New York City Football Club face Nashville SC at Citi Field on Saturday.
The Boys in Blue welcome the Tennessee side in a 7:30pm ET kick-off in Queens.
Here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Ford…
Back In The Citi
Nick Cushing’s side are back at Citi Field for the first time this season for this weekend’s clash, looking to continue our impressive home record with a return to winning ways.
The Boys in Blue have enjoyed some memorable nights in Queens – most recently, our Round One playoff victory over Inter Miami CF back in October.
NYCFC have not lost at Citi Field since 2019, and goalkeeper Luis Barraza says the squad ‘feel at home’ wherever they play in front of their own fans.
“I think the feeling now is, whether it’s here or it’s at Citi, we’re happy to play there,” he said.
“I’ve been to Citi FIeld multiple times and it feels just as good as Yankee Stadium, so it doesn’t really matter where we play. We will feel at home.”
Facing The Music
NYCFC and Nashville lock horns for the second time in 2023, after meeting in the season opener back in February.
The Music triumphed on that occasion, claiming a 2-0 win, with Walker Zimmerman and Jacob Shaffelburg on the scoresheet at GEODIS Park.
There have only been three previous match-ups between the two sides, with the City Boys yet to claim victory, and the Cushing and co. will be hoping to rectify that immediately.
Both teams have recorded mixed starts to the 2023 season with only two points separating them in the Eastern Conference. Nashville sit in fifth place, having won one game more – but while the NSC have kept five clean sheets, they have also failed to score in four matches.
With City also yet to find top form in front of goal, this could be a close one…
With James Sands forced off through injury against Atlanta United, Kevin O’Toole absent with a lower body issue, and Matías Pellegrini having picked up his fifth yellow card of the season, Cushing could be without three of his regulars for this Saturday’s encounter.
However, there was brighter news from the Five Stripes’ visit, as Tayvon Gray returned to the matchday squad, while Stephen Turnbull also earned more minutes ahead of putting pen to paper on a First Team contract from NYCFC II.
Once again, City will be wary of 2022 Golden Boot winner Hany Mukhtar, who has one goal and three assists to his name this term, tallying his side’s highest number of goalscoring attempts (15) and shots on target (6).
On the back of successive shutouts, Nashville are a tough side to break down, helped largely by goalkeeper Joe Willis’ league-best save success rate of 92.3%. The Boys in Blue will need to be clinical.
Head Coach Cushing will share his thoughts on the game, and the latest team news, in a press conference on Thursday afternoon. Stay tuned to NYCFC.com for updates.
NYCFC are back on home soil this weekend for the second of our three-game home stand.
Tickets for the game are now available. Don't miss your chance to cheer on the City Boys!
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