Columbus vs NYCFC preview: How to watch, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Photo: Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

NYCFC take on the Columbus Crew at Lower.com Field in a key Eastern Conference matchup.

The Boys In Blue are coming off of a 2-1 loss to Montreal that snapped their two-match winning streak while the Crew rallied for a 2-2 draw against in-state rivals FC Cincinnati. 

Both teams are on 17 points with NYCFC above Columbus in the Eastern Conference standings on goal difference.

Team news

Columbus will be missing a number of players as Artur (hip), Milton Valenzuela (hamstring) and Josh Williams (ankle) are all injured. Harrison Afful picked up a red card in the draw with Cincinnati and is suspended for this match. 

Luis Diaz, Derrick Etienne, Liam Fraser, Kevin Molino, Eloy Room and Gyasi Zardes are all away on international duty. Bradley Wright-Phillips is a doubt with a hip injury.

NYCFC will be without Heber as he continues to recover from the knee injury he suffered last year. Talles Magno won't make the trip to Columbus after a knee complaint. Goalkeeper Sean Johnson and defender James Sands remain on international duty with the United States for the Gold Cup.

Predicted lineups

Columbus: Bush; Abdul-Salaam, Wormgoor, Mensah, Francis; Nagbe, Kitchen; Santos, Matan, Zelarayan; Hurtado

NYCFC: Barraza; Thorarinsson, Chanot, Callens, Tinnerholm; Parks, Acevedo; Medina, Moralez, Tajouri-Shradi; Castellanos

Ones to watch

Lucas Zelarayan leads the Crew with four goals, including both in the last meeting against NYCFC. Darlington Nagbe has completed 96.4 percent of his passes, tops in MLS. The central midfielder has completed at least 90 percent of his pass attempts in his last 18 passes in which attempted at least 30 passes.

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Ismael Tajouri-Shradi has scored in four of his last six games. NYCFC have scored a league-high ten goals from set pieces with six coming from corner kicks, also tops in MLS.

Previous meetings

On May 22nd at Red Bull Arena, NYCFC took an 18th-minute lead through Tajouri-Shradi as he finished past Room in the bottom corner.

Room then denied Jesus Medina and Valentin Castellanos then missed by inches as the Boys In Blue nearly doubled their lead.

Mensah thought he had equalized in the 51st minute, but was flagged for offsides. Zelarayan then scored twice on free kicks in the 82nd minute to level and fifth minute of stoppage time to give Columbus all three points.

How to watch

ESPN+ will provide national streaming coverage. Bally Sports Ohio will televise the action in Columbus while the YES Network will carry the match in New York. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm Eastern time.

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