Columbus Crew takes on the Red Bulls in a Must win game without star striker
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With just 3 games left in the season, the Columbus Crew find themselves in the 8th spot just below the playoff line. In what has been a frustrating season for the team and their supporters, there still is hope for the Black & Gold to make the playoffs.

With frustrations growing more towards the end of the season, head coach Caleb Porter and the team have struggled to close games out. On Saturday the Crew will take on the Red Bulls without Cucho Hernandez. This will certainly be a tough matchup without him in the lineup, but the Black & Gold still have some other players that are looking for a chance to step up and shine.

With Cucho being out for this game with a suspension, look for Porter to lean on Lucas Zelarayan to get things going. Columbus is winless in their last 4 games and lead the MLS in most draws so far this season with 15. 

While Columbus sits 8th, the New York Red Bulls are in the 3rd spot. Last time these teams met in Columbus, the Red Bulls won 2-1 with a late goal by Sean Nealis. New York has posted a record of 4-1-2 in their last 7 games and have outscored their opponents 9-7 during that span. 

This will be the 77th time these teams will meet. The Red Bulls hold the advantage over the Crew with a record of 32-31-13. While Columbus has struggled at home, New York has thrived on the road this season. The Red Bulls have the second-best record on the road with 9 wins this season. In addition, New York has the best xG against average of 1.34 goals expected a game while on the road.

For Columbus, Cucho Hernandez is suspended for 1 game and the captain Jonathan Mensah is still out from an injury to his thigh that he sustained a couple of weeks ago. 

Tune in on Saturday, as Columbus takes on the Red Bulls at 7:30pm at field for "Fan Appreciation Night". Coverage begins at 7pm on Bally Sports.