ExLink - 06/09/18 - CLBvRBNY

Columbus Crew SC vs. New York Red Bulls
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 15

MAPFRE Stadium  Columbus
June 9  5 pm ET

Another battle of Eastern Conference elite squads looms Saturday afternoon as Columbus Crew SC host the New York Red Bulls.

Crew SC are unbeaten in their last eight league games, but have drawn their last two, while the Red Bulls had a five-match undefeated streak snapped last Saturday by the New England Revolution.

The Crew have lost just three of their last 16 home games against the Red Bulls (9W-4D), allowing New York to score multiple goals just three times, per Opta.

Columbus Crew SC

After falling behind 3-0, Crew SC (7-3-5) rallied furiously to score three goals in the final 23 minutes to tie Toronto FC, 3-3, last Saturday. Gyasi Zardes started the rally with his ninth goal of the season. Alex Crognale pulled Columbus within a goal in the 81st minute and Federico Higuain struck for the 90th-minute penalty kick to cap the stunning comeback.

There was even more drama on Wednesday night, when Crew SC and the Chicago Fire needed 11 rounds of a penalty-kick shootout before the Fire prevailed in the Fourth Round of the U.S. Open Cup.

“You can see we were fatigued, you could see they got tired, and it was a group that normally hasn’t played together,” Crew SC coach Gregg Berhalter said Wednesday night. “A lot of new faces, a lot of guys, you know, playing major minutes, basically in a competitive game for the first time this year, so I’m really proud of them.”

  • Suspended: M - Cristian Martinez
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Milton Valenzuela
  • International duty: GK - Zack Steffen, M - Wil Trapp
  • Injury Report: QUESTIONABLE: M - Pedro Santos (right thigh injury), D - Jonathan Mensah (left thigh injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Jon Kempin — Harrison Afful, Josh Williams, Lalas Abubakar, Milton Valenzuela — Ricardo Clark, Artur — Niko Hansen, Federico Higuain, Mike Grella — Gyasi Zardes

  • Notes: Higuain has created 10 chances from set pieces since May 1. Only three other players had more than seven, and only one had more than Higuaín. … When Columbus overcame a 3-0 deficit to earn a 3-3 draw vs. TFC, it marked only the 13th time in MLS history team got a result when trailing by at least three goals in a match. They extended their unbeaten run in league play to eight games (4W-4D).

New York Red Bulls

Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his ninth goal of the year early, but the Red Bulls (7-4-1) conceded late in each half to fall to the Revolution, 2-1. It was their first defeat since a 2-1 home loss to the Fire on April 21.

The Red Bulls, though, bounced back in a big way on Wednesday, blasting NYCFC, 4-0, in the USOC. Eight players in their starting XI have played for Red Bulls II — and six were featured on the USL side this year. That includes Vincent Bezecourt, who put the Red Bulls in front after just two minutes.

Aaron Long scored early in the second half and Danny Royer tacked on two goals late as the Red Bulls knocked off NYCFC in the USOC for a second straight year.

“Playing NYCFC is always something special. We’re glad we got the win today,” Bezecourt said after the match. “Most importantly, it's a cup tournament so we have to win every single game. We have four games to go and we have to be ready for it.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None 
  • International duty: D - Fidel Escobar, D - Michael Murillo, D - Tim Parker, M - Tyler Adams, M - Kaku
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Kyle Duncan (torn right ACL); QUESTIONABLE: GK - Luis Robles (knee injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Luis Robles — Connor Lade, Aaron Long, Aurelien Collin, Kemar Lawrence — Sean Davis, Marc Rzatkowski — Florian Valot, Vincent Bezecourt, Danny Royer — Bradley Wright-Phillips

  • Notes: Kaku was held without a chance created in their 2-1 loss to New England last weekend, the second time that has happened this year (2L). They are 6W-2L-1D when Kaku records at least one chance created. … New York saw their five-game unbeaten run in league play snapped in last weekend’s 2-1 loss in New England. They have not lost back-to-back league games since May 2017 (37 games since, inc. playoffs).

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Columbus Crew SC 27 wins, 83 goals … New York Red Bulls 30 wins, 97 goals … 10 draws
  • At Columbus: Crew SC 17 wins, 47 goals … Red Bulls 12 wins, 45 goals … 5 draws
  • Last meeting at Columbus: Columbus Crew SC 3, New York Red Bulls 2 (Sept. 23, 2017)


Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Matthew Nelson, Logan Brown
4th Official: Rubiel Vazquez
VAR: Jon Freemon