New York City Football Club are on the road this weekend as they take on Philadelphia Union.
The Boys in Blue return to action in a 7:30pm ET kick-off at Subaru Park.
Here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Ford…
Philadelphia Union's home and away form has been a tale of teams lately.
At Subaru Park, the Union have been incredibly successful having won four of their last five MLS outings. Contrast that with their road form, where the Union have managed just one win in their last five outings.
The form book alone suggests NYCFC are in for a challenging trip to Chester. The Boys in Blue have enjoyed some memorable wins at Subaru Park in recent years, and they know beating an in-form Philly side at home could be a huge boost to the group’s confidence and highlight how far they have come as a collective.
It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
The return of Thiago Martins to first-team action on Saturday represented an important moment for NYCFC.
Nick Cushing made a tactical tweak in the wake of the defender’s second-half introduction, moving Justin Haak into midfield. 12 minutes later, Haak found the net, and the Boys in Blue had the lead.
Cushing’s ability to tweak and rearrange his players is a major advantage, and although he is still without James Sands due to international duty, the return of Martins is a sizable boost. It not only strengthens the team’s defensive line but also opens up more competition in the heart of midfield.
This will allow Cushing to have an air of unpredictability to his lineup, while also allowing for tweaks in-game.
Before the Break
This is NYCFC’s last MLS game before the break for the Leagues Cup.
NYCFC will return to league action on August 20 against Minnesota United, (hopefully with a Leagues Cup trophy in hand) but if they can secure a memorable three points in Chester they could find themselves above the playoff line heading into the break.
The Boys in Blue are currently on an eight-game unbeaten run, and they have been unlucky not to see more of their draws finish as victories on the road.
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