Columbus Crew vs. New York Red Bulls | MLS Match Preview

CLBvNY, Aug. 10, 2013

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COLUMBUS CREW vs NEW YORK RED BULLS
COLUMBUS CREW STADIUM, Columbus, Ohio
August 10, 2013 (WEEK 24, MLS Game #214)
7:30 p.m. ET (MSG; FS-OH)

The Columbus Crew return home looking to snap a long winless run when they play host to Eastern Conference leaders New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew have lost three games in a row, coming off a 3-1 defeat at the Houston Dynamo last weekend. The Red Bulls moved into the top spot after starting their road swing with a 3-2 win at Sporting Kansas City last weekend.

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REFEREE: Juan Guzman. AR1 (bench): Kevin Klinger; AR2 (opposite): Adam Garner; 4th: Robert Sibiga
MLS Career: 31 games; FC/gm: 24.6; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 9; pens: 6

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: NY: Mike Petke (head coach; through August 11)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CLB: Federico Higuain NY: Tim Cahill
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CLB: Jairo Arrieta, Tyson Wahl, Kevan George, Danny O'Rourke, Bernardo AnorÖ NY: Jamison Olave
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (56 meetings): Crew 23 wins, 66 goals Ö Red Bulls 25 wins, 78 goals Ö Ties 8
AT COLUMBUS (28 meetings): Crew 14 wins, 37 goals Ö Red Bulls 11 wins, 38 goals Ö Ties 3

2013 (MLS)
5/4: CLB 0, NY 1 (Cahill 80)
5/26: NY2, CLB 2 (Henry 31; Olave 91+ -- Oduro 2; Higuain 74)
*    The teams are meeting for the third time this season. They met twice in four weeks earlier, a Tim Cahill goal the only score in a Red Bulls win May 4 in Columbus, then New York's Jamison Olave scoring the equalizer in stoppage time for a 2-2 draw May 26 at Red Bull Arena.
*    Columbus has not defeated New York since the 2010 season. The Red Bulls are 3-0-3 in the last six meetings in the series.
*    New York has won back-to-back matches in Columbus after going five seasons without a victory there. Before a win last year, the Red Bulls had previously won in Columbus in 2006.
*    Coaches record: Robert Warzycha vs. NY: P12 W4 L6 T2 Ö Mike Petke vs. CLB: P2 W2 L0 T0

LAST MEETING (MLS)
*    Columbus took the lead just two minutes in. Latching onto a loose pass some 35 yards out from goal, Dominic Oduro managed to weave his way in between the Red Bulls defense before slotting a shot past goalkeeper Luis Robles.
*    The Red Bulls came up with an impressive response just after the half-hour mark. Tim Cahill hit a ball over the top from inside his own half that fell to Thierry Henry, who proceeded to loop a beautiful lob over Crew netminder Andy Gruenebaum from just outside the box.
*    The Crew took the lead in the 73rd minute after Red Bulls right back Kosuke Kimura was whistled for a foul on Crew forward Justin Meram inside the penalty area by referee Geoff Gamble, and Federico Higua"n stepped up to take it, shooting down the middle as the Red Bulls 'keeper dove to his right.
*    But once again the Red Bulls found a late goal to snatch a point. In the second minute of stoppage time, Jonny Steele's cross fell to J·mison Olave and he calmly brought it down with his right before smashing it into the back of the net with his left to leave the teams level.
*    NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Luis Robles - Kosuke Kimura, Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, Heath Pearce - Dax McCarty (Juninho 60) - Eric Alexander (Lloyd Sam 75), Tim Cahill, Jonny Steele - Thierry Henry, Fabian Espindola.
*    COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-1-1): Andy Gruenebaum - Josh Williams, Kevan George, Eric Gehrig, Tyson Wahl - Eddie Gaven, Matias Sanchez (Danny O'Rourke 80), Tony Tchani, Justin Meram - Federico Higuain - Dominic Oduro (Aaron Schoenfeld 8 / Ben Speas 62).
 
COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew went down to their third consecutive loss, falling 3-1 to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Crew are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 23 points from 22 matches.

LAST MATCH
*    The Dynamo were on top after just 10 minutes. Giles Barnes was brought down from behind by Columbus center back after bursting into the box, and referee Kevin Stott pointed to the spot. Brad Davis converted the penalty for the opener past goalkeeper Matt Lampson.
*    It was 2-0 in the 31st minute. After Boniek Garcia fleeced a defender at midfield, he found Will Bruin making a run in the box. After taking two touches, Bruin struck from the top of the box and hit the back of the net behind Lampson.
*    The Crew were given a lifeline in the 75th minute. As Ryan Finley received a pass in the center of the box, Dynamo fullback Kofi Sarkodie knocked it away but succeeded only in stabbing it into his own goal.
*    But the home side sealed the victory in the 85th minute, when Cam Weaver took a layoff from Bruin just outside the box and hammered a rocket with the outside of his foot that sailed into the corner.
*    Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made one change to the team that fell 2-1 to Toronto FC at BMO Field. Matt Lampson came in between the posts in place of Andy Gruenebaum.
*    COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): Matt Lampson - Josh Williams, Danny O'Rourke, Chad Marshall, Agustin Viana (Justin Meram 71) - Wil Trapp, Matias Sanchez (Kevan George 46) - Dominic Oduro, Federico Higuain, Bernardo Anor - Jairo Arrieta (Ryan Finley 46).

