The injuries and losses are piling up. The Columbus Crew have tumbled out of playoff position. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen will play his last game for the Black & Gold. They struggling to get to the Gold Cup break and desperately need three points. New York City FC comes into MAPFRE finally finding their footing and will provide a stiff challenge.
With Federico Higuain out for the year with an ACL tear, the Crew offense is short its playmaker. The offense has struggled and the addition of David Accam hasn’t paid off with the goals the team expected. The defense has been slipping during a stretch where the team has lost eight of nine games.
The visitors struggled to start 2019, going winless in their first six games, but they now have four wins and two ties in their last six to climb into the playoff positions in the Eastern Conference despite playing only 12 games. Their attack is multi pronged at Heber and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi lead the team in goals with three each. Maxi Morales has five assists as the key playmaker on the team.
61’ GOAL! Pedro Santos takes a one time shot from the feed from Accam. It’s a goal and Crew lead. 2-1.
57’ Goal NYCFC. Heber with the goal on the feed from Moralez. Defense broken by a rough bounce against the Crew. 1-1
57’ Santos turns out of midfield pressure and dribbles into space. He feeds Robinho. He gets into the box and fires off a shot, but it’s blocked.
55’ No chances yet, but a physical opening to the second half. NYCFC aggressively fouling when the Crew are in transition.
Halftime: Crew lead NYCFC 1-0 behind Zardes goal.
42’ Accam gets into the final third with a cutback move and gets a corner. Ben Sweat injured on the play and has to come out.
33’ Guzman tries another olympico on the corner. Johnson saves again.
28’ GOAL! Gyasi Zardes with the strong finish on the penalty and it’s 1-0 Crew.
25’ Penalty! Accam leads the break and he swings a late pass right to Santos. He’s pushed down and it’s a clear penalty call.
20’ Quite a few NYCFC fouls as of late. They are aggressive when the Crew are on the ball.
9’ Pedro Santos rifles a shot from 22 yards out and it forces another save from Johnson. David Guzman nearly scores an olympico on the resulting corner.
6’ David Guzman with a blast forces a big save from Johnson.
What to read:
Pat Murphy talked to Zack Steffen in his last game for the Black & Gold and what the city and club meant to him, while Tyler Fisher collected farewell messages to Steffen from the fans. Abigail Hintz wrote about what makes Steffen so great. Ralph Schudel scouts NYCFC and sees a team starting to find their footing.
New York City FC:
Injuries, suspensions and call-ups:
Columbus Crew: The injury list has grown yet again. Federico Higuain tore his ACL last week and is likely out for the season. Hector Jimenez suffered a concussion that has left him listed questionable on the injury list and unlikely to play. Milton Valenzuela remains on the season-ending injury list. Right back Harrison Afful is still not ready to return to game action. Left back Waylon Francis is listed as questionable with a soft tissue strain in his left leg and is likely out.
New York City FC: Only defender Joe Scally is on the injury list.
How to watch:
Date: Saturday, June 1, 2019, 7:30 pm.
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
TV: SportsTime Ohio
Radio: 97.1 The Fan (streaming), Spanish - columbuscrewsc.com
Streaming: FOX Sports GO/ESPN+