NYCvFCC Keys

Keys to the Match | The Empire State vs. The Queen City

New York City FC are set to take on FC Cincinnati on Saturday night at Red Bull arena for their third game in a week. This will be game three of Phase 2 for the MLS season restart.

Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…

Saturday Night Live

With only two days to prepare for their third match in a week, it’s a quick return to Harrison for the Boys in Blue this weekend.

City faces off against FC Cincinnati, a familiar competitor from earlier this month. After a tough loss to Toronto FC on Wednesday and a devastating injury for Héber, Head Coach Ronny Deila told reporters what the team needs to do moving forward.

Ronny said: “We are a compact, good, organized team and we are creating chances. Now it’s just small things that can make us really good. I think through confidence and consistency, but we have to keep focus on the things we do well. I am confident that we are on the right way.”

Update on Héber

New York City FC released a statement today confirming the injury Héber sustained in Wednesday night’s match against Toronto FC.

The Forward suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee and will miss the remainder of the 2020 MLS season. He is expected to have surgery to repair the injury and begin recovery protocols soon.

Everyone at the Club sends well wishes and hope for the best during his recovery. In terms of his replacement, Ronny revealed that Taty Castellanos will be called upon in the Brazilian’s absence.

Deila said: “It’s sad for Héber himself, but also for us because we lose a fantastic football player, and a good guy as well on the pitch. 

“So that’s sad for everybody. Having said that we’re lucky to have a good striker with Taty and it gives more chances for him to develop and to perform."

Starting XI Dilemmas

With the unfortunate news of Héber adding to Ronny Deila’s injury report the question remains… who will be in this weekend’s starting lineup?

Once again, Maxi Moralez, Gedion Zelalem, and Tayvon Gray will remain out, but there are still many options for Ronny to implement alongside Taty going into the match.

With a clear week before next weekend’s match vs. Inter Miami, it’ll be interesting to see who is given the shot when the lineups are released at approximately 6pm on Saturday night.

Cincinnati Form

FC Cincinnati are undefeated in their last two matches after a 0-0 draw against the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night.

That was a creditable score-line for Jaap Stam’s side against a much-fancied Philadelphia and means that NYC will be facing off against a team confident in their low defensive block.

Cincinnati currently holds the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference are five places below City with a record of three wins, four draws, and six losses. 

H2H

This year, City and FCC met in Phase 1 of the MLS season restart with the Boys in Blue leaving the pitch with a 2-1 victory.

Coming off their first loss in seven matches, NYCFC are ready to rally after their performance Wednesday night and walk away with a second win against their visitors in 2020 and continue their 100% record against the team from The Queen City (3W-0L).

Let’s get this W. #ForTheCity.

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