that just overconfidence by the Black & Gold or did we see cracks in the armor? This game will help tell us, but that doesn’t help with the prediction. I’ll stay optimistic, but once again, I don’t feel great about it.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New York Red Bulls 1

Ralph Schudel

My prediction for the Open Cup was (almost) correct, can I get one right this week? Jesse Marsch vs. Gregg Berhalter, both of these coaches are regarded as tactical masterminds in U.S. Soccer and could be headed to the national team someday. Despite losing stars in consecutive years, Marsch continues to find a way to win. I think Marsch devises a game plan this week that gets the best out of Bradley Wright-Phillips. The striker has scored three goals in three games and looks poised for more. It doesn’t help my confidence in the Crew SC defense since it conceded three goals in the first half without Zack Steffen last week.
New York Red Bulls 2 Columbus Crew SC 0

Josh Mlot

This is a tricky stretch of schedule. Crew SC ran out almost exclusively reserves in Wednesday’s Open Cup game, but it’s still a busy stretch of schedule leading into the brief World Cup break. New York Red Bulls have been impressive this season, with a steadier defense with help from Tim Parker, a breakout for the playmaking Kaku, continued maturation from Tyler Adams and more incredible work from Bradley Wright Phillips. The good news for Columbus is the first three guys mentioned there are gone on international duty.

With that said, NYRB is so good with Jesse Marsch’s pressing scheme that is capable of transcending personnel. But if there was ever a time to face New York, it’s now - at home against a depleted squad. Last week was disheartening with the way Crew SC fell into a major hole, but the recovery was impressive. CCSC will have to avoid that slow start, but I think it can carry some of that momentum at home.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New York Red Bulls 1

A cautiously optimistic group of predictions for the most part from our staff. How does that stack up to how you’re feeling for this match? Let us know in the comment section below.