NYCFC vs Chicago

All of the New York City FC players are on the same wavelength.

They know their continued weekly improvement as the Major League Soccer season progresses will pay dividends in the long run.

“Obviously results are important in this business, but at the same time I think we’re creating a culture and I think consistency is a big thing for this Club right now,” midfielder Ned Grabavoy said. “If we keep doing those things the results are going to come in bunches at some point.”

New York City FC is striving to continue their weekly development as the Club travels to the Midwest for a match against the Chicago Fire on Friday night.

Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. EDT at Toyota Park. The match will be broadcast nationally on Univision Deportes Network and live streamed on their website and app (iOS and Android). Fans can also listen to it on 970 AM or WQBU 92.7 FM.


“I think we’re going look to continue to improve and look to build off momentum of two positive performances and hopefully get the result we’re desperately wanting,” head coach Jason Kreis said. “All of us want so bad to win a game; to have the result in our pocket that clearly shows we’ve been performing in a positive way.”

New York City FC (1-3-3; 6 points) is coming off a pair of positive performances that unfortunately didn’t yield the results the Club wanted or deserved.

The Club was dominant – especially in the first half – in both a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union on April 16 and in a 1-0 loss to the Portland Timbers three days later. Late goals by the opposition left New York City FC heartbroken, but the players and coaches know the side’s progression is what should be and is focused on.

“The players are now grasping tactically what we’re looking to do at the beginning of matches and equally as important, if not more important, they’ve been willing to have the aggressive mindset that it takes,” Kreis said.

Added Grabavoy: “I think obviously the results haven’t gone our way lately, but we’re building on performances in a positive manner. We need to take another step forward as a group.”

While New York City FC is coming off two matches during Week 7, Chicago (2-3-0; 6 points) hasn’t played in 20 days.

The Fire last took the field on April 4; beating Toronto FC 3-2 at Toyota Park. The layoff could be a good thing for either side come Friday night.

“It’s somewhere in the middle as are all things in life,” Kreis said. “It will be good for them because I’m sure they’re rested, fully recuperated and healthy. Hopefully it will be a positive thing for us because it tends to lend itself to some rustiness at the beginning of matches.”

Friday’s match will be a homecoming for a pair of New York City FC members.

Grabavoy grew up in Joliet, Ill., located approximately 40 miles southwest of Chicago, and is a product of the Chicago Fire PDL program. The 2000 Gatorade and NSCAA/adidas National High School Player of the Year led Lincoln-Way Central High School to two-straight Illinois state championship games.

New York City FC assistant coach CJ Brown won the MLS Cup (1998), four U.S. Open Cups (‘98, 2000, ‘03, ‘06) and the Supporters’ Shield (‘03) during his 13-year career with the Fire. He was inducted into the club’s Ring of Fire in 2012.

“It’s great,” Grabavoy said. “I usually get to play there once a year and have a lot of family and friends there. It’s always a bit of a special game for me going back to where my roots are. At the beginning of the year I always check the schedule to see when that game is at Chicago. I’m looking forward to it this weekend.”