New York City FC welcome Philadelphia Union to Yankee Stadium on Saturday night.
Here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
Back to the BX
That 5-2 victory over FC Cincinnati sure feels like a long time ago now.
That was the last time NYCFC were in action at Yankee Stadium, back on June 6, meaning that anticipation is at fever pitch for this meeting between (relatively) local rivals.
City has a real chance to build up some more momentum in the coming week, with three home games inside eight days vs. Philly (Saturday), Seattle (Wednesday) and Portland (Sunday).
With nine points on the line in our home stadium, this could be one of those special summer weeks in the Boogie Down, so we need your support to get it done.
As if our return to the Bronx wasn’t exciting enough, this is a top of the conference clash between two of the league’s strongest teams thus far in 2019.
The Union sit on top of the Eastern Conference standings with 32 points from their 18 games, while NYCFC are in sixth place with 23 points, having played four fewer matches.
It’s a slightly distorted picture with such a differential in “games played” but when looking at “points per game”, Philly are slightly ahead of our Boys in Blue with an average of 1.78 points being taken per match, vs. NYCFC’s 1.64.
All subject to change, of course…
Keep the Streak
NYCFC come into this one looking to extend their unbeaten streak to 13 games in all competitions.
Following two U.S. Open Cup wins vs. North Carolina and D.C. United, Dome Torrent’s men are full of confidence and will know they can move up as high as fourth position in the standings with all three points.
We're already on a club record unbeaten run, but can we extend it? In this case, 13 would be no unlucky number...
Strength in Depth
NYCFC will be without their top goalscorer for the match, with Héber on the treatment table with the hamstring injury sustained in the Open Cup at D.C.
The Brazilian is a couple of weeks away from a return but Torrent is comforted by the form of Taty Castellanos, who looks likely to come into the XI in Héber’s place.
Torrent told reporters: “We’re lucky because we have another player in top form – and that’s Taty. It’s very important that everyone is involved and commits to the team. That’s good news for New York City Football Club.”
This “next man up” mentality has powered NYC to 12 unbeaten. Without Héber, Tony Rocha and James Sands, as well as internationals Alexander Callens, Sean Johnson and Ronald Matarrita, NYCFC will call upon the quality depth in the squad to try and get the job done.
NYCFC vs. Philadelphia takes place at 7pm at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night. Get your tickets below or watch live on the YES Network.