Columbus Crew SC’s match against New York City FC on Saturday, Sept. 1, stands as the Club’s final chance to make a direct impact against the teams currently ahead of the Black & Gold in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference standings.
Columbus (11-8-7) enters the final eight games of the regular season in fourth place in the East with 40 points, one point ahead of the Philadelphia Union and seven ahead of the Montreal Impact.
With four home regular-season matches remaining, here’s a look – one opponent at a time – at your next opportunity to catch the Black & Gold at MAPFRE Stadium, starting with NYCFC.
New York City FC
Current record: 14-6-6 (48 pts.)
Eastern Conference standing: 3rd
Most recent match: 1-1 draw vs. New York Red Bulls
Previous match vs. Columbus: 2-0 win at Yankee Stadium (July 14, 2018)
All-time vs. Columbus: 2-3-3
Last 5 matches: LDWLD
Away record: 4-6-3
Players to watch: Maximiliano Moralez (13 assists, 8 goals), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (10 goals, 3 assists)
Numbers to know:
19,381: The number of total touches NYCFC has completed this season – nearly 1,000 more than the second-place team in MLS, marking a testament to the Blues’ possession-style offense. Compared to Gregg Berhalter’s system, anticipate a battle in the midfield. That being said, NYCFC currently averages one goal nearly every 48 minutes. In Crew SC’s 2-0 loss to New York back in July, the Blues altered their strategy and played a more direct style in the second half, leading to two goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation.
59.55: On the back of New York’s total touch count, the club averages nearly 3-to-2 advantage in terms of total possession, holding the ball almost 60 percent of the time. NYCFC ranks fifth League-wide in chances created from open play (261), with Maximiliano Moralez standing tied for second in MLS with 13 assists, though only three have come on the road.
9: NYCFC’s clean sheet total this year. However, seven of those shutouts have come at the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. On the road, the Blues have conceded 27 total goals, including seven in their last three road bouts combined.
Following a 1-1 road draw against the Chicago Fire on Aug. 23, Crew SC looks to earn its fourth-straight home win as the Black & Gold get set to kickoff against the Blues on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. ET.