The XI: Abdul-Salaam & Tajouri-Shradi Start

Ismael Tajouri XI

The XI, presented by

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi starts for New York City FC for the first time in today’s St Patrick's Day clash with Orlando City SC.

The forward, who has entered as a substitute in City’s two games to date, looks likely to lead the offensive line in the absence of the injured David Villa.

Villa has a low grade calf strain and is considered day to day, the same status as Anton Tinnerholm who will also be missing out with a lateral ankle sprain.

Jo Inge Berget has recovered from his quad injury but the Norwegian forward came down with the flu overnight and so will have to wait for his NYCFC debut.

Replacing Tinnerholm at right back is Saad Abdul-Salaam, who makes his debut in the defense, where he’s joined by the returning Maxime Chanot after the Luxembourg international served his one-game suspension.

Elsewhere, the XI is the same as the one which defeated LA Galaxy in the Bronx six days earlier, with Jesus Medina and Rodney Wallace joining Tajouri-Shradi at the apex of the field, backed up by Maxi Moralez, Yangel Herrera and Alex Ring.

Alexander Callens partners Chanot at the back, while Ben Sweat keeps his place at left back following a strong start to his second season.

City will look to improve a W3-D2-L5 record against The Lions in a game which you can watch live on Twitter here.

NYCFC XI: Johnson, Abdul-Salaam, Chanot, Callens, Sweat, Ring, Herrera, Moralez, Medina, Wallace, Tajouri-Shradi

SUBS: Stuver, Matarrita, Ibeagha, Awuah, Ofori, McNamara, Lewis

Key Stats

  • NYCFC beat Orlando 3-0 in their last meeting after going winless in the previous six meetings against the Lions (5L-1D).
  • The Blues lost just two home games last year. However, they went winless in their last three regular season games at home (1L-2D). They won their home opener 2-1 last week.
  • Orlando won just one of their last eight road games in 2017 (5L-2D), scoring nine goals over that span.
  • Patrick Viera owns a career record of 1W-4L-1D against Orlando, his fourth-lowest win percentage against any MLS foe (16.7%). His 0.7 PPG against the Lions is also his third- lowest against any MLS team.
  • Orlando attempted 27 crosses from open play against Minnesota last weekend. This is the second highest amount of open play crosses attempted in the 104 MLS regular season games Orlando City has played.
  • Since joining the league in 2015, Orlando City has received 22 red cards in regular season action, the most of any team. Only five other teams have more than 14 red cards in that timespan.
  • David Villa has six goals in nine career games against Orlando. The only player with more goals against the Lions in Sebastian Giovinco (8).
  • Sacha Kljestan, who will be making his Orlando debut, has 10 career assists v NYCFC, most by any active player vs any MLS club.
  • Maxi Moralez had five key passes against the Galaxy last weekend. It was his sixth regular season game for NYCFC where he has had at least five key passes in a match. David Villa (five) is the only other player in NYCFC history who has had more than two regular season games with at least five key passes.
  • Justin Meram had six shots blocked against Minnesota last weekend. It was just the fourth time since the start of the 2016 season that a single player had six shots blocked in one regular season MLS match.
The XI: Abdul-Salaam & Tajouri-Shradi Start -