This Sunday, on Decision Day, NYCFC will take on the Columbus Crew to try and clinch a first round bye in the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Boys in Blue can clinch if they win or if Toronto FC loses. It is nearly impossible for them to clinch first place, needing a New York Red Bulls loss and to make up a -13 goal differential. The game kicks off at 4 PM EST at Yankee Stadium.
Players to Watch in New York City FC vs Columbus Crew SC
Last week, with Crew SC number one goalkeeper Steve Clark on the bench, Brad Stuver made his MLS debut in goal. Clark will likely not be playing this week and long time backup Stuver is expected to start again. Against the New York Red Bulls, Stuver let in three goals. As NYCFC has such a potent attack, he needs to be in peak form to thwart their attack. As he is inexperienced, NYCFC will most likely try to test him early and often to force a mistake. If Stuver can hold steady, he could help the visitors pull off the upset.
Khiry Shelton has appeared on this list so often because of his ability to transform games. After forcing his way back into the lineup, Shelton and the offense had a disappointing performance. Part of that was due to the lack of Frank Lampard, but another part was the attacks failure to connect passes. If Shelton keeps his place in the team, he needs to prove that he should be in the starting XI.
After all the talk of how overrated Frank Lampard was, he has been integral in their attack this year. NYCFC’s attack was really lacking without him in the lineup. If he is healthy enough to return, Lampard needs to continue to show his value to the team. Lampard also could help the attack by chipping in come goals, and providing the shuttle between Andrea Pirlo and David Villa. If NYCFC want to win, Lampard will need to be in peak form.
Possible Line Up for NYCFC
Shelton will most likely lose his place in the team, but Jack Harrison could too. Tommy McNamara will shift back to left wing when Lampard returns.