Keys to the Match | Finish Strong 


New York City Football Club are on the road this weekend as they face off against Minnesota United.

Here are the Keys to the Match presented by Ford.

Finish Strong

This will be NYCFC’s last game before the international break.

The team have already done incredibly well to engineer this unbeaten run of form that sees them in the latter stages of the U.S. Open Cup and near the top of the Eastern Conference. A trip to Minnesota is never easy, and while it will present a set of unique challenges for this group it’s something that will also garner big rewards if the team can finish strong and claim all three points.

The key will be applying all of the traits and qualities that have defined this run of form, and to borrow a line from Ronny Deila himself ‘do your tasks’. Hopefully then another three points can make their way back to the Big Apple.

Beware Of The Bounce Back

If NYCFC’s Open Cup experience was enjoyable the same can’t be said for Minnesota United.

The Loons suffered a 2-1 defeat to Union Omaha from USL League One in what many considered to be the shock of the round. Head Coach Adrian Heath was none too happy with the result, understandably, and expressed that view post game.

The consequence of that result could be that this weekend we see a Minnesota side keen to restore some personal pride and record a big win against the defending MLS Cup champions.

NYCFC can attempt to prepare for that response by remaining diligent and avoiding complacency, with Minnesota arguably a slightly different task than they were just 24 hours prior.

Strike First

One of the themes of NYCFC’s strong run of form in MLS of late has been early goals.

Four of the team’s six games have seen NYCFC take the lead in the first half. Those goals have arrived as early as the 6th minute against D.C. United and as late as 38th minute against Toronto FC.

The only other time the team have scored in the first half was against CF Montréal, a game they also won, and it’s for that reason the team should seek to land the first blow against Minnesota. Putting the hosts on the back foot will change the way they play and allow NYCFC to exert more control over the game – setting them on the path to a 10 game unbeaten streak.