NYCFC's Vieira studies, praises Crew SC: 'I really enjoy watching them'

Patrick Vieira at SKC-SKC-NYC-7.10.16

PURCHASE, N.Y. – When Patrick Vieira is lounging on the couch in his Manhattan 
apartment looking for a Major League Soccer game to watch, it’s a safe bet
Columbus Crew SC are on the New York City FC coach’s television screen.
“I really like the way they play football, I really like the way the manager wants the 
team to play, and when I watch them from home, I really enjoy watching them play 
because they have a clear philosophy, a clear way to play,” Vieira said.
Like Vieira, Columbus coach Gregg Berhalter likes his team to build from the back 
and possess the ball.
“I strongly believe if you look at the record of the manager, they have more success 
playing that way than not,” Vieira said. “This is just about what you believe is right 
and wrong. I like watching them play. I really enjoy it.”
After some early growing pains, NYCFC have found success in Vieira’s system and
atop the Eastern Conference with 37 points. Crew SC are ninth, 18 points 
behind NYCFC, and enter the game on a nine-game winless streak.
“They are not in a position where they are supposed to with the way they play. 
They’ve been really unlucky with injuries, with some of the scenarios in games,” 
Vieira said. “We are not looking at the league table because the league table doesn’t 
tell us how well this team has been playing.”
Vieira’s wariness of Columbus is not just coach-speak. Of Crew SC’s three wins this 
year, the first came against NYCFC at MAPFRE Stadium on April 16.
A year ago, the teams played to a 2-2 draw in Columbus before Crew SC picked up a 
2-1 win at Yankee Stadium on a late Justin Meram goal 10 days later. Meram also 
scored what proved to be the winner in the teams' prior meeting this year.
Vieira warns his team will need a better performance against Columbus than it had in
a 0-0 draw at San Jose last 
“You have players who play really well between the lines, players who are really 
clever and players who can score goals,” Vieira said. “We will need to bring higher 
concentration. If not, it will be tough for us.”