Major Keys Philadelphia

Major Keys: Reinforcements Incoming...

The games just keep on coming.

NYCFC return to the Etihad Pitch on Saturday afternoon with their second showdown against Philadelphia in 2017.

Here’s what we’re looking out for…

Edging the H2H

So, Wednesday night didn’t exactly go to plan but it’s always good to have an opportunity to put things right immediately after a disappointing result.

With Saturday’s game coming up fast, the disappointment has faded and now all focus is on getting back to winning ways.

If history is anything to go by, Philadelphia are one of this team’s favorite opponents, seeing as NYCFC have won three of the last four meetings between these sides and have scored an average of 2.8 goals per game in our last six encounters with The Union.



Reinforcements Incoming

The loss of Alex Ring to suspension clearly didn’t help NYCFC in the 2-2 draw against New England Revolution last time out.

An offseason acquisition, the Finland international has settled into life at Yankee Stadium seamlessly, bringing his tenacious, ultra-competitive stylings to the midfield, much to the delight of his new fans.

Welcoming him back on Saturday, there’s no doubt that the engine room in the center of the pitch is strengthened and there’s one other potential returnee on the horizon.

Wednesday’s game came too soon for Ronald Matarrita but the Costa Rican international is off the injury list and could be in line to make his long-awaited return following his high ankle sprