New York City Football Club are back in action on Wednesday as they host Charlotte FC.
The Boys in Blue return to action in a 7:30pm ET kick-off at Citi Field.
Here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Ford…
Charlotte FC come into Wednesday’s game off the back of a bye week.
Coincidentally, their last outing came against NYCFC’s last opponent, CF Montréal. Neither side was able to find the net and were forced to settle for a point each during a goalless draw.
That time off can be seen as a positive for Charlotte with their group entering Saturday’s game rested and refreshed. It could also be viewed as an advantage for NYCFC, who can carry positive momentum from Saturday into Wednesday.
If the Boys in Blue start the game quickly, they could even catch their opponents off guard. NYCFC are no strangers to starting games fast and finding a breakthrough inside the opening 20 minutes of games. In fact, two of the team’s previous home wins from this season have seen them score goals inside the first 20 minutes.
Reproduce that on Wednesday and the team could be looking at back-to-back victories.
The consequence of Santiago Rodríguez’s yellow card on Saturday means he will miss Wednesday’s game against Charlotte FC.
In Rodríguez’s absence, that means another player can step into the role he has vacated. Nick Cushing confirmed he expects Gabriel Pereira to return to the team after he missed the trip to Montréal, and that could make for a seamless transition.
NYCFC’s attacking options are incredibly versatile, with a number of players able to play in several different roles, including out wide, as a number 10 or a false 9.
Whether Cushing decides to go with Pereira, Gabe Segal, Richy Ledezma, or someone else on Wednesday, the fact he has a number of options makes the team somewhat unpredictable.
While Wednesday’s game gives NYCFC a chance to record back-to-back wins, it also allows them to further enhance their recent defensive record.
NYCFC have managed three clean sheets in six games, and a defensive foundation has been key in the team securing points of late.
Nick Cushing spoke about the importance of streaks in MLS, and if NYCFC can tally another clean sheet against Charlotte they can continue the positive momentum of picking up points as they attempt to climb the Eastern Conference.
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