New York City FC are bringing an end to a four-game road streak with Saturday’s clash vs. the Columbus Crew.
Here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
Goals always seem to be on the menu when these teams meet, with an average of four goals per game being scored across the 12 matches all-time.
Don’t go looking to the history books for an indication on which way the points will go though – NYCFC and Columbus are impossible to separate when you go to the all-time head-to-head results.
Both sides have four wins apiece in the Regular Season meetings, with three draws being shared.
On NYC’s last visit to the MAPFRE Stadium, Dome Torrent’s side were defeated 2-1 but we did win 3-2 there back in 2017 in one of the closest-run rivalries we shared across our five MLS seasons.
Signs of Life
Although Columbus have always provided a tough test for NYCFC, they come into this one looking to turn around a tough run after losing eight of their last nine MLS games.
There are some signs of life for the Crew though, despite the fact that they are the second-lowest scoring team in the league.
Columbus are second only to FC Cincinnati when looking at the teams in the league with the lowest shot conversation rate, with their xG differential -4.7 what statisticians would expect from the quality of chances they’ve produced.
To put it simply, Columbus are creating good chances and are alive in their games, but have been unable to convert their opportunities.
NYCFC certainly won't want to be on the receiving end of a change in fortunes in this department...
Since NYCFC’s heavy defeat in Toronto, our only loss so far in 2019, Torrent’s charges have been impossible to defeat, also boasting one of the league’s tightest defenses across the eight games since Toronto (4W 4D)
We’ve conceded just five goals in those eight games, with Messrs. Johnson, Callens, Chanot and Sands providing strong resistance, giving NYCFC a platform to get some important points on the board.
Let’s keep it going!
Iron Man Ascending
Speaking of Callens, the defender will be joining up with the Peruvian national team immediately after the game on Saturday.
Earning a fitting reward for his fine form in his three seasons at NYCFC, the 27-year old will be featuring in his first major international tournament at the Copa America in Brazil – a huge source of pride for everyone associated with NYCFC.
Callens won 12 duels last weekend which was tied as most of any defender in MLS on Memorial Day weekend as he continued to impress as part of the three-back favored by Torrent so far in 2019.
There are narratives aplenty on the opposing side, too…
Chief among them, this match will serve as Zack Steffen’s farewell appearance on what is sure to be an emotional night in Ohio.
The USMNT goalkeeper will be joining our sister club Manchester City after this one, so will be eager to go out in style with a strong performance against New York’s Boys in Blue.