The XI: Matarrita Returns

the xi mtl

Ronald Matarrita returns to Patrick Vieira's lineup for the first time since suffering an injury in NYCFC's 3-1 victory over Minnesota United back on June 29th. 

Elsewhere, David Villa will start this match as a substitute on a night where Vieira has made three changes to the starting XI that faced Houston this past Saturday. Joining Villa on the bench is Yangel Herrera, who is finally back in the 18 after recovering from an injury he suffered on international duty with Venezuela.

READ:Major Keys: Will NYCFC Get the Bye?

Joining Matarrita along the back line for his second straight start is new boy Andraz Struna, who notched an assist over the weekend. Between them, Alexander Callens and Frederic Brillant will try to keep things clean in front of goalkeeper Sean Johnson

In the midfield, Alexander Ring starts once again after going the full 90 against Houston. He'll be joined by Tommy McNamara, who captains the squad, and playmaker Maxi Moralez, who scored Saturday's lone goal on a brilliant header. 

Jack Harrison gets another start at center forward tonight, where he'll be joined by Khiry Shelton and Rodney Wallace along the front line. 

NYCFC can notch their sixth away victory of the season with a win tonight, closing the gap between them and runaway first-placed Toronto FC to just seven points. 

A victory could also put some distance between City and third-placed Atlanta United, depending on the result of Atlanta's match against Philadelphia.

NYCFC XI: Johnson; Struna, Brillant, Callens, Matarrita; Ring, McNamara (C), Moralez; Shelton, Wallace, Harrison

Substitutes: Johansen, White, Pirlo, Herrera, Lewis, Villa, Sweat

Key Stats

  • Montreal have one just once in their last six matches, a stretch that has included five defeats. 
  • Way back in March, Rodney Wallace scored NYCFC's only goal in a 1-1 draw with Montreal at Yankee Stadium. Wallace starts tonight.
  • At home, Montreal concedes an average of 1.4 goals per game.
  • Montreal has conceded 13 goals over their last six matches, an average of just over two per game. 
  • Center backs Alexander Callens and Frederic Brillant notched a valuable total of 14 clearances between them this past weekend.
  • Jack Harrison upped his successful dribble tally to 51 over the weekend, good for fifth-best in the league.
  • In his first start since returning from injury, Alexander Ring tallied nine recoveries and three interceptions. 
The XI: Matarrita Returns -