New York City Football Club are on the road this weekend as they face Columbus Crew. 

For this edition of 'The Away End' presented by Berkeley College & Rennert International, we spoke to Brett Hiltbrand, host and sideline reporter for the Crew.

Hi Brett, how long have you been covering the Crew?

I've been on the TV broadcast since 2019 but I've been around the team professionally off and on since 2006.

What has been your highlight during that time?

The MLS Cup victory is definitely the #1 highlight but closing out Historic Crew Stadium the right way and opening Lower.com Field are definitely two more.

How would you evaluate the team's season so far?

The Crew's 2022 season is kinda defined by its two eras, so to speak: that's everything that happened before Cucho Hernandez's arrival and now that he's with the team. It's been an up-and-down season but the highs have been very, very fun and I feel like the squad continues to trend upward.

Who would you predict as the team's dangerman heading into the game?

Lucas Zelerayan is always the guy opponents always have to account for and everything runs through him.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams in 2022, what do you think will be the deciding factor in the game?

When you watch NYCFC, it sometimes feels like you're watching a team with six or seven DP-quality players so managing that firepower is always your #1 job. Efficiency in front of goal is probably the next one for me - if you create a high quality chance, it needs to be in the back of the net because NYCFC will punish you for not taking opportunities. Getting the first goal is crucial as well.

And for any of our supporters that might be in Columbus in the near future are there any spots you'd suggest they check out?

Columbus is easily one of the most underrated food cities in the country so there are a lot of options. You're going to find great spots basically anywhere in the Short North and/or Arena District, both of which are within easy walking distance of Lower.com Field. Don't sleep on the food inside the stadium though, either. Dos Hermanos has been a favorite food spot of mine since the founders borrowed a food truck and started their business back in 2012. Don't be afraid to stop into one of the many Crew bars either!