NYCFC are spending July 4th in Canada with a showdown against Vancouver Whitecaps coming up fast…
Will Patrick Vieira’s men set off their own fireworks on the field at BC Place on Wednesday night?
Our Major Keys to the Match are here…
Keep the Streak
NYCFC are one win away from breaking the club record for consecutive MLS wins.
Following the 3-1 victory over Minnesota United on Thursday night, we’re on a streak of four successive wins in the league but can we make it five?
Depending on what happens in Orlando where Toronto are in action earlier in the night, we could move up as high as second in the Eastern Conference with a record-breaking win.
While it’s still early in the campaign, Vieira will be keen to seal qualification for MLS Playoffs as early as possible in the year and a victory in Canada could put us up to 13 points clear of seventh place…
The Other Side
By contrast, Vancouver will feel as though they are due a win following a run of three games without one.
Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Eastern Conference leaders Chicago Fire followed a frustrating run of tied games for Carl Robinson’s side against FC Dallas and Minnesota United.
Vancouver are positioned just below the Playoffs line in the Western Conference and will know that a win over NYCFC could see them leapfrog LA Galaxy into sixth place, so there’s plenty to play for when these teams kick-off at 10pm ET on Wednesday!
Head to Head
A look at historical meetings between these two teams tells us that this is a fixture NYCFC have enjoyed.
We’ve met the Whitecaps twice before and been victorious on both occasions, emerging as 3-2 victors in an entertaining clash last season which will be best remembered for David Villa’s scissor kick.
El Guaje has certainly enjoyed our meetings with Vancouver more than most – the June Etihad Player of the Month nominee has scored three times in two games against the Canadian side, netting the game-winners in the 2015 game.
Gold Cup Absentees
The league’s first-ever break for the CONCACAF Gold Cup starts after this midweek slate of matches but both teams will be below full strength because of the competition.
For NYCFC, Miguel Camargo, Sean Johnson and Rodney Wallace have all reported for international duty with Panama, USA and Costa Rica respectively, while Vancouver are without a quartet of Canadian internationals.
Defenders Sam Adekugbe and Marcel de Jong, as well as midfielders Alphonso Davies and Russell Teibert are all missing for the Whitecaps although Head Coach Carl Robinson will be boosted by the returns of Yordy Reyna and Nicolas Mezquida against Chicago at the weekend.
And so there will be at least two changes to the NYCFC XI for this clash, with both Costa Ricans stepping out through international duty (Wallace) and injury (Matarrita).
Who will take their places? On the wing, a lot will depend on whether Maxi Moralez is ready to return from the injury which has cost him appearances against Seattle, Red Bulls and Minnesota.
In Matarrita’s full-back position, another Etihad Player of the Month nominee in Ben Sweat should continue on the left, leaving Vieira with a decision to make on the right, with RJ Allen and Ethan White both looking the likeliest contenders.
Who gets the start? You’ll find out first here on NYCFC.com at approximately 9pm on Wednesday.