New York City FC are set to take on Chicago Fire on Saturday night and are feeling confident with their win against Columbus Crew SC.
Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
The Boys in Blue bounced back from their Hudson River Derby loss, defeating Columbus Crew SC 1-0 on Monday night. Gaining their confidence in the second half, captain Alex Ring scored for NYCFC, which earned the three points.
With training back in full swing, the team is ready to take on another tough competitor in the shape of Chicago Fire at Red Bull Arena. According to goalie Sean Johnson, formerly of Chicago, the club was in need of the points and rather than being focused on their competitor, they focused on themselves which proved to be the best mindset.
Johnson said: “I think it was a really big win for us. We were in a position where we needed points. I think the focus was on us and what we needed to do, not so much worried about where Columbus was in the table. It was really important stick to the things that have made us successful in the past. We dug deep, I think there was a real fight and a real commitment to playing. I think you can see it all around the pitch. Nobody was scared, nobody backed down and we were always on the front foot.”
Road to Recovery
City’s current top two all-time top scorers on the squad, Maxi Moralez and Ismael “Isi” Tajouri-Shradi are close to returning from their injuries. They were seen in today’s Inside Training video on NYCFC.com getting some practice in with the rest of the team, however, their return for Saturday’s match is uncertain.
Moralez has been out since the bubble after suffering a calf injury, while Isi has been out since early August after sustaining a hamstring injury which occurred during NYCFC’s match versus Toronto FC.
In 2019, Moralez scored seven goals and racked up 20 assists, while Isi’s record of five goals with four assists means that they are crucial to City’s attack and having two more healthy players back on the pitch could make all the difference moving forward in this first phase of our return to play.
We’ll have the official NYCFC Injury Report on NYCFC.com on Saturday before the game.
Fire Form Check
City prepares to take on Chicago Fire who are coming off a 3-0 win against FC Cincinnati.
In their return to Soldier Field, the first MLS goal in 15 years was scored by Fabian Herbers, which boosted the team to finish with a big win and provided their own bounce back after a 3-0 loss to Columbus the week before.
Chicago had failed to make it out of their group at the MLS is Back Tournament with one win from their three games and NYCFC can move above them in the Eastern Conference standings with a home win on Saturday.
The team’s last meeting in 2019 ended with a 1-1 tie in Chicago where NYCFC remained undefeated in their previous eight matches. Both goals were scored before halftime from C.J. Sapong 28’ for Chicago and Alexandru Mitriță 40’ assisted by Maxi Moralez for City.
Chicago took the lead 1-0 after a lengthy video review, but the score was evened out thanks to Mitriță, who was able to recover and scored just before the half. With 15’ left, Sean Johnson made a strong save with his foot keeping the score tied at 1-1.
In the home match vs. the Fire in 2019, NYCFC got a narrow win thanks to a goal from Taty Castellanos.
How to Watch / Listen
Tune into YES Network for NYCFC’s upcoming match with radio commentary in English and Spanish at NYCFC.com/Radio.
Join Ian Joy and Joe Tolleson for pregame coverage at 7PM on YES before kickoff at 7:30PM Let’s get this W. #ForTheCity