New York City FC are on the road this weekend as they prepare to face Toronto FC at BMO Field.
Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
Attack, Attack, Attack
The month of July was an impressive one for New York City FC in front of goal. The Boys in Blue scored 10 goals in their final three games of the month to underpin their attacking prowess.
That trait could be important against Toronto FC this weekend, because as Mitchell Tierney explained on the Away End this week;
“The backline in general has been fairly shaky for Toronto FC this season, particularly in moments of transition,” he said. “No team in the league has allowed more goals than the reds (36), so given the way NYCFC has been scoring lately, this is most definitely a cause for concern. This has resolved itself a bit since the team stopped playing such a high-pressing style, but goalkeeper Alex Bono has still been called on a few times more than he should in recent weeks.”
Nestled in NYCFC’s attacking threat has been an ability to transition quickly from back to front. City have shown an ability to change gears quickly and effectively, moving from delicate build-up to direct play when the moment requires it.
Ronny Deila and his team should lean on that impulse and utilize quick transitions and attacking intent to cause TFC problems.
Make It Two
When the two sides last met it’s not unfair to suggest that NYCFC were unlucky to draw.
City had the better of the chances during the 90 minutes, but were undone by a controversial late equalizer. It’s vital this time around that NYCFC set an early tone with a goal, as they have done at several points during the season (including recently against Columbus Crew).
Philadelphia Union did just that in midweek through Jakob Glesnes, and it set the Union on route to a 3-0 victory. While any kind victory will be welcomed, it’s important the team don’t fall into the same trap as the last meeting.
NYCFC are working through a packed schedule at the moment with three games in eight days.
The red card collected by Keaton Parks was an unfortunate outcome from Wednesday’s 0-0 result against Chicago Fire, but it also reinforced the fact this weekend will see changes to the starting XI.
Ronny Deila has been hinting at changes in recent weeks, and with the likes of Santiago Rodríguez, Andres Jasson, Tayvon Gray, Tony Rocha and Ismael Tajour-Shradi among others sitting in reserve on Wednesday now could be the perfect opportunity to unleash fresh legs.
While being given a chance is one thing, it’s vital those same players maintain the high standard set by their teammates. NYCFC are pushing at the top of the Eastern Conference, and results on the road will play an important role in deciding which team collects the Supporters’ Shield this season (as well as securing a playoff spot).
Deila will welcome selection headaches due to squad depth, and now is the perfect time for several players to stake their claim.