New York City FC will begin their second MLS season in Chicago on Sunday, March 6. The teams are meeting for the third time in their histories; the first two were a loss and a draw for New York City FC. Chicago is winless in its last six MLS season openers (4L 2D). The Fire’s last opening day win came against FC Dallas on the road in 2009 (3-1).
Captain David Villa will be looking for a goal in Chicago. Villa recorded 18 goals in his first MLS season (4th in MLS), but Chicago was one of only three Eastern Conference teams that he did not score against (Columbus, Red Bulls).
David Villa Season Stats
New York City FC goalkeeper Josh Saunders said, “We’re pretty confident. We obviously put a lot of work in on the field and we’re looking forward to showcasing it in Chicago. I think we’re pretty hungry.”
Team Comparison: New York City FC vs Chicago Fire
New York City FC manager Patrick Vieira said, “I’m feeling really excited. I’m looking forward to it. I think before winning the games what is important for us is to try to play well, try to play in the right way. I think if we manage to do what we’ve been working on in the last few weeks, if we play well, we will give ourselves more chances to win games. We know in football anything can happen. What will be important for us is to go there and play with personality, play with desire, with commitment, with togetherness, and then we will give ourselves more chance to win the game."
New York City FC recorded just one win in its final eight road games of the 2015 MLS season (1W-6L-1D), a stretch that began on July 18, 2015. NYCFC’s only road win during this span came in Vancouver on Sept. 26 (2-1). The Fire lost seven of its last eight games to close out the 2015 MLS Season (1W 7L), a stretch that began on Sept. 5. Chicago conceded an average of 2.5 goals per game during this eight-game span.
NYCFC finished the 2015 MLS season on a three-game losing streak. Prior to this three-game losing streak, NYCFC had won a season-high-tying three-consecutive games.
New York City FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo said, “The team is doing well. We worked really well. There are just a few days before the game, but we are in really good condition and looking forward to it. It would be important to start with a victory because that would really boost our morale and it would give the team motivation to keep on going this way. We are doing our best to make sure that they have some difficulties to overcome when they meet us. We want to start the season right."
The match will take place on Sunday, March 6 at Toyota Park in Chicago. Kickoff is 2 p.m. ET. Fans can watch the match on YES Network and listen to the live radio feed on nycfc.com/radio.
Match Preview: New York City FC vs Chicago Fire