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NYCFC vs Columbus Crew – Preview and 4 Questions

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Gabe Segal , along with Kevin O’Toole & Keaton Parks celebrate Segal’s big game tying goal against Columbus.
Image Credit: Ernesto Diaz – Stream Punk Entertainment

The New York City Football Club takes their odd 7 game unbeaten streak (1 win, 6 draws) to the state of Ohio tomorrow to take on the 3rd place Columbus Crew, a team boasting a solid home record this year of 8-1-2 NYCFC came off it’s first road win of the season last week with an impressive 1-0 win north of the border in Montreal, so the aim is to make it 2 in a row on the road and put themselves upwards into 9th place in the East and back into a playoff spot under the new format. As usual, some thoughts I’ve got, as well as pics from the club’s last match, as I shamelessly plug our photographer Ernesto Diaz who took those pics:


1) Can NYCFC Defeat Columbus In Their Own House? Let’s start with the glaring one, this is a tough team to beat in their own house, having their lone loss at field coming back in April 29 against a (Pre-Messi) Inter-Miami squad. At home they’ve outscored their opponents 29-11 in those 11 matches while NYCFC is currently 1-5-6 away from home. To do so will require an answer to this question….

2) Can NYCFC Get Out To An Early Lead? Simply put, they need to. All 5 team wins this season have come when they’ve gone into the locker room at halftime. Head coach Nick Cushing attributed it to relaxing a young squad going into the half which makes sense. There’s been a trend with this squad where they come out firing on all cylinders early, put pressure on the opposing goalkeeper, fail to score then give up a goal the other way, forcing them to claw back later on (oftentimes scoring an equalizer late, much like the most recent match against Charlotte). Getting out in front will be key against this offensive juggernaut, leading me to….

3) Can Barraza and Company Stop That Offensive Onslaught? So bad news, good news here. Columbus leads the league with goals with 42 on the season, are tops in the East with shots on goal with 102 and also tops in the league with goals inside the box. 35 of the team’s 42 goals have come from inside 18 yards. That’s the bad news. The good news is the team has been much stingier with goals allowed of late, with just 5 in the past 7 along with 3 clean sheets and just one match giving up 2 goals. I think if the team can hold that offense to one goal in this match it’ll be acceptable. NOW leading me to….

4) Can NYCFC Score Two? Only once in the past 11 matches has NYCFC scored 2 goals, with 7 of those matches in that stretch scoring just one. So two goals I feel give them a great shot. Gabe Segal has been a late substitution for the past two matches so I suspect he might get the start here. Additionally Gabriel Pereira made his presence known against Charlotte, registering 6 shots and leading the team with 6 goals.

In the end, I think with the way this team is playing, a win is doable. Easy? Absolutely not, that’s going to be a loud crowd in Ohio tomorrow, but still winable. Get out in front early, hold that lead and don’t lead that offense get in your head and the team can come away with 3 points and back into a playoff spot. REALLY interested in this one tomorrow. Also I’m shamelessly plugging my interview with Luis Barraza last week because views:

About the author – Scott Churchson has been an actor in every way for the past 13 years, from BG to stand in to stunts and principal, a sports writer for the past 4 and is one of the people that created Stream Punk Entertainment. He’s married to a veterinarian, has a cat with three working legs, a mother-in-law who just moved in and is just a simple man trying to make his way in the universe.

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