The XI: MLS Debut for Johansen in Goal

Eirik XI

Goalkeeper Eirik Johansen will take his MLS bow in New York City FC’s final regular season game against Columbus Crew SC.

The Norwegian is in as one of five changes to the team which started the 3-1 defeat to DC United last time out.

Patrick Vieira has opted for a change of system too, with Andoni Iraola, Frederic Brillant and Maxime Chanot lining up as a three-man defensive unit.

Ronald Matarrita has recovered from the injury which forced him off at the half against DC and starts in a wing-back role, with RJ Allen on the opposite side.

In midfield, Frank Lampard is fit enough to return to the bench, while Jack Harrison and Steven Mendoza play in behind David Villa who is chasing down Bradley Wright-Phillips for the Golden Boot.

El Guaje is one goal behind the Red Bulls man going into Decision Day and will hope to add to his 22 MLS goals.

At the base of midfield, Andrea Pirlo is joined by Federico Bravo as NYCFC look to inflict defeat on Columbus Crew SC for the first time in our history.

In Patrick's Words...

“It’s not an injury – Josh is fit to play," Vieira said. "I had a plan a few months ago to give Eirik a game so it was just a case of choosing the right one.

"He’s been playing really well in training and he very well against the Mexican team – I wanted to see him in a competitive game to see how he’s doing and how he copes with the pressure.

“You call it three at the back, I call it five. Ronald and RJ are more outside backs than wingers. It all depends how you want to see it – it’s to try and build up a bit better from the back, so we’ll see if we can do it today.”

The XI: MLS Debut for Johansen in Goal -

How they line up…

NYCFC XI: Johansen, Brillant, Iraola, Chanot, Bravo, Pirlo, Harrison, Mendoza, Allen, Matarrita, Villa (C)

Substitutes: Saunders, Hernandez, Lopes, Lampard, McNamara, Shelton, Martinez, Taylor

Columbus XI: Stuver, Næss, Parkhurst, Afful, Tchani, Martínez, Jiménez, Trapp, Kamara, Meram, Higuaín