NYCFC and Orlando City SC renew rivalries at Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon but where will the game be won or lost?
Managing Editor Mark Booth takes a pull on the narrative threads…
News of Ronald Matarrita’s ankle sprain in training on Thursday will have dealt Patrick Vieira with a blow going into the seventh game of the campaign.
An ever-present so far this season, no one in the squad could say they’ve had a better start to the season than the 22-year old Costa Rican.
Without him, Vieira is fortunate to have a number of options for players who can line up in the left-back role.
Kwame Awuah, Ben Sweat and Rodney Wallace are all players who have featured in this position in their past careers but could Patrick be tempted to go with three at the back once again?
While NYCFC were beaten last time they went 3-4-3, it’s a system that has worked in the past, especially on home turf.
Set the Record Straight
Orlando City seem to have had NYCFC’s number on more occasions than any other team since we came into existence together in 2015.
A sole 5-3 win in 2015 is all we can boast against the Lions going down to four defeats and claiming two draws in the other six meetings.
For comfort, Vieira will look to last season’s Yankee Stadium clash where NYCFC were unfortunate to come away with only a point from a 2-2 draw, as well as a game on the opening weekend at Orlando City Stadium which he will still be wondering how his team lost, such was their dominance.
It’s time to set the record straight!
Both teams come into this one in confident moods following victories last weekend.
Orlando’s narrow win over LA Galaxy means that only Columbus Crew are ahead of them in the Eastern Conference at this early stage of the season.
On the other side, NYCFC have dominated every game they’ve played in to date and have suffered only one real off day through the six games they’ve played – on the road at DC.
With two in-form teams who play entertaining soccer throwing down, we could be in for an entertaining, high-scoring spectacle.
Stop Larin, Stop Orlando?
No question who the dangerman is for the visitors…
Cyle Larin has scored seven goals against NYCFC in six appearances, the most he has scored against any MLS team.
Vieira told NYCFC.com: “Everything he’s doing is going his way and I think when you’re a striker like that with the confidence, things look easy. It will be important for us to be close, to be tight and not give him any space.”
Will Kaka Play?
Kaka hasn’t been since in action for Orlando since the opening weekend of the season when he limped out of the game against NYCFC.
The Brazilian is closing in on a return but it remains to be seen whether he’ll be ready to take to the Etihad Pitch on Sunday.
Both teams will be wearing jerseys produced using technical yarns containing Parley Ocean Plastic™ to create awareness for Earth Day 2017.