The last time Columbus and New York City FC faced off, Lucas Zelarayan delivered back-to-back free-kick goals to secure a 2-1 comeback road win over NYCFC at Red Bull Arena on May 22.
The victory made it two straight wins against New York, and history could be made for Columbus come Saturday night, as neither team has won three consecutive games against the other in the MLS history of this rivalry.
Following a 2-2 comeback draw on the road last weekend at FC Cincinnati -- a match which featured the first time an MLS club came back from 2-0 down, down a man, to earn a road point -- the Crew hopes to continue its notable home-field advantage streak.
In fact, it's been nearly two years since the Crew went consecutive home matches without winning (August 2019), going 17-1-2 in the last 20 home matches.
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That said, though New York City lost, 2-1, to CF Montréal, in its last match, the club hasn’t lost consecutive matches since returning from MLS is Back last year. NYCFC has a record of six wins and one draw following losses since last regular season resumed in August 2020.
Lucas Zelarayan leads the Club with four goals, two of which came in the aforementioned meeting, while Darlington Nagbe continues to be his usual consistent self in the center midfield.
Nagbe leads MLS completing 96.4 percent of his passes this season (minimum 450 mins). Nagbe has completed at least 90 percent of his pass attempts in each of the last 18 matches in which he’s attempted 30 or more passes (including playoffs). Notably, the last team against whom Nagbe completed less than 90% of his passes was NYCFC (88.2% in August 2020).
As for a defensive key on Saturday? Set-pieces.
New York City FC has scored 10 set-piece goals this season, three more than any other team in MLS. A league-high six of those 10 goals have come off corner kicks.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. on Bally Sports Ohio and 97.1 FM The Fan.