CLB vs. NY – Game Preview

CLBvNY19nov

Columbus Crew SC vs. New York Red Bulls – Eastern Conference Championships 1st leg

Sunday, November 2nd, 5:00 p.m. ET. MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, OH.

2015 Playoffs in Major League Soccer have been the best show in town so far, with drama, suspense and stories that puts the MLS high up there amongst the top sports leagues in the country, and the world actually.

The best part of this MLS playoffs being – nothing is expected, and every day provides an entire new story of thrilling soccer.

The two contenders for Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference Championship are Columbus Crew SC, which are one of the hottest and most interesting teams in the MLS right now, and New York Red Bulls, that despite major changes in both squad and staff have been establishing themselves as an MLS powerhouse.

New York Red Bulls will travel to Ohio to face the Crew for the first leg, to be followed by the Red Bulls hosting the Crew on Sunday, November 29th for the second.

Hosts Columbus Crew SC came in second this Major League Soccer Season in the MLS Eastern Conference, with 53 points (15-11-8).  The Crew hasn’t won the MLS Cup since 2008, and have not won a major trophy since winning the Supporters’ Shield in 2009.

Columbus have a strong squad and has lately been finding its form as a cohesive, well-rehearsed team.  Kei Kamara being tied at 24 goals with Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco for the most goals in the MLS regular season.  Teammate Ethan Finlay has also been on the up, and at 13 goals had his best Major League Soccer season to date.  Argentinian Federico Higuain also imposes a threat at the front, with 9 goals this regular MLS season.

Visitors New York Red Bulls are finished the MLS 2015 regular season in top of Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference table with 60 points (18-10-6).  They are coming on the back of two Supporters’ Shield wins in three years, including 2015.  However, the New York Red Bulls have never won the MLS Cup.

The Red Bulls have beat all expectations in the first season without former captain and world-soccer star Thierry Henry and the departure of legendary boss Mike Petke.  However, new incoming Coach Jesse Marsch and Sporting Director Ali Curtis have brought in Sacha Kljestan with extensive experience in midfield and Mike Grella who scored 9 goals this season.  Blending in nicely with Lloyd Sam with 10 goals, and Former England International and Manchester City FC Bradley Wright-Phillips who scored 18 goals this season, the Red Bulls are an MLS powerhouse nowadays.

The sides met three times in the past MLS regular season, with the Red Bulls winning 2-1 at Columbus in March, Columbus winning 2-1 at home on July, and New York winning 2-1 at home in October.

The two teams also met at the 2008 MLS Cup final, when Columbus Crew beat New York Red Bulls 3-1.