Welcome to Matchday 23, which brings New York City FC to Ohio to face Columbus Crew at Lower.com Field. Home is good to the Crew: They are on a formidable five-game winning streak at Lower.com in which they have scored 13 goals.
Tonight’s match is a clash between two teams, each unbeaten in their last seven, with NYCFC looking to build on their first road win of the season in Montreal on Matchday 21. Here is your NYCFC vs Columbus Crew preview and Game Day Hub.
Game Day Essentials
- Matchday 23: NYCFC vs Columbus Crew
- Date and Time: Saturday, July 8, 7:30 pm ET
- Kickoff Time: 7:39 pm ET
- Venue: Lower.com Field
- Bruce Arena Forecast: Thunderstorms likely, 78˚ F/25˚ C
- Watch: Apple TV
- Apple TV Broadcast Team: Jake Zivin and Kyndra de St. Aubin
- Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
- Officiating Crew: Sergii Boiko (referee), Jeremy Kieso and Justin Howard (assistant referees), Ricardo Fierro (fourth official), Alejandro Mariscal (VAR), Joshua Patlak (assistant VAR)
NYCFC vs Columbus preview
Columbus are unbeaten since drawing NYCFC at Yankee Soccer Stadium on June 17, with two wins and one draw. But they’re coming off a frustrating match against bottom-of-the-table Inter Miami on Tuesday, played in the tropical Florida heat. Columbus took the lead, lost it, took it again, then watched Josef Martínez score a wondergoal in the 90th minute. Both sides took a point, but the Crew must feel hard done.
NYCFC just put in a strong performance at home against Charlotte FC that had everything but goals — New York City controlled the game and created chances but couldn’t demonstrate much quality in front of the net. In case you didn’t know, NYCFC have a striker problem.
NYCFC vs Columbus Crew H2H
The historic head-to-head between the two clubs slightly favors Columbus, but the two teams are dead even in recent years. In 2022 and 2023, NYCFC and Columbus are 1-1-1.
- Player Availability: James Sands is on international duty with the USMNT — and just earned a place in Gold Cup group stage Best XI.
- Braian Cufré and Tayvon Gray are both one yellow card away from serving a one-match suspension.
- Will Thiago Martins see playing time? The center-back has returned from rehabbing his knee after undergoing surgery, and was on the bench for Wednesday’s match.
- If Thiago Martins does get on the field, will that throw off the chemistry developing between the back three of Maxime Chanot, Tayvon Gray, and Justin Haak? The patched-together back line is looking strong.
- The recurring question: Where will NYCFC find goals? In case you haven’t heard, New York City is underperforming when it comes to scoring, and managed just one goal on Wednesday against Charlotte’s worst-in-MLS defense.
Columbus Crew SC
- Player Availability: Defender Will Sands is out for the season with a knee injury. The rest of the squad is available.
- This Columbus side will feature Lucas Zelarayán, who was away on international duty with the Armenian national team when these two sides met in the Bronx last month. Zelarayán scored two goals in an upset win over Wales in a Player of the Match performance in that campaign.
- Columbus have scored 42 goals in 21 games, the best in all of MLS. Just sayin’.