New York City FC are back on the road this weekend, taking on the Portland Timbers at Providence Park.
It’s all set to be another intriguing test of NYCFC’s excellent early form but where will the game be won and lost? Here’s the Major Keys to the Match, presented by Ford…
City’s lightning start to the season has also provided the club with their best-ever unbeaten Regular Season stretch.
It’s now been eight games since New York were defeated in normal MLS play, a run which stretches back to October 15 when ten-man NYCFC were beaten by New England at the Gillette Stadium.
Can Patrick Vieira’s men keep it going in the Rose City on Sunday evening? Should be a good one.
Portland endured a mixed start to the 2018 season but there were signs of improvement last time out vs. Minnesota when they edged a five-goal thriller.
The reigning MLS MVP Diego Valeri was back in the goals as Timber Joey’s chainsaw roared thrice to send the Portland Nation home happy with a 3-2 win.
That was their first win of the 2018 season and will send them into this clash with the early pacesetters with positive momentum.
Famous Road Win
Our second trip to Providence Park will inevitably evoke memories of the first, an epic victory in 2016 and one of the most fondly recalled road games in City’s short history.
RJ Allen channeled his inner Andrea Pirlo with an inch-perfect assist for David Villa to get us off and running, before Tommy Mc channeled his inner Tommy Mc with a trademark stunner into the upper 90, securing a 2-1 win.
Portland have twice inflicted 1-0 away wins at Yankee Stadium, meaning the road team has won each of the three meetings to date – a trend we hope continues for this one last year…
Another Milestone Beckons
David Villa announced his return to full fitness in typical style on Sunday night in Atlanta when he replaced the injured Isi Tajouri-Shradi.
Scoring with one of his first touches from the penalty spot was just one highlight of an industrious, influential performance.
He showed there’s more to his game than just putting the ball in the back of the net, as he held off a legion of Atlanta defenders and laid it up for Alex Ring’s golazo for the second equalizer of the day.
Now on 399 career goals for club and country, El Guaje needs just one more to reach his fourth century and join an elite band of strikers in world football currently playing (Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Luis Suarez).
Will he do it this weekend? Don’t bet against it…
Case of the Ex…
For one man on the City roster, this encounter will mark a return to a club with whom he shares some very precious memories.
Rodney Wallace scored the winning goal in the MLS Cup final of 2015 for The Timbers, as they overcame Columbus Crew SC 2-1.
The Costa Rican international made 120 appearances for the Oregon side over a five-year spell, scoring 18 goals, meaning he’ll be sure of a warm welcome on his return to Providence Park.