New York City FC are back in action on Sunday as they face off against D.C. United in what will be the team's third game in eight days.
Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
New York City FC Head Coach Ronny Deila has been very precise with his rotation policy this week. Three games in eight days is a big ask for any group of players, and that’s why we saw several changes to the starting XI midweek.
Deila has talked up the club’s strength and depth for this very reason. Modern soccer is very much a squad game, and being able to trust all every member of your squad is vital.
The added benefit of such competition is that it keeps training to a high level, and James Sands noted an increase in intensity following the arrival of Talles Magno, Thiago Andrade and Santiago Rodríguez.
It would be no surprise to see NYCFC rotate again at the weekend, and hand opportunities to some of those players that did not see the pitch against Atlanta United – with the unpredictability of the starting XI a headache for our opponents.
As we discussed ahead of our last meeting with D.C. United Hernán Losada is heavily influenced by the work of Marcelo Bielsa. The benefit of such an approach is that when successful, it helps the team win the ball in a dangerous area with the opposition unprepared.
A great example of this came on Wednesday during the win against Atlanta United as Keaton Parks capitalized to win the ball back and set in motion the game-winning play. We can see how D.C. United apply their press in the clip below. While modern soccer has embraced pressing as a strategy, it is not without its weakness.
The meeting with D.C. will be a test of the player’s technique and decision-making, but if they can get through that trouble it will open up the opposition and leave them exposed at the back.
See The Progress
NYCFC started the season against D.C. United, and after a strong preseason, there was a real sense of disappointment about the eventual 2-1 result.
The Boys in Blue played well but were undone by a sloppy set-piece and an impressive strike from distance, but now some two months later they have the chance to show the progress they have made as a group.
This week has already seen NYCFC push the leaders in the East all the way and pick up a big win against Atlanta United. A victory on Sunday would round the week out nicely and only enhance the team’s momentum moving into the next phase of the season.