FC Dallas are NYCFC’s next opponents in a mouthwatering assignment for Patrick Vieira’s side.
Managing Editor Mark Booth picks out some Major Keys to the game…
Big, Big Game…
In some quarters, this match has been billed as the meeting between the two most attractive teams in MLS.
While a new-look NYCFC seem to have gradually grown into the campaign, the FC Dallas story has been one of continuity and consistency as the 2016 Supporters Shield winners have had a flying start to the campaign.
The league’s only unbeaten side have won five and tied three of their game games to date and are formidable opponents, especially at their Toyota Stadium.
On paper, it’s unquestionably NYCFC’s toughest test of the season so far.
NYCFC will be attempting to do something they’ve only done once before in franchise history on Sunday.
You have to go back as far as summer 2015 for the last time we won three consecutive road games but, following victories at Philadelphia and Columbus, there’s a chance we could match that feat at the Toyota Stadium.
Another Clash of Styles
No team has a higher percentage of possession than the 59.7% NYCFC have enjoyed to date in 2017, while FC Dallas have the third-lowest number at 42.3%.
The hosts seem likely to try and pick off Patrick Vieira’s possession game and to counter quickly with their speedy frontline, so perhaps the blueprint that served us so well against Atlanta could be employed once again.
Something’s Got to Give?
Both sides enter this intriguing matchup in rich veins of form and are coming off the back of big victories in their previous games.
NYCFC defeated Atlanta 3-1 at Yankee Stadium, while FC Dallas continued their excellent road form with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Real Salt Lake.
The Texans are undefeated in 13 games, spanning over this season and last, winning seven and tieing six, keeping a huge seven clean sheets in that time.
However, they are facing off against Major League Soccer’s joint-third top scorers with the boys in blue netting 17 times in nine games – an average of 1.8 goals per game.
It looks like it could be a tight one on Sunday…
Villa v Urruti
Two of the league’s leading marksmen lock horns on Sunday, hoping to provide the firepower their teams need to win this intriguing clash.
Both David Villa and Maxi Urruti have six goals apiece and are seen as the go-to men for goals so far in 2017.
Villa needs three more goals to reach 50 since joining MLS in 2015… let's hope he's a bit closer to that landmark at the end of Sunday night!