By The Numbers

By The Numbers | Crew host New York Red Bulls on Saturday

After advancing through to the Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday night, the Columbus Crew are looking to finish this stretch of three-straight home games with a positive result on Saturday night against the New York Red Bulls at Field.

Numbers to Know Before Kickoff

3 – It doesn’t feel like it, but the Crew have only played three regular season games to date and each of them have been high-pressure affairs. The Black & Gold still aren’t a week removed from Mohamed Farsi’s 100th-minute game winner against Chicago Fire FC – the latest regular-season goal in league history. But here comes the fourth matchday, when Columbus enters the matchup third in the Eastern Conference standings with seven points. (Teams one through five are all level on seven points and two wins.) This will be the Crew’s fifth match in 15 days – a ridiculous amount – so home-field advantage should help against a New York side that’s also off to a nice start to 2024.

1 – Let’s focus on some recent firsts that should be noted and could prove invaluable in the future. For starters, last week’s 2-1 win over Chicago was the setting for both Jacen Russell-Rowe and Farsi to score their first goals of the season. (For Farsi, it was his first MLS goal). Additionally, that match was Marino Hinestroza’s first league start for Columbus, and Derrick Jones made his Crew league debut. Given the Club’s heavily congested schedule, head coach Wilfried Nancy has looked to rotating the squad to give some players rest while others receive more opportunities. Hinestroza and Jones have played well for the Crew in Concacaf Champions Cup and were nice offseason additions. As for Russell-Rowe, this is a great time for the Canadian striker to increase his goals tally.

4 – As mentioned above, five teams in the Eastern Conference have seven points from three games. One of those is fourth-ranked New York. The Red Bulls enter the Ohio capital having won their last two matches, including a 2-1 win over FC Dallas last Saturday. The side had a strong offseason, so this is an improved New York side from 2023. Plus, it should be noted the Red Bulls enter this match with less minutes logged – so the visitor’s vintage high press might be more challenging than in previous meetings. One more thing to know: New York is about to play arguably its hardest four-game stretch of the season. Yes, that sounds crazy in mid-March, but including the Crew, the Red Bulls next three opponents are Inter Miami CF, Orlando City SC and FC Cincinnati. Three of these four teams finished atop the Eastern Conference. One of which won Leagues Cup, while the other won the Supporters’ Shield. Of course, let’s not forget about that MLS Cup championship at Field. The point here is the Red Bulls have had a respectable start, but it's about to get a lot tougher very, very quickly.

10 – No. 10 Emil Forsberg was New York’s big offseason recruitment. The 32-year-old Swedish midfielder joins the Red Bulls having played at the World Cup and in the UEFA Champions League, and he was a seasoned pro in the Bundesliga. Former Red Bull great (and Crew striker) Bradley Wright-Phillips recently said Forsberg is the club’s biggest signing since Thierry Henry. Is the hype justified? We’ll find out Saturday, as Forsberg enters Columbus with a goal and assist through three starts.

When They Last Met

The Crew beat the Red Bulls, 2-1, when the clubs last met at Field on July 1, 2023. Cucho Hernández gave Columbus an early lead before Elias Manoel scored the equalizer minutes before halftime. In the second half, Yaw Yeboah scored the game winner in the 62nd minute.

Match Overview

Who: Columbus Crew host New York Red Bulls

When: Saturday, Mar. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Field

Tickets: See You Saturday

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