Phase 1 of the MLS return to regular season play is underway with a six-game stretch over three weeks and two big names meet up Monday night as New York City FC hosts first-place Columbus Crew. With Yankee Stadium unavailable due to the Yankees games and COVID restrictions, NYCFC will borrow their rivals stadium and play this game at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey Monday at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
Since NYCFC joined the league in 2015 these Eastern Conference squads have met 11 times in regular season action and once in the playoffs. NYCFC holds a 4-3 advantage with four draws in the regular season while the Crew eliminated NYCFC from the 2017 playoffs on 4-3 aggregate. Columbus hasn’t scored on the road against NYCFC since 2017, a span of three games.
Columbus Crew Outlook: Press Forward
The Crew picked up right where they left off from the tournament as they shredded Chicago Fire 3-0 on Thursday night to stay unbeaten in regular-season play. Even without injured playmaker Lucas Zelarayan, midfielder Youness Mokhtar and starting keeper Eloy Room, Columbus bossed the Fire around the pitch in a 3-0 home win. Derrick Etienne scored in the first half while Darlington Nagbe and Guasi Zardes, who missed an earlier penalty, scored in the second half.
Zardes scored four goals in Orlando and now has six on the sason while Tuesday’s strike was the first of the year for Nagbe. Andrew Tarbell took over in goal for Room and provided his second clean sheet of the 2020 season. Coach Caleb Porter did not announce postgame Tuesday if Zelarayan, Mokhtar or Room would be available for Monday’s game.
The Crew pushed their lead in the East to four points over Tornoto with Tuesday’s win. They have the stingiest defense so far this season with just one goal allowed in six regular season games and their +11 goal differential leads the league.
NYCFC Outlook: More Offense
After underperforming in Orlando, NYCFC returned to MLS regular season action with a 1-0 loss to RBNY in the stadium both will share for the time being. Keeper Sean Johnson mishandled a swerving shot by Kyle Duncan and video review ruled the ball crossed the line before it was cleared. NYCFC pressed forward over the final 30 minutes but couldn’t find the equalizer as they dropped all three points.
The loss leaves NYCFC in 12th place overall with just one win in six games this year and they could fall behind Inter Miami FC in the standings later this week. Ronny Delia’s squad managed just one shot on goal all game as Heber’s 31st minute shot was easily handled.
The offense has been lackluster for the Boys in Blue this year with just two goals in six regular season games though they did score four times in two knockout round games. Jesus Medina has one of the regular-season goals and added two more in Orlando while Ismael Tajouri-Shradi has the other regular-season score. Valentin Castellanos and Maxi Moralez both scored in the 3-1 knockout round win over Toronto FC in the Orlando tournament.
Columbus Crew at NYCFC Betting Lines By Scoresandstats.com
Columbus Crew to win:
NYCFC to win:
The Crew have been ripping right through the league and have the most points in all of MLS while NYCFC are struggling to find their form and to score goals in their new system. Even if Columbus doesn’t have their full complement of players back from injury they will feel confident in going East to earn three more points.
Head to our favorite pay per head bookie PayPerHaed247.com and bet the Columbus Crew to win.
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