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Massive Predictions: New York City FC vs. Crew SC

Can Crew SC make up some ground in the Eastern Conference?

MLS: Columbus Crew at New York City FC Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night marks a big game for Columbus Crew SC. New York City FC comes to MAPFRE Stadium in a rather intriguing Eastern Conference matchup. The Black & Gold sit eight points back of NYCFC in fourth place in the East. This is Columbus’ last chance to get points against a team ahead of them in the current conference standings.

In order to get a full three points at home against the Citizens though, Crew SC will need to slow down forward David Villa (10 goals) and midfielder Maxi Moralez (13 assists). The Black & Gold also need to find a way to score more goals with the second-fewest of any team currently above the playoff line in Major League Soccer.

City has just one win it the team’s last five games, so maybe Columbus is catching City at the right time. How does our staff feel about this contest? Let’s see what they think.

Ralph Schudel

It’ll be fun to return to MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday night. Crew SC have suffered through a disappointing stretch and are looking for a taste of some home cooking. The Black & Gold face off against an NYCFC team who experienced a dip in form but have fantastic playmakers that can easily turn things around. David Villa and Maxi Moralez take many of the headlines but fans need to watch for Ismael Tajori-Shradi who is a talented young midfielder that is tied for the team lead in goals with Villa with 10.

I think NYCFC finds a way and takes three points on Saturday night.
New York City FC 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Eliot McKinley

New York City FC have’t really missed a beat since Domenec Torrent took over from Patrick Vierira. However, NYCFC comes into MAPFRE Stadium a bit shorthanded due to a combination of injuries, suspensions and international duties. Expect a tactical battle between two teams that like to maintain possession and play out of the back. With only one point separating the Crew from the Philadelphia Union in the race to host a playoff game, I expect Columbus to be motivated to bring home all three points and I think they will.
Columbus Crew 2 New York City FC 1

Guilherme Torres

The Crew and NYCFC enter this match with similar results over their last three games as both teams had a win, a tie and a loss recently. The New Yorkers, however, have been the most solid team all season long and that explains the eight-point advantage they sustain over the Black & Gold with the most part of the regular season already gone.

This is a game that will be telling if Columbus can actually challenge the Eastern Conference top three or if it should be more concerned about the Philadelphia Union’s dangerous push instead, which has jeopardized Crew SC’s fourth place and, consequently, its home filed advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The record of these teams when meeting at MAPFRE Stadium is as balanced as it gets with one victory and 10 goals scored for each side to go along with two draws. My belief is that it will stay the same way after the final whistle on Saturday.
Columbus Crew SC 1 New York City FC 1

Collin Johnson

Crew SC have a huge chance to either solidify their playoff standings or risk dropping their stranglehold on the fourth spot in the East. New York City FC have maintained solid form throughout the season and will once again prove to be a tough test for Columbus. With Philadelphia breathing down their necks, a draw against a top team in the East is much less appetizing than it was a few weeks ago. As the season winds down, the Black & Gold seem a lot less like the offensive threat that could win matches 4-3 and more like a team that will have to grind out wins with only one or two goals. Hopefully they can pull that off this weekend.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New York City FC 1

Patrick Murphy

I have a good feeling about this game. If you take out last Thursday’s tie on the road against the Chicago Fire, which featured a makeshift formation and lineup, the team has played well. Even a 3-1 loss at Atlanta United was a game that was winnable for Crew SC if not for an incorrect call.

With the Union getting results all of a sudden, the Black & Gold need this game at home. NYC has been one of the better teams in MLS this year and looked like a Supporter’s Shield contender for the first half of the season, but have not been in great form recently. I think Columbus capitalizes on that and takes a full three points.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New York City FC 1

Patrick Guldan

Both Columbus and New York City FC have dropped off from their early season form. That means that NYCFC have drifted away from the twin powers of Atlanta United and the New York Red Bulls at the top of the East while the lock that Crew SC had on fourth has evaporated with the Philadelphia Union just a point behind. Both of these teams are securely in the playoff, but early season hopes have to be revised.

Unlike Chicago, NYCFC matchup well with Crew SC at MAPFRE. Away from the postage stamp sized field of Yankee Stadium, New York is vulnerable. Columbus likes to play quick and the visitors will match the tempo. It won’t look like Crew SC is playing in sand. The bigger field also neutralizes the aggressive Citizen pressing defense that causes so many teams issues.

The Crew SC offense will also have the benefit of a mostly fit and in form roster. Justin Meram got his first start in his return to the the team. He’s showing the flashes of skill that made him one of the best left wingers in MLS. An in form Meram and a healthy Federico Higuain also free up Pedro Santos to not be the primary creative focus. This may be the dangerous offense that Berhalter has had in past seasons.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New York City FC 1

There is near consensus among our staff. Do you agree with the predictions? Let us know in the comment section below.