New York City FC return to action against New England Revolution this weekend. Here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
Stop Carles Gil
Speaking to the Away End this week, Charlie Davies explained:
“I believe the 2021 Revolution success boils down to Carles Gil being moved to the center of the pitch, playing that #10 position, where he can get more touches.”
The stats back Davies’ point up. Gil currently leads MLS in Key Passes this season with 45. The next closest player is Emmanuel Reynoso of Minnesota United with 25. That becomes more pronounced when you look at just New England players, with Gustavo Bou second for Key Passes with 14 (source: mlssoccer.com).
Bruce Arena’s decision to build the attack around Gil has provided early dividends. The 28-year-old’s willingness to float around the field makes him a constant threat. The fact Gil is also trusted to take the team’s set plays further enhances his influence.
It will be important that City press him early and limit his space in open play – those are the moments in which Gil can find teammates in dangerous positions.
One of the early themes of NYCFC’s 2021 campaign was their ability to start games quickly.
In four of the team’s first six MLS games, they scored inside the opening 20 minutes (including two goals before the 10th minute).
Ronny Deila’s desire for the team to press and be proactive in games has been an important factor behind that, and it will be vital they return from the international break at a similar standard.
Setting the tone is often the foundation for a good result, and while this group has displayed impressive character in recent games, it will be important they don’t allow their opponents to get a foothold in the game.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
NYCFC entered the international break off the back of a fantastic away win at LAFC.
While it may have felt like a bad time for games to stop, the benefit is that it has allowed the team’s new faces more time to bed in.
Thiago Andrade, Talles Magno, and Santiago Rodriguez give the Boys in Blue more options in the final third, and in turn, that provides Ronny Deila greater tactical flexibility.
As we saw against LAFC, the ability to introduce players with quality like Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Alfredo Morales can have a significant role in changing the result and heading into this weekend; Deila will once again benefit from that depth.
New York City FC are back in action against New England Revolution on Saturday, June 19 at Red Bull Arena with kickoff taking place at 7:30PM ET (YES Network/NYCFC.com/radio).