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Massive Predictions: Crew vs. New York City

Can the Crew finally win on the road?

Columbus Crew SC v New York City FC Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images

It’s an all-important match for the Columbus Crew this weekend as the Black & Gold travel to New Jersey to take on New York City FC. Columbus is on a two-game losing run during its short tenure as Columbus SC, while NYCFC is unbeaten in its last four with two consecutive draws.

A positive for both teams is the match will be played at Red Bull Arena instead of Yankee Stadium, so the game is on a real soccer field. With the match being at Red Bull Arena, the Crew will have played three of its first four road matches at neutral venues — CF Montreal at Miami, Toronto FC at Orlando and NYCFC at Red Bull Arena.

These two sides met three times last season, with the lone meeting at Red Bull Arena ending in a 1-0 win for the Pigeons. The other two encounters were in Columbus with the Crew winning 1-0 in March of 2020 and 3-1 in August to clinch an MLS Cup playoff berth.

Can the Crew get that first road win in New Jersey? We asked our staff for their predictions.

Orri Benatar

The injuries still create less depth for this team and even with a full week to prepare, I think we still see the offense struggle and the road woes continue. This will be the last match for Columbus where the team flies to the venue the same day as the match, so this could be the last road game where the COVID-19 protocol has an effect on the performance.

I believe the Black & Gold get back into form at home next week and will fall this week to a consistent NYCFC squad.
New York City FC 1 Columbus Crew 0

Guilherme Torres

This match doesn’t look like a good one for the Crew as the team’s struggles on the road are now well-documented and NYCFC ranks third in the Eastern Conference and has the best offense in the conference with 10 goals against Columbus’ three.

The Black & Gold might also be a little thin in midfield with Artur’s availability labeled questionable and Perry Kitchen and Aidan Morris both out. I can see the Crew scoring a goal here but not taking any points back home.
New York City FC 2 Columbus Crew 1

Adam Miller

The Crew is looking to end the team’s ongoing issues on the road in this matchup against NYCFC. The Black & Gold have hopefully had a chance to get healthy and improve as they return to a more normal MLS schedule. NYCFC is looking to continue its four-game unbeaten streak in MLS play.

Columbus will be without some key players, including Milton Valenzuela and the continued absence of Kevin Molino. However, a proper week of training and the return to a normal MLS schedule should help Caleb Porter and his staff to prepare for a return to winning ways. The Black & Gold will get their first road win in over a year against a good NYCFC side. Gyasi Zardes will get off the mark in MLS play and Pedro Santos and Luis Diaz will contribute goals as well.
Columbus Crew 3 New York City FC 1

Abigail Hintz

The Crew is so very close to a much-needed break. After the team’s next two games this Saturday and next weekend’s game, the group has three weeks off to get healthy. But what they really need going into that break is points and I think Columbus knows that. It’ll be tough against NYCFC, however. The squad is sitting at third in the Eastern Conference and is on a four-game unbeaten streak, while the Crew hasn’t won a league game on the road all season. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Black & Gold has it in them to come up with some points.
New York City FC 1 Columbus Crew 0

Collin Johnson

At some point, the Crew has to win a game on the road. If this match was at Yankee Stadium, I would say “maybe not this week,” but it’s at Red Bull Arena, on a real soccer field. Columbus still has the burden of same-day travel for the match but should have closer to first-choice team after almost a full week between games. With Lucas Zelarayan back in the lineup and Gyasi Zardes once again looking healthy, the Black & Gold will grab at least a point on the road.
Columbus Crew 1 New York City FC 0

Thomas Costello

Columbus versus New York City is going to be a close match. The Crew finally had a less congested week and is getting players much-needed rest. It’s tough to say if that rest will make a big difference on the field. Columbus will look much more fluid on offense and finally get real chances on goal. New York City will try to bully the team in the midfield to neutralize Darlington Nagbe but it won’t work.

The defense will come up big for the Black & Gold and the Crew will do something they haven’t done in two years, win on the road. Luis Diaz does something he hasn’t done in two years either by scoring a goal.
Columbus Crew 1 New York City FC 0

Patrick Murphy

The road struggles continue to be the narrative for the Crew, but it’s worth pointing out that the team has managed just fine despite not getting three points on the road for over a year. What hasn’t been good of late is the Black & Gold’s play, which, while not concerning yet, is an issue.

Columbus got back to a more normal schedule this week, which should help in this match, but still doesn’t have some important pieces ready to step into the lineup. If the Crew was at full strength, I might predict a win. I’ll say that nearly a full week of training will help the team look better offensively, but not enough for a full three points against a good New York City team.
Columbus Crew 1 New York City FC 1

What’s your prediction for today’s game? Let us know in the comment section below.