WHAT TO WATCH | #NYCvCLB on Decision Day

Columbus Crew SC will travel to face the current Eastern Conference No. 2 seed, New York City FC, for a special Decision Day, presented by AT&T, 4 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday.

 

Both Eastern Conference teams have already clinched their spot in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs, but both will be fighting for the highest seed possible, with Crew SC having the potential to finish as high as the No. 2 spot. A win Sunday against NYCFC accompanied by an Atlanta FC loss or tie to Toronto FC and a Chicago loss or tie to the Houston Dynamo could see the Black & Gold having a Knockout Round bye and home field advantage in the Eastern Conference with a win.

Here are some storylines to read up on before the regular-season finale:

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

NYCFC recently announced the season finale against the Black & Gold would be moved from Yankee Stadium to the New York Mets’ Citi Field in Queens due to the New York Yankees advancing to the American League Championship Series in the MLB Playoffs.

D-Day

Decision Day is right around the corner and the Black & Gold are currently the hottest team in Major League Soccer right now (6W-0L-3D). Having already clinched their berth in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs, a win in Sunday’s matchup against New York City FC could see the Black & Gold ending the regular season as high as the No. 2 seed. Crew SC will have a Knockout Round bye and home field advantage if they defeat NYCFC and Atlanta FC lose or draw against Toronto FC and a Chicago lose or draw against the Houston Dynamo.

NYC Columbus Crew SC

Columbus Crew SC will clinch the No. 2 seed, a Knockout Round bye and home field advantage in the Eastern Conference if:
  • Crew SC defeats New York City FC on October 22
  • and ...

  • Atlanta United tie or lose vs. Toronto FC on October 22
  • and ...

  • Chicago Fire tie or lose vs. the Houston Dynamo on October 22
Columbus Crew SC will clinch the No. 3 seed and home field advantage in the Knockout Round vs. the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference if:
  • Crew SC defeats New York City FC on October 22
  • and ...

  • Atlanta United win vs. Toronto FC on October 22
  • and ...

  • Chicago Fire tie or lose vs. the Houston Dynamo on October 22
  • — OR—

  • Chicago Fire win vs. the Houston Dynamo on October 22
  • and ...

  • Atlanta United lose or tie vs. Toronto FC on October 22

Villa the Villain

This will be Crew SC’s first meeting with David Villa this season, having missed him in their previous meeting with New York due to illness. The 35-year-old Designated Player has been a steady force for NYCFC. At one point this season, Villa netted 11 goals in 10 matches. The Spaniard is trailing Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco by eight points for the Audi Player Index Award.

Arrivederci Andrea!

Sunday’s meeting will also be the first, and potentially last, meeting with Andrea Pirlo for Crew SC this season. Pirlo recently announced that he will retire from professional soccer at the end of New York City FC’s 2017 season. The former AC Milan, Juventus and Italian midfielder has notched one goals and 18 assists in 60 regular season appearances with NYCFC. The 38-year-old has also won six Serie A titles, two UEFA Champions League crowns, and the 2006 World Cup.

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