Soccer is back in Central Ohio as the Columbus Crew begins a quick two-game homestand at Lower.com Field on Saturday against New York City FC. The match will be the second-ever at the Black & Gold’s new stadium and the first evening game in what promises to be a game with a great atmosphere. The two sides have already met once this season with the Crew grabbing a 2-1 road win in May thanks to Lucas Zelarayan’s two late free kicks.
Columbus has lost just one of its last seven matches but has drawn three straight games heading into Saturday’s encounter. The last two matches, in particular, have been uphill battles with the Black & Gold coming back from 2-0 deficits each time to get draws while missing multiple key players.
This match against NYCFC will be no different with 10 players out due to international duty and injuries. One additional absence is fullback Harrison Afful, who is suspended after his red card against FC Cincinnati last Friday.
NYCFC is right next to Columbus in the table with 17 points after 11 matches. The Pigeons have won three of their last five games that included big victories against D.C. United and Atlanta United. Manager Ronny Deila will have his top attackers ready to go in Valentin Castellanos and Jesus Medina but starting goalkeeper Sean Johnson is absent while with the United States for the Gold Cup.
Injuries and Suspensions:
Crew: Artur (right hip), Aidan Morris (left knee), Milton Valenzuela (right thigh), Vito Wormgoor (right thigh), Gyasi Zardes (Gold Cup), Kevin Molino (Gold Cup), Derrick Etienne Jr. (Gold Cup), Liam Fraser (Gold Cup), Luis Diaz (Gold Cup), and Harrison Afful (suspended) are OUT. Bradley Wright-Phillips (right thigh) and Josh Williams (left ankle) is QUESTIONABLE.
NYCFC: Heber (knee), Talles Magno (knee), James Sands (Gold Cup), and Sean Johnson (Gold Cup) are OUT.
How to watch:
Date: Saturday, July 17, 2021, 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Lower.com Field - Columbus, Ohio
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Radio: English: 97.1 The Fan - Spanish: Columbus Crew YouTube
Streaming: ESPN+ App (out of market)
5. Nashville SC (12 GP, 19 PTS)
6. New York City FC (11 GP, 17 PTS)
7. New York Red Bulls (12 GP, 17 PTS)
8. Columbus Crew (12 GP, 17 PTS)
9. D.C. United (12 GP, 16 PTS)
Around the league:
It’s back to weekend action for MLS with 11 matches to consume on Saturday, the first starting at 5 p.m. ET when Atlanta United host the first-place New England Revolution in an Eastern Conference clash on ESPN. Saturday will be a very significant day for CF Montreal and Toronto FC who are both set to have matches back home in Canada against FC Cincinnati and Orlando City, respectively. It’s the first time in nearly two years MLS games are being played in Canada.
One match that will grab the spotlight is on Sunday with a Western Conference Final rematch on ESPN when Minnesota United host the Seattle Sounders at Allianz Field in a matinee match before the U.S. takes on Canada in the Gold Cup.
Last five matches:
May 22, 2021: New York City 1, Columbus Crew 2 (Red Bull Arena)
October 18, 2020: Columbus Crew 3, New York City 1 (Historic Crew Stadium)
August 24, 2020: New York City 1, Columbus Crew 0 (Red Bull Arena)
March 1, 2020: Columbus Crew 1, New York City 0 (Historic Crew Stadium)
August 21, 2019: New York City 1, Columbus Crew 0 (Yankee Stadium)