The journey starts here! The Columbus Crew’s road to the MLS Cup begins Saturday afternoon at home from MAPFRE Stadium against the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern conference quarterfinals. The match will be played in front of only family members of the team and guests of the club so attendance will be roughly 200 people for this MLS Cup playoff encounter. The winner of this game will face the winner of Tuesday’s match between Toronto FC and Nashville SC.
The No. 3 seed Crew had one of the best regular seasons in the club’s recent history. They began the season with just one loss in their first twelve games which kept them a top the MLS standings for most of 2020. The Black & Gold went on a rough patch in October with just one win throughout the month but ended the season strong to clinch a top-three seed. The team boasts one of the best defenses anchored by MLS Best XI defender Jonathan Mensah and have won nine of their 10 matches at home this season.
The No. 6 seed Red Bulls are back in the playoffs in their chase for the club’s first-ever MLS Cup title. New York didn’t gain many points throughout September but turned it around in October with a five-match unbeaten run. They then ended the season with an important 2-1 victory over Toronto to avoid the East play-in games and secure a trip to Columbus. They are on their third head coach this season but Gerhard Struber has been named the man for the job in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
.— x - Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) November 21, 2020
Our Round One Starting XI pres. by @MAPFREIns:#Crew96 | #To96ther
STARTING XI— Red Bull New York (@NewYorkRedBulls) November 21, 2020
Presented by @Heineken_US pic.twitter.com/SkPx074gLM
Injuries and suspensions:
Crew: Defender Vito Wormgoor is OUT
Red Bulls: Defender Patrick Seagrist is OUT
How to watch:
Date: Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium - Columbus, Ohio
TV: SportsTime Ohio, MSG, UniMAS, TUDN, TSN 1/4, TVA Sports
Radio: English: 97.1 The Fan - Spanish: Columbus Crew YouTube
Streaming: MLSsoccer.com and MLS App
Around the MLS Cup Playoffs:
The playoffs got underway on Friday with the East play-in matches. The New England Revolution defeated the Montreal Impact 2-1 at Gillette Stadium with a last-second winner from Gustavo Bou. In the later match, Nashville SC made quick work of a depleted Inter Miami 3-0 at Nissan Stadium. Nashville will play Toronto in Connecticut and New England will head to the Supporters’ Shield winners home in Philadelphia to play the Union. Both matches will be on Tuesday.
New York City FC will take on Orlando City at Exploria Stadium in Florida at Noon on Saturday before the Columbus-Red Bulls match kicks-off. Tomorrow, the Western conference playoffs begin with No. 1 Sporting Kansas City hosting No. 8 San Jose Earthquakes. After that, Minnesota will take on Colorado followed by Portland against FC Dallas.
Tuesday after the top-two Eastern teams play, the final first round match will be in Seattle where the defending champion Seattle Sounders face last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners Los Angeles FC.
MLS Cup Playoffs Bracket & Schedule:
1 Philadelphia Union vs. 8 New England Revolution (TUE 11/24, 8:00pm ET)
4 Orlando City vs. 5 New York City FC (SAT 11/21, 12:00pm ET)
2 Toronto FC vs. 7 Nashville SC (TUE 11/24, 6:00pm ET)
3 Columbus Crew vs. 6 New York Red Bulls (SAT 11/21, 3:00pm ET)
1 Sporting Kansas City vs. 8 San Jose Earthquakes (SUN 11/22, 4:00pm ET)
4 Minnesota United vs. 5 Colorado Rapids (SUN 11/22, 7:30pm ET)
2 Seattle Sounders vs. 7 Los Angeles FC (TUE 11/24, 10:30pm ET)
3 Portland Timbers vs. 6 FC Dallas (SUN 11/22, 10:00pm ET)
Last five matches:
July 16, 2020 (MLS is Back): Columbus Crew 2, New York Red Bulls 0 (ESPN Complex)
July 27, 2019: New York Red Bulls 2, Columbus Crew 3 (Red Bull Arena)
March 2, 2019: Columbus Crew 1, New York Red Bulls 1 (MAPFRE Stadium)
November 11, 2018 (East Semis): New York Red Bulls 3, Columbus Crew 0 (Red Bull Arena)
November 4, 2018 (East Semis): Columbus Crew 1, New York Red Bulls 0 (MAPFRE Stadium)