Mon, 06 Dec 2021

Stingy Red Bulls look to extend unbeaten run against Crew

Field Level Media
23 Oct 2021, 05:55 GMT+10

The New York Red Bulls will try to extend their unbeaten streak to eight games and improve their chances to make the playoffs when they play at the equally desperate Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Since a 2-1 loss to the Crew (10-12-8, 38 points) in Columbus on Sept. 14, the Red Bulls (11-11-7, 40 points) have five wins and two ties.

During the span, they have five shutouts, including winning the past three games without allowing a goal.

"We have at the moment very good confidence. We are very stable in our defense," New York coach Gerhard Struber said. "We've conceded (two) goals in the last seven games. ... This gives everyone a very, very good feeling that it is very difficult against us to score goals.

"We have to show that one more time in Columbus. ... We are ready. We are ready to win. We are ready for a great performance."

Despite the streak, the ninth-place Red Bulls are a point behind D.C. United and New York City FC, who are battling for the seventh and final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference with four matches left.

The Crew is nearing must-win territory sitting in 10th, three points below the qualifying line.

They will be without leading scorer Gyasi Zardes (nine goals), who sustained a left knee sprain at Nashville SC on Wednesday that will keep him out of the remaining four regular season games.

Columbus is 3-1-2 in the past six games.

"Lately we have improved on the attack, especially over the last few matches," Crew forward Lucas Zelarayan said. "We know that at times throughout the year we had struggled with scoring and lately we have been able to do it. What remains now is to work, help each other out and face the remainder of the matches."

Crew coach Caleb Porter will miss his second straight match after testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. He is vaccinated.

Assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson will be acting head coach again.

--Field Level Media

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