When the Columbus Crew hosts the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, they will seek to continue their unbeaten record against another defensive powerhouse.
New York (5-6-8, 23 points) is tied for the second-fewest goals allowed in MLS with 18, two more than Nashville SC.
However, as the league’s highest-scoring team with 38 goals, the Crew knows how to get around a defensive opponent. Columbus defeated Nashville 2-0 last Saturday, marking only the second time this season that Nashville has allowed multiple goals in a game.
The Crew (9-6-4, 31 points) have won four and tied one of their last five games.
“Believe me, we’re well aware of the form (the Crew) are in right now, and hopefully we’re going to have a good setup to give us some success,” Red Bulls coach Troy Lesesne said.
“We have to respect the team that they are, the form that they are in, and the individual qualities that they have.”
The Red Bulls defeated the Crew 2-1 at home on March 18, although they have not won two games in a row against them since early in the 2017 season.
“We’re getting better game by game.” “Obviously, we are better now,” Crew midfielder Lucas Zelarayan said of the March victory over the Red Bulls.
The Red Bulls are also developing into an offensive powerhouse. They have scored six goals in the last two games, equal their total from the previous ten games dating back to mid-April.
“This is the type of form that everybody has been waiting for in terms of the way we want to attack,” Lesesne explained. “Hopefully, we can keep it up, but it’s not going to be easy against a team like Columbus away from home.”
The Crew has won four consecutive games at home, where they are 6-1-2 this season and 11-1-5 since August. Saturday will mark the eighth consecutive home sellout.
“It’s amazing,” remarked Crew goalie Patrick Schulte. “(The fans) give us a little more belief and hope.” We have a changeover point, and the audience erupts. “We sense that energy.”
Aidan Morris, the Crew’s midfielder, will be absent due to his participation in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with the United States men’s national team.