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Columbus Crew SC vs. New York Red Bulls | 2017 MLS Match Preview

 Columbus Crew SC vs. New York Red Bulls
2017 MLS Match Preview
MAPFRE Stadium – Columbus, Ohio.
Saturday, September 23 – 7:30 pm ET
WATCH : MLS LIVE Free Match of the Week

With playoff positioning on the line, Eastern Conference rivals Columbus Crew SC and the New York Red Bulls take the the field trying to shake mini-malaises, as each team enters on a run of MLS draws (two for Columbus, four for RBNY). But the Red Bulls are coming off an emotional loss in the US Open Cup Final, which they dropped to Sporting Kansas City after an intense build-up toward the possibility of achieving that long-sought cup victory.

Points are at a premium if there's any hope for either side to score a Knockout Round bye, while the Montreal Impact loom just below the playoff line if either squad starts to slide.

Columbus started Kekuta Manneh against former squad Vancouver last week, and he responded with a goal and an assist, set to play hero before – of course – the guy for whom he was swapped (Tony Tchani) leveled at the death. But if Manneh can get the wheels going, Crew SC might not stop steamrolling ahead.

Columbus Crew SC

  • Suspended: None
  • Int’l Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Gaston Sauro (left PCL surgery), M - Ben Swanson (right ankle surgery); QUESTIONABLE: D - Waylon Francis (left thigh strain)

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

Notes: Ola Kamara scored for a fourth consecutive match in Vancouver, putting him on 16 goals for the season, tied for fourth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings. The four-game goal streak is the longest of Kamara’s MLS career; his 16 goals match the total recorded in his first MLS season last year, combining for 32 goals in 55 MLS career appearances.

New York Red Bulls

  • Suspended: None
  • Int’l Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Gideon Baah (broken leg), M - Mike Grella (knee surgery), D - Aurelien Collin (plantar fasciitis); QUESTIONABLE: M - Daniel Royer (knee injury)

Projected Starting XI
(3-4-3; left-to-right)
Luis Robles — Fidel Escobar, Aaron Long, Michael Murillo — Tyler Adams, Felipe, Sean Davis, Kemar Lawrence — Sacha Kljestan, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Alex Muyl

NotesThe Red Bulls have taken points on six of their last eight visits to Columbus, dating back to 2011.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: In a mostly evenly matched 66 games, RBNY lead, 30-26-10, with a plus-15 goal differential.
  • At Columbus: Crew SC lead, 16-12-5, with a plus-1 differential.

Referees

Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: Brian Poeschel, Peter Balciunas
Fourth Official: Ricardo Salazar
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic

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