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Massive Predictions: Crew SC at New York Red Bulls

How will the Black & Gold fare back on the road Saturday?

MLS: New York Red Bulls at New York City FC Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

After one week at home last Saturday, Columbus Crew SC heads back on the road in Major League Soccer play. The opponent this weekend is the New York Red Bulls, a side the Black & Gold has already seen once this season. That game was a 1-1 draw in Columbus where Crew SC controlled the first half but couldn’t adjust to the tweaks the Red Bulls made at halftime and allowed the visitors to leave MAPFRE Stadium with a point.

A month and a half later and these two sides will meet again, this time at Red Bull Arena. RBNY sits in third place in the Eastern Conference, one spot ahead of the Black & Gold but the two teams are separated by eight points. Crew SC comes into this game with only two wins in its last nine contests, while the Red Bulls have won six and drawn one over the same stretch.

Columbus is in the midst of the team’s annual summer swoon, but its about time to start turning things around — or at least that’s the hope. Will Wil Trapp’s thunder blast that stole three points for Crew SC last weekend be what the doctor order to begin a return to form? Let’s see what our staff thinks.

Guilherme Torres

It will be another tough road game for the Crew, as the team heads to New Jersey to face a strong Red Bulls team in great form. The Black & Gold’s opponents are third in the East and have won five of their last six matches, with an impressive eight victories in 10 home games so far this season. They’ve scored 13 goals more and conceded eight less than Columbus as well.

The Red Bulls are one of the most organized teams in the league and it didn’t change when head coach Jesse March was replaced by Chris Armas. The only leverage Crew SC could have in the game is the fact that the team is better-rested, having last played on Saturday, while their opponents beat D.C. United on Wednesday. I’m afraid it won’t be enough though.
New York Red Bulls 2 Columbus Crew SC 0

Patrick Murphy

I will be interested to see what lineup the Red Bulls roll out on Saturday night at home after playing at D.C. United on Wednesday. I imagine there will be some squad rotation, but the big boys will be in there for the home side. Because of this, I’m not feeling good about this game from a Crew SC perspective. This team struggles significantly in finishing chances, especially on the road. If Federico Higuain isn’t back — he did train full on Thursday — then the chances created decrease.

Given the road struggles, how good New York has looked despite a coaching change and the scoring of Bradley Wright-Phillips — three goals in his last three matches — I just can’t see the Black & Gold coming out on top.
New York Red Bulls 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Collin Johnson

Crew SC returned to its possession-heavy form last week against Orlando and, despite needing an absurd Wil Trapp finish to win, looked to be the better side for the first time in weeks. New York has shown no signs of slowing down after losing manager Jesse Marsch to RB Leipzig. Columbus has not fared particularly well against the top teams in the Eastern Conference, only earning one point from the three matches against those ahead of the Black & Gold.

Luckily, the Red Bulls had a midweek match yesterday against D.C. United, which should at least bring some tired legs to the game on Saturday. Taking any number of points from the match on Saturday could go a long way toward ending Crew SC’s seemingly annual mid-season swoon, and New York’s match congestion might just give Columbus the boost they need to escape New Jersey without a loss.
Columbus Crew SC 1 New York Red Bulls 1

Eliot McKinley

Crew SC head to New Jersey to take on a New York Red Bulls team that has won six out of its last seven games. New head coach Chris Armas has continued the high pressing ways of his predecessor, Jesse Marsch, that has caused problems for Crew SC in the past, forcing them to play a bit of a different style.

The two teams last meeting in June saw the Black & Gold play possibly the team’s best half of soccer this season (2.14 xG, most in a half this season), followed by one of their worst (0.07 xG, tied for worst in a half this season) resulting in a 1-1 draw at MAPFRE Stadium. I don’t see Crew SC playing as well as the first half of that game, or as poorly as the second this weekend. Given that Red Bulls played a midweek game, Columbus should be more well rested than its opponents and I think that may be enough for the visitors to come away with a point.
New York Red Bulls 1 Columbus Crew SC 1

Josh Mlot

It’s hard to feel good about this one as Columbus heads to Red Bull Arena to take on New York. The last three road games have been not good at all for Columbus, and Crew SC is coming off a home result against a team with some issues and needed a wonder strike out of nowhere to take three points.

NYRB are one of the best clubs in MLS, and I expect them to be stout enough with the backline and high press and disrupt CCSC’s attack, especially when goals haven’t been flowing over the last month. Here’s to hoping Federico Higuain is back and at full health to provide some tempo, but I’m not sure it matters this week. The end of the game last week was thrilling, but I think it will be tough to build momentum on top of it.
New York Red Bulls 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Ralph Schudel

I don’t have a great feeling about this match. I liked a lot of what the Red Bulls did when both teams met last month. I expect Bradley Wright-Phillips and New York to come out strong Saturday evening and give the Black & Gold a run for their money. Look for the Red Bulls to have strong play along the wings and look to generate second-chance opportunities and exploit the occasionally poor center back play from Crew SC.
New York Red Bulls 3 Columbus Crew SC 1

Patrick Guldan

New York may have changed coaches and the playing style is a little different, but the result is the same. The Red Bulls are a really tough squad that plays tough pressing defense and are opportunistic on offense. The two slivers of hope for Crew SC is that they are playing under a new coach who is still working through his plans, including squad rotation, and this team played late on Wednesday night. This may be a tired squad that relies on peak physical effort to succeed.

Columbus will likely have Federico Higuain back in the lineup. The playmaking Argentine practiced fully this week after missing the Orlando game with back spasms. With Gyasi Zardes as a pure finisher, there isn’t anyone else to help consistently create chances. Facing the NYRB press, Higuain provides the best chance at a result. It’s still unlikely that Crew SC will be able to get any points, but going to Harrison isn’t as much of a long shot with Pipa.

New York Red Bulls 2 Columbus Crew SC 0

Do you have any more optimism about Crew SC this weekened than most of our staff? Let us know in the comment section below.