Tommy McNamara will make his first start of the 2017 season against Orlando on Sunday afternoon.
The New Yorker is in for the injured Ronald Matarrita as the only change from NYCFC’s victory over Philadelphia Union last week.
Rodney Wallace is likely to drop back to outside back in a reshuffle following the unfortunate training ground injury to Matarrita which will keep him out for 4-6 weeks.
Elsewhere, the team remains the same from the one which has started all but one of NYCFC’s games to date, with Ethan White remaining at right-back beside Alexander Callens and Maxime Chanot.
In midfield, Andrea Pirlo and Alex Ring once again anchor the central third of the Etihad Pitch and Maxi Moralez starts in between Jack Harrison and McNamara in behind David Villa.
NYCFC XI: Johnson, White, Chanot, Callens, Wallace, Pirlo, Ring, Moralez, Harrison, McNamara, Villa (C)
Subs: Johansen, Sweat, Brillant, Herrera, Stertzer, Lewis, Camargo
Both teams will be wearing jerseys produced using technical yarns containing Parley Ocean Plastic™ to create awareness for Earth Day 2017.
- Orlando has only lost once to NYCFC in seven regular season meetings (4W-2D). They have won four of the last five matchups against NYCFC.
- NYCFC are unbeaten in their last 11 regular season home matches (9W-2D). They have outscored the opposition 31-11 in these games.
- Orlando only has two wins in their last 17 regular season away games (8L-7D). They have failed to score in two of their last three MLS away games.
- NYCFC is completing an average of 459.5 passes per game this season, the most of any MLS team. Only two other teams (Columbus – 420.3, Seattle – 400.5) complete an average of more than 400 passes per game.
- Cyle Larin has scored seven goals against NYCFC (six appearances), the most he has scored against any MLS team.
- Following his goal last weekend, Jack Harrison has three goals in his last seven MLS appearances. He had three goals in his first 20 MLS appearances.
- Will Johnson has assists in consecutive games, the second time in since 2010 he has managed that feat (176 appearances). Last week was also the fourth time since 2010 he notched a goal and assist in the same game.
- NYCFC lead the league with an average of 61.5% possession in their games so far this year. Orlando has the sixth-lowest possession average at 44.3% possession.
- Ronald Matarrita had 96 touches against Philadelphia last weekend. Matarrita averages 89.0 touches per 90 minutes played, fifth-highest amongst MLS players with at least three starts in 2017.
- Matias Perez Garcia was involved in 23 duels last week against the Red Bulls. Only three players have been involved in more duels in a single match this season.