New York City FC are on the road again this weekend as they prepare to visit New England Revolution.
Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
New York City FC had to utilize a makeshift back four against Nashville SC last time out.
That won’t be the case against New England Revolution, with the club welcoming back four players – James Sands, Alex Callens, Maxime Chanot, and Gudi Thórarinsson – from international duty. The return of that foundation to the team will not only galvanize them in defence, but also allow the likes of Alfredo Morales to move into a more familiar midfield role.
Reestablishing that consistency throughout the spine will be a major advantage to NYCFC going into what is a testing match against the Revolution.
This will be the third meeting between the two sides this season, with both teams enjoying a win apiece.
NYCFC left the first fixture somewhat frustrated at the 3-2 result based on the quality of chances they created, but they made up for that in the Bronx with a 2-0 victory.
That second game saw NYCFC set the tempo early on and stop the Revs from establishing their own rhythm. With both sides chasing some form of silverware this season, this will be another important milestone in the race for silverware. NYCFC should take confidence from the most recent fixture, and adopt the same strategy on Saturday.
A fast start will be key, as will making sure that August’s Player of the Month Taty Castellanos has a supply line. Maxi Moralez will miss the clash through suspension, but that will provide an opportunity for one of the team’s other attackers, be it Santiago Rodríguez, Talles Magno, or Thiago Andrade to step in and be the team’s piano player in the final third.
This team has shown an ability to rise to the occasion when required, and now they have the blueprint to beat New England, they must once again prove that fact.
It won’t just be NYCFC that welcomes back players this weekend.
Last time the two sides met New England were without Carles Gil and Tajon Buchanan, while Gustavou Bou could only manage 45 minutes following his MLS All-Star exertions. Bruce Arena has been coy on how he will reintroduce Gil, who has been instrumental in helping New England reach the top of the Eastern Conference.
The Spaniard played a major role in New England’s winner when the sides first met this season, and if he does start he’ll be keen to dictate the tempo. Buchanan will offer the Revs speed on the break and a goal-scoring threat alongside Bou.
Away Day Fix
New York City FC are still firmly in the hunt for silverware, and their meeting with New England Revolution is important for two reasons.
Firstly, it sees the Boys in Blue face off against the current leaders in the Eastern Conference and a likely rival in the playoffs. Secondly, the game sees NYCFC on the road looking to end an unfortunate streak.
NYCFC’s last road win came against LAFC in late May, and while the team have picked up some points on the road during that time they are keen to secure a much-needed win. Doing so against a team top of the table would send a strong message throughout the Eastern Conference as we move into the final stretch of games.
The last time out NYCFC ended the Revs unbeaten streak, it’s time they end their own run of form this time out.