New York City Football Club travel north to take on Toronto FC in matchday 10 of the 2023 MLS Regular Season.
The Boys in Blue are hoping to take all three points at BMO Field in a 7:30pm ET kick-off.
Here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Ford…
A three-game home stretch for NYCFC provided familiarity and consistency.
Backed by passionate home support, NYCFC secured two wins and a draw. That platform of seven points from nine has helped the Boys in Blue to climb the table, but Nick Cushing is not resting on his laurels.
The Head Coach was keen to stress the need for improved road form and that can start on Saturday against Toronto FC.
TFC currently sits 12th in the Eastern Conference standings and will themselves be keen to claim the victory and climb closer toward the playoff spots. With both teams keen to take the victory, it promises to be an important step toward their respective goals.
Nick Cushing opted for a personnel change on Saturday evening against FC Dallas.
Utilizing Santiago Rodríguez as a false 9, the switch facilitated Talles Magno playing out wide on the left, and saw Rodríguez combine with Richy Ledezma to good effect in the middle.
The Uruguayan ended the game with a brace, while Talles Magno was also able to add his name to the score sheet
Cushing could look to maintain that system or reintroduce Gabe Segal in the forward position, and those selection options will no doubt keep Toronto FC guessing right up until the starting XI is announced.
Clean Sheet Hunt
One thing Cushing has discussed in the early part of the season is building chemistry.
While many believe that to relate largely to the team’s attacking play, it is just as applicable to the team’s defensive strength.
Cushing hailed the individual performances of Maxime Chanot, Thiago Martins, and Luis Barraza after Saturday’s win against FC Dallas, but the next step is for the team’s defensive structure to gel and deliver a clean sheet.
NYCFC’s last clean sheet came against Inter Miami CF in mid-March, and since then they have taken 11 points from a possible 18. Cushing and his players will be aspiring for more points as they continue on their quest to improve on last season and delivering some clean sheets could go some way into aiding that cause.
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