It’s time for Game 21 of Season 5 for New York City’s Football Club.
Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
Three in a Row?
NYCFC are chasing a third-successive win when they kick-off in Utah vs. RSL.
Victories over the Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City propelled NYC up to fourth place in the Eastern Conference and another win here could see Dome Torrent’s side move up as high as second.
City have four games in hand on Philadelphia (1st) and D.C. United (3rd) and three games in hand on Atlanta United (2nd), with just four points separating the Boys in Blue from the summit.
With 14 games remaining until the postseason, the Conference is taking shape and NYCFC will be eager to make up ground and send out a statement to their rivals going into the final third of the Regular Season campaign.
Head to Head
NYCFC have struggled historically vs. RSL in their annual cross-Conference clashes.
Out of four matches, NYC have only emerged victorious once, losing three times to the Claret & Cobalt – however, that one victory was in the most recent meeting at Yankee Stadium early in 2018.
This time, City face an RSL team who lie in eighth place in the Western Conference standings and come into this one on the back of a 0-0 draw at FC Dallas last weekend.
Can NYCFC win at the Rio Tinto Stadium for the first time ever on Saturday night? It won’t be easy but there is a strong wind in road team’s sails right now…
Dome Torrent has hinted that All-Star Maxi Moralez will play no part when City take to the Rio Tinto Stadium stage on Saturday night at 10pm Eastern.
NYCFC’s top assist-maker has had a busy time of it recently, especially with that midweek trip to Orlando for the All-Star game, so it’ll be up to the squad to deliver if our no.10 is missing.
Ebenezer Ofori came in from the bench in place of Maxi vs. SKC in our last match and continued his excellent 2019 form in the second half, so could once again be an option.
Alternatively, new signing Gary Mackay-Steven has shone brightly in his two brief cameos and Jesus Medina has contributed in his substitute appearances too, so they could be alternative attacking pieces for Dome if he needs them from the start.
Style and Substance
Dome’s vision for NYCFC has been there for all to see through the busy summer, with the Catalan’s team playing arguably the most attractive soccer in MLS.
Nowhere was this more evident than vs. SKC last time out, when the Boys in Blue produced yet another breathtaking team goal for the opener – a sweeping back-to-front team move which was finished off by Anton Tinnerholm.
For Dome, it was the perfect encapsulation of the way he wants his team to play the beautiful game.
“The first goal was fantastic,” Torrent said. “That is the New York City Football Club style now.”
“It’s a style we want to create here. At the end, the best option for you is when you see your players play with one clear style.”
There’s fireworks every time NYCFC takes to the field right now… long may it continue.