Last weekend, Columbus Crew SC hosted the New York Red Bulls at MAPFRE Stadium, playing to a 1-1 draw. Sunday, the Black & Gold will take on Sporting Kansas City on national television (FS1) at Children’s Mercy Park.
These two sides haven’t met since August 22, 2015, where Crew SC earned three points in a 3-2 comeback win in front of its home crowd at MAPFRE Stadium.
Like their match last weekend against the Red Bulls, the Black & Gold are facing another high energy, high-press style team in Kansas City.
“[Sporting Kansas City is] a very fast-tempo team and they believe in generating quick attacks and many attacks,” says Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter.
Midfielder Mohammed Saeid is hopeful that the team can put its strategy to full effect on Sunday.
“We’ve been knocking on the door for a long time now. We haven’t gotten the results that we wanted but hopefully it can come this weekend,” he says. “We like to press as high as possible. When we win it we try to go as quickly as possible forward… We’ve just got to keep calm, keep the ball, keep it moving, win as many tackles as possible and try and get as many shots on target as possible.”
Both Crew SC and Sporting KC sit below the red line of the MLS Cup Playoffs at the moment, making it an important match for both teams. Playing at Children’s Mercy Park is no easy task as the venue is known for an energetic crowd and exciting atmosphere, something that Berhalter and his team are aware of.
“It’s a great environment. When you think about good environments in our League, that is certainly one of the better ones. They’ve done a great job of engaging the city and making their place a difficult place to play. We appreciate that,” Berhalter says.
Berhalter believes that the team is prepared for the up-tempo game at Children's Mercy Park.
“We’re ready for their energy that they’re going to bring. We’re looking forward to how the game plays out.”
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. on FS1 on Sunday, July 3. Remember to check out our quick channel guide here.