July 13, 2018 / 8:34 PM / 8 months ago

NYCFC looking to close busy week on high note

New York City FC has been missing some of its biggest stars, but that hasn’t stopped a surge toward the top of the Eastern Conference table.

NYC (11-4-4, 37 points) goes for a third straight home win in seven days when the Columbus Crew (8-6-6, 30) visit Yankee Stadium on Saturday. New York City trails first-place Atlanta by three points in the East.

While the Crew have a win and three shutout losses in their last four games, NYC defeated the New York Red Bulls 1-0 on Sunday and the Montreal Impact 3-0 on Wednesday to run its home record to 9-0-1.

“As a group we knew this week was going to be very difficult that we would have three games in a very short period,” NYC midfielder Jesus Medina said. “Now we are focused on Columbus.”

Medina and Ronald Mataritta each had a goal and an assist vs. the Impact to help offset the loss due to injuries of David Villa (eight goals), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (eight goals) and Jo Inge Berget (four goals).

Villa may be available for the match against the Crew.

Scoring has been a problem for the Crew, which has been shut out eight times this season, including 4-0 at the Los Angeles Galaxy on July 7, and have three goals in nine road matches (2-4-3).

The Crew on Wednesday acquired forward Patrick Mullins from D.C. United. Mullins played for NYC in 2015-16, scoring six goals in 31 games.

“We knew wanted to add some attacking depth at some point. We were patient and waiting for the right deal to get done,” Crew coach Gregg Berhalter said. “He has a proven track record of scoring. What we really like about him is his penalty box play, attacking crosses, very good timing, good movement into space and a good finisher.”

—Field Level Media

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