Our football match prediction:
By beating Atlanta United on penalties Columbus Crew set up a meeting with New York City in the semi-finals of the Eastern Conference. Columbus did well to beat the odds and they now aim to claim yet another major scalp. Gregg Berhalter’s men are on an 11-game unbeaten run in the Major League Soccer and that is certainly giving fans a reason for optimism ahead of the visit of New York City. Patrick Vieira’s men finished the regular season in second place in the standings and they are seen as favourites to win the upcoming double-header. However, seeing that the team’s away record is anything but impressive, we predict that the Columbus Crew and New York City are going to share the spoils at MAPFRE Stadium in the first leg. As always, a man to watch in the away team will be Spanish veteran David Villa, who has been scoring goals for fun in the 2017 MLS season.
Highligted Player (Jukka Raitala):
Columbus Crew full back Jukka Raitala was born in Kerava, Finland on September 15, 1988. Raitala started his senior career at Klubi-04 and after making 22 league appearances for the club, he moved to HJK in 2007. After ending his spell with Helsinki, the Finland international signed a loan deal with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. During his spell with die Kraichgauer he appeared for the reserve team as well and in 2011 he was loaned again, this time out to Osasuna. On August 28, 2011 he made his Primera Division debut with los Rojillos playing as a left back against Atletico Madrid. Raitala played for the likes of Heerenveen, FC Vestsjaelland, Aalborg and Sogndal in the past as well he signed for Columbus Crew for the 2017 season. The Columbus defender made his Finland debut on February 4, 2009 in a friendly against Japan. It has to be noted that he represented Finland at the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in 2009.
Highlighted Team (New York City):
New York City are an American soccer club and they have been competing in Major League Soccer since 2015. The Pigeons play their home games at Yankee Stadium and they are the second club in New York after the New York Red Bulls. Famous Arsenal player Patrick Vieira took over the reins in January, 2016 and he helped the team finish the season in second place in the Eastern Conference. However, they were totally outclassed by Toronto FC (0-7 on aggregate) in the conference semifinals. New York City chiefs have been pumping up a lot of money into the squad ever since the team began play in MLS and it has to be noted that the likes of Andrea Pirlo and David Villa played for the Pigeons in the 2016 season. New York City footballers wear sky blue shirts when playing at home, while the colour of the team’s away kit is dark blue. Companies City Football Group (80%) and Yankee Global Enterprises own the club.