TEAM NEWS
*    The Crew have lost three consecutive games for the second time over the last two months. They have won once in their last seven league games, falling from sixth to eighth in the Eastern Conference.
*    "They played well in the first half, and they scored two goals on our turnovers," Crew head coach Robert Warzycha said. "Playing away from home, we have to make sure we're solid in the back, and don't lose the ball in bad areas. When you play against a good team, you're going to get punished."
*    The Crew have lost seven of their last nine games, allowing multiple goals in each contest. They've recorded two shutouts in that span, winning both - a 2-0 win vs. MontrÈal and a 1-0 win vs. Portland.
*    "We just have to come out as a team right now. We have to stick together. We really have to work as a team. That's the only way that's going to work," said midfielder Dominic Oduro. "We got to go back again and regroup. We can't do it as individuals. But everybody out there, we just have to work as a team and hopefully it will work."
*    Warzycha lined out his club with Dominic Oduro and Bernardo Anor in wide attacking roles, with Federico Higuain again providing the promptings from an attacking midfield spot.
*    "We came here to win the game. We started three forwards, but we were not too stressful. I think defense was very solid," said Warzycha. "We had one chance after they scored off the penalty. We had one chance against Tally Hall, but you know obviously we didn't score. And that hurt us."
*    Ryan Finley saw his longest shift in a league match this season, coming on at halftime for Jairo Arrieta in the spearhead forward role.
*    "I think I had a couple more chances tonight that I probably should have put away and probably would have changed the game a little bit but stuff happens sometimes being a forward," said Finley. "We just got to keep pushing and hopefully we can put an end to all of this little slump that we're in next week."
*    Matt Lampson came back in between the posts following two matches in a reserve role, his second start of the league season, after the shutout victory vs. Portland on July 7.

NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls stretched their undefeated streak to four games, defeating Sporting Kansas City 3-2 at Sporting Park on Saturday evening. The Red Bulls now lead the Eastern Conference with 38 points from 23 matches.

LAST MATCH
*    The Red Bulls took the lead in the 27th minute. Dax McCarty won the ball 40 yards from goal and sent a long diagonal pass to Jonny Steele, who held off a defender and blasted a left-footed shot inside the near post.
*    Sporting pressed back and equalized just before halftime. Chance Myers sent in a cross to Soony Saad, who snapped off a header that Luis Robles could only parry, but the rebound fell kindly for Kei Kamara to stab home.
*    The Red Bulls took control in the 63rd minute. Lloyd Sam freed Fabian Espindola with a long pass down the right flank, and he slotted an angled shot inside the far post from inside the area. Then in the 69th minute, goalkeeper Robles sent a long throw down the left side to Steele, whose cross found Sam streaking down the middle for a well-taken finish.
*    Sporting pulled a goal back in the second minute of stoppage time when Dom Dwyer headed home a Kamara cross in the heart of the area, but it wasn't enough.
*    Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke made one change to the team that claimed a 4-3 win against Real Salt Lake at Red Bull Arena. Ibrahim Sekagya came into the team in place of the injured Tim Cahill.
*    NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Brandon Barklage, Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, Roy Miller - Eric Alexander (Lloyd Sam 60 / Kosuke Kimura 87), Ibrahim Sekagya, Dax McCarty, Jonny Steele - Thierry Henry, Fabian Espindola (Peguy Luyindula 80).

TEAM NEWS
*    The Red Bulls scored three or more goals in a game for the fifth time in 23 league contests, and for a second consecutive game. They've scored 11 goals over their four-game undefeated run.
*    "There was some good things but it was not pretty from our end," said Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke. "What it did show was our character and it showed grit. This team, especially going from last week with Salt Lake, and this week what we did, it's starting to really define who we are. That is extremely important and I'm very proud of these guys."
*    Again coming off the substitutes' bench, Lloyd Sam had a goal and an assist in the same MLS game for the first time, making his 20th league appearance.
*    "I was told to come on and be positive straight away and if I can beat the first man, it will open up a lot for us," said Sam. "Just those words meant a lot to me Ö when you get positive words to go on and just attack, it helps a lot. That probably helps me."
*    There was a late injury concern as Sam had to come off for the final three minutes in favor of Kosuke Kimura.
*    "I just thought that Lloyd would bring some energy and ability to counter and that's exactly what you saw, it's exactly what he did," said Petke. "It's unfortunate that he goes in and then gets an injury and then we have to make another sub [but] I was happy with Lloyd's performance today."
*    Said Sam: "It's been hard, my season has been very stop-start and these things can happen, but it's not a big problem. It's a minor problem. I'll come back strong again and just in a few days. It shouldn't be too bad."
*    Jonny Steele had a goal and an assist for the second time this season, also doing it in the 4-1 rout of New England on April 20.
*    "Now we've just got to stay consistent. This is the run-in to the playoffs. And we know that if we get into the playoffs it's going to be challenging," said Steele. "It was good to put this game together, but we've got to keep doing what we're doing and pick up the results against the big teams. Sometimes we lose to teams we shouldn't, so we've got to pick up the consistency."
*    Fabian Espindola continued his rounding into form, hitting for a fourth goal over the last seven games and now tied with Thierry Henry for the club lead with seven goals.
*    With Tim Cahill out 2-4 weeks with a knee injury, Ibrahim Sekagya came into the center of midfield for his MLS debut, playing the full 90 minutes.