New York City FC vs. Columbus Crew SC | 2017 Conference Semifinal Preview

New York City FC vs. Columbus Crew SC
Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference Semifinals, Leg 2
Yankee Stadium – Bronx, NY
Sunday, Nov. 5 – 5 pm ET
WATCH: ESPN, ESPN Deportes in the US | TSN, TVAS in Canada

It could be deja vu for New York City FC and Columbus Crew SC in Leg 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal, though under very different circumstances.

Columbus enter the decisive tie with a commanding lead after the first leg, having won 4-1 in the initial encounter on Tuesday at MAPFRE Stadium. The run thus far this season is starting to feel a bit like their 2015 playoff quest, which ended in hosting the MLS Cup final that year. While Crew SC are seeded lower this year and had to play in the Knockout Round, they are firmly on the front foot in the current series and only a monumental win by NYCFC would lead to Crew SC's exit from the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs.

For NYCFC, meanwhile, the familiar feeling is more sinking than buoyant. After their debut performance in the MLS Cup Playoffs last season resulted in a 7-0 series loss to Toronto FC, going down 4-1 in the first leg this season isn't a great omen. Truth be told, injuries and sputtering form have been an issue the past few months for Patrick Vieira's squad, but even a narrow win at home won't get them back into the series. After three losses to open the club's MLS Cup Playoffs history, can NYCFC buck the trend with a hammering that will overcome the surging Crew SC?

New York City FC

  • Suspended: D Alexander Callens (Red Card)
  • Suspended next yellow: D Ronald Matarrita
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M/F Miguel Camargo (hip fracture); QUESTIONABLE: D Maxime Chanot (hernia surgery)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, left to right)
GK: Sean Johnson – Ben Sweat, Frederic Brillant, Ethan White, Andraz Struna – Yangel Herrera, Alex Ring, Maxi Moralez – Rodney Wallace, David Villa, Jack Harrison

Columbus Crew SC

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended next yellow: D Hector Jimenez, M Artur, D Josh Williams
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D Alex Crognale (sports hernia surgery), D Gaston Sauro (left PCL surgery), M Ben Swanson (right ankle surgery), D Connor Maloney (L knee meniscectomy)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, left to right)
GK: Zack Steffen – Hector Jimenez, Josh Williams, Jonathan Mensah, Harrison Afful – Wil Trapp, Artur – Justin Meram, Federico Higuain, Pedro Santos – Ola Kamara

All-Time Series

Leg 1 of this series means Columbus have a 1-0-0 mark in the MLS Cup Playoffs against NYCFC. This will be the first playoff match between the teams at Yankee Stadium.

  • Overall (Regular Season): NYCFC 2 wins (17 goals) … Columbus 2 wins (15 goals) … Ties 3
  • At NYC (Regular Season): NYCFC 1 win (5 goals) … Columbus 1 win (3 goals) … Ties 0


Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Armando Villarreal
​Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Allen Chapman