New York City FC are set to take on the FC Cincinnati at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night in the final game of Phase 1 of MLS Return to Play.
Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
NYCFC ended in a draw against D.C. United earning a single point on the road. Although the points were shared, NYCFC created plenty of chances at Audi Field and were unlucky not to claim the W from a dominant performance as they outshot Ben Olsen's side 19-0 without reward.
With the Boys in Blue back to training for their upcoming match against FC Cincinnati, competition levels are high as they end the first phase of this MLS restart at Red Bull Arena. Homegrown player, James Sands, was chosen as the Heineken Man of the Match and in his postgame interview believes scoring early goals against defensive opponents is key to opening the floodgates.
Sands said: “If we put even one of those [early chances] away, then it’s a completely different game, you know? They have to come out and put a little bit more and then maybe we’re having a different discussion about the game. So, I think in games like this, we really got to take our chances because we really won’t get many."
Taking chances will be key again on Saturday as City face off against a team known for approaching games in a similarly defensive manner to D.C. last time out.
FCC Falls to Columbus
FC Cincinnati fell 0-3 in their last match against Columbus on Sunday night extending the sixth-longest scoreless streak for a team in MLS as they made it a fifth match without a goal since the MLS is Back Tournament.
Although it hasn't been a kind run of games for Jaap Stam's side, City will know that they cannot afford to take the opposition lightly and will need to be clinical if they want to puncture through an organized defensive line.
Last year, City hosted and visited Cincinnati, winning both matches by 5-2 and 4-1 scorelines.
In their first match in the Bronx, goals from Mitriță, Héber (2), Tajouri-Shradi and Moralez headlined a Pride Night 5-2 win, before Taty and Héber carved up FCC at the Nippert Stadium in an emphatic road victory for the Boys in Blue later in the season.
Can NYC make it 3-0 on Saturday night?
As well as Sands, another player coming into this game in top form is Anton Tinnerholm, who was voted Etihad Player of the Month for August.
The Swedish defender earned 41% of the vote, playing and starting all matches for NYCFC since the MLS is Back Tournament, creating one assist and scoring a goal.
Watch on YES
Tune into YES Network at 6:30PM ET for pregame coverage with Ian Joy and Joe Tolleson who will be back on the mics during Saturday night’s match at 7PM ET.
For radio commentary in English and Spanish visit NYCFC.com/Radio. Let us know you’re following along using the hashtag #NYCFC on social media.