Valentin Castellanos will make his New York City FC debut vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night.
The Argentine striker, who joined on loan from CA Torque last month, goes straight into Domènec Torrent’s XI following an impressive first week in training.
With David Villa automatically suspended per MLS policy after missing the All-Star Game, Castellanos leads the line along with the returning Jo Inge Berget and Isi Tajouri-Shradi.
Behind them, Jesus Medina and Maxi Moralez will be charged with loading the bullets, while our All-Star Alex Ring will anchor midfield as he did with distinction vs. Juventus in midweek.
Sean Johnson misses the game with a shoulder injury, meaning Brad Stuver comes in for his MLS debut for the Boys in Blue and Jeff Caldwell makes the 18 for the first time.
Ronald Matarrita also comes into the lineup in place on Ben Sweat at left-back, with July Etihad Player of the Month Anton TInnerholm on the other side, with Maxime Chanot and Alexander Callens at the heart of the back four.
On the bench, Jonathan Lewis, Tommy McNamara and Rodney Wallace all provide attacking options, should Torrent need them vs. the Whitecaps.
Kick-off is set for 8pm ET and you can watch the game live on YES Network, with audio commentary available in English and Spanish at NYCFC.com/Radio.
NYCFC XI: Stuver, Tinnerholm, Chanot, Callens, Matarrita, Ring, Moralez, Medina, Tajouri-Shradi, Castellanos, Berget
Substitutes: Caldwell, Ibeagha, Sweat, Awuah, McNamara, Lewis, Wallace
- The Whitecaps earned a 3-2 win against NYCFC in the last meeting between the two clubs. The Cityzens had won the first two league games against Vancouver, and have scored 2+ goals in all three games.
- NYCFC’s 3-1 loss last weekend snapped a four-game winning streak in which they did not allow a single goal. However, the Cityzens are on a franchise-best 13-game unbeaten run at home (10W-3D).
- The Whitecaps have dropped their last three league road games, getting outscored 9-1 in the process. They have not lost four straight MLS away games since a MLS franchise-worst seven-game losing streak in 2012.
- Maxi Moralez completed 61 passes in Seattle’s half in their 3-1 loss last weekend, the most successful passes in an opponent’s half ever by NYC player in a MLS match.
- The Whitecaps scored four goals with just 38.4% of the ball against Minnesota, the second time this year an MLS team has managed four goals with less than 39% possession (D.C. against Toronto on June 14th).
- Maxi Moralez had 117 touches against Seattle last weekend, tied for the eighth-most touches an NYCFC player has ever taken in a single MLS match. Moralez also ranks fourth and fifth on the list, both marks he achieved this season.
- Vancouver has scored 13 goals in the last 15 minutes of matches this year, tied for the most of any team in the league. NYCFC has conceded three goals in the last 15 minutes of games this year, the fewest of any team in the league.
- In the 1,367+ minutes Yordy Reyna has played this season, the Whitecaps average 1.8 goals per 90. In the 798+ minutes without him, they average 0.8 per 90.
- Jesus Medina has three goals in his last four MLS appearances, after two in his first 18.
- Alphonso Davies and Yordi Reyna each had two assists for the Whitecaps last weekend, the 21st and 22nd times in franchise MLS history a player has had multiple assists in a single game, and just the third time in franchise history that two players have had at multiple assists in the same game.