New York City FC vs. Columbus Crew SC
2017 MLS Regular Season - Week 33
Citi Field – Flushing, NY
Sunday, October 22 – 4 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE
The hottest team in MLS, Columbus Crew SC (5th place in the East), will look to put a turbulent week behind them and focus on securing a higher playoff seed when they visit New York City FC (2nd place in the East) in the first regular season match ever hosted at Citi Field in Queens. The venue was selected after a conflict caused by the New York Yankees' baseball postseason run, taking NYCFC into one of the areas the club is exploring as a potential site for its permanent home.
It remains to be seen if the uncertainty surrounding the club's future (in Columbus or Austin) will derail Crew SC, who are 6W-0L-3D in their last nine matches and can jump from their current No. 5 spot to finish anywhere as high as No. 2 seed on Decision Day presented by AT&T.
NYCFC, who have slumped to a 2W-2L-4D record in their last eight, have left the door ajar for other teams to challenge them for the No. 2 seed which they are presently clinging to, and which brings with it a Knockout Round bye. With only seven goals scored in that recent eight-match span, during which David Villa has seen his repeat bid at an MLS MVP award slip away, scoring has emerged as the apparent issue. That makes the return of Jack Harrison all the more important after his red card suspension was rescinded earlier this week.
“We need to improve some aspects of our game which, in the last few games, we didn’t do well,” NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira told media on Friday. “It’s a really important game for both teams – [Crew SC] are going to go for it because both teams have nothing to lose because we’re in the playoffs already. We want to finish in that second spot and that’s why I believe it will be a great game of football.”
The match is also expected to mark the final MLS regular season match for Italian legend Andrea Pirlo.
New York City FC
- Suspended: None
- International Duty: DF/MF James Sands (US Under-17 national team)
- On Loan: DF Shannon Gomez (Pittsburgh Riverhounds / USL)
- Injury Report: OUT – MF/FW Miguel Camargo (hip fracture), DF Maxime Chanot (hernia surgery)
Projected Starting XI (4-3-3, right to left): Sean Johnson — Andraz Struna, Frederic Brillant, Alexander Callens, Ben Sweat — Alex Ring, Andrea Pirlo, Yangel Herrera — Jack Harrison, David Villa, Rodney Wallace
Columbus Crew SC
- Suspended: None
- International Duty: None
- On Loan: MF Rodrigo Saravia (IK Frej / SWE)
- Injury Report: OUT — DF Alex Crognale (sports hernia surgery), DF Gaston Sauro (left PCL surgery), MF Ben Swanson (right ankle surgery); QUESTIONABLE — DF Waylon Francis (left thigh strain)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, left to right): Zack Steffen — Hector Jimenez, Josh Williams, Jonathan Mensah, Harrison Afful — Wil Trapp, Artur — Justin Meram, Federico Higuain, Pedro Santos — Ola Kamara
When NYCFC and the Crew SC meet the matches are typically wide open. In fact, in the six previous meetings between the two clubs, there have been 28 goals scored and neither team has ever gone scoreless in the series.
They also met in New York in their respective 2016 regular season finale, a 4-1 win for the home side with four different scorers finding the back of the net at Yankee Stadium last October.
- Overall: NYCFC 2W-2L-2D (15 GF, 13 GA) … Crew SC 2W-2L-2D (13 GF, 15 GA)
- At NYC: NYCFC 1W-1L-0D (5 GF, 3 GA) … Crew SC 1W-1L-0D (3 GF, 5 GA)
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Brian Dunn, Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
4th Official: Sorin Stoica
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Edvin Jurisevic