New York City FC will be on the comeback trail when they entertain DC United at Yankee Stadium for Hispanic Heritage Night, presented by Goya Foods.
Here are the Keys to the Match…
Bounce Back City
There’s no getting away from it, Wednesday night was a disappointing one for everyone associated with the club, from the players, to the coaches, to the front office, to the fans.
Losing our unbeaten home record after recording 28 shots and then conceding from a rare New England attack was a real suckerpunch but the objectives for the 2018 season remain intact and we will pick ourselves up for Saturday’s visit of New England.
It was a night where NYCFC’s luck was well and truly out and when that’s combined with some less than clinical finishing, the stars aligned for Brad Friedel and his out of form Revolution side to capture the three points against the run of play.
No excuses from the Boys in Blue were offered after the game but you can bet they’ll be hungrier than ever when they return to the field on Saturday evening.
City were without seven full international players for the game vs. New England, with Jo Inge Berget, Maxime Chanot, Yangel Herrera, Jesus Medina, Ebenezer Ofori, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Rodney Wallace all missing through a combination of the FIFA window and injury.
Unfortunately, they will be without eight on Saturday, as Finland international Alex Ring misses out through yellow card accumulation.
That won’t make the task any easier vs. a DC United side buoyed by the arrival of their new superstar DP and their morale-boosting move to Audi Field.
Time for the squad to show its depth and rally in front of the home faithful.
Rooney vs. Villa
Incredibly, this marks just the second meeting between David Villa and Wayne Rooney in their long and storied careers.
The only previous time Spain and England’s record goalscorers have shared a field was for the 2011 UEFA Champions League final – one of the greatest finals in recent European soccer history – when Pep Guardiola’s FC Barcelona’s won 3-1 and both forwards in question scored for their teams.
Dome Torrent was of course part of the Barca coaching team on that day and will be hoping for a similar result for El Guaje and his band of Blues.
Enter the Sandsman
To say Torrent was pleased with James Sands, who made his full debut for NYCFC vs. New England, would be an understatement.
The 18-year old, who only arrived back from his loan spell at Louisville City this week went straight into the XI for his first start and has already been confirmed on the teamsheet for Saturday by his Head Coach.
Dome said: "Jimmy is our future. We found a #6 for the next years. I’m very happy for Jimmy, he played really well. He plays the next game because I’m very happy with him. He played with confidence, he played simple, he played good. Like a player who play seven years in MLS.”
In NYCFC’s short history, matches vs. DC United have tended to throw up drama.
Whether it was the thrilling 4-0 romp in last year’s Home Opener or Frank Lampard’s late double down to down DC in 2016, this match has tended to be worth tuning in for.
A Rooney-inspired DC pulled off an impressive 3-1 victory over Atlanta United last time out and so will be arriving in the Big Apple full of confidence.
With a big crowd expected in the BX, it’s all set up to be an epic…