On the heels of three-straight wins, the Columbus Crew cruise into the Big Apple on Saturday afternoon when the Black & Gold face New York City FC at Yankee Stadium.
Three Things To Know
3 – As mentioned above, head coach Wilfried Nancy’s men are winners of their last three matches and enter Saturday with momentum. While there’s been a surprising amount of late drama so far this season (including Sean Zawadzki’s late equalizer two months ago), nothing matches the ending of the 2-1 win at Chicago Fire FC last weekend, as Lucas Zelarayán casually scored the game winner from Columbus territory. The Crew attack is hot as multiple players are in form. Behind them, the midfield remains steady, while the backline continues producing respectable results despite being shorthanded with injuries. If nothing else, this three-game streak has proven, as MLS soccer noted, that watching the Black & Gold is true entertainment.
50% – The Crew is officially at the midway point in its 2023 league campaign. Last Saturday’s victory was game No. 17 in the 34-game season, and Columbus currently resides sixth in the Eastern Conference standings. As of now, that guarantees the team a postseason spot, but the only guarantee we have is there’s a lot more soccer to be played between now and October. One thing worth noting is the league switched up the MLS Cup Playoffs, so there will now be eight teams from the Eastern Conference that make the postseason. Whereas the top seven made it last year, only the top seven seeds automatically qualify in 2023. The No. 8 and No. 9 seeds clash in a single elimination match hosted by the higher seed. Think of it as a postseason within a postseason, like the NBA Play-In Tournament. Again, we can worry about these details later, but there's nothing wrong with fans starting their scoreboard watching early.
8 – Cucho Hernández has scored a goal in each of the last three games, and the has either a goal or an assist in his last eight appearances. The Colombian attacker is only in his first full season with the Black & Gold, but he’s already placed himself in the company of notable stars. His goal contribution streak ties him with Zelarayán and former forward Jeff Cunningham for the most in club history. Perhaps Saturday is an opportune time to break the record, as NYCFC enters the match 13th in the Eastern Conference standings with just four wins on the year. And speaking of eight, that’s how many goals Zelarayán has this season to go along with his seven assists. Also… here's another eight for ya…
When They Last Met
The Crew won, 3-2, at Lower.com Field on Aug. 6, 2022, as Cucho scored once and Zelarayán added a brace. When these teams last met in New York, NYCFC won, 2-0, on May 14 last year. But let’s not forget the 2021 meeting in Yankee Stadium, when Zelarayán became the Argentine Babe Ruth. If you know, you know…
Who: Columbus Crew at NYCFC
When: Saturday, June 17 at 3:30 p.m.
Where: Yankee Stadium
How to Watch: MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app
How to Listen: 97.1 HD3/The Fan Stream, La Mega 103.1 FM
Current Standings: Columbus Crew – Sixth in Eastern Conference; NYCFC –13th in Eastern Conference
2023 Single-Match Tickets
Purchase tickets to a match and join us for a world-class experience at Lower.com Field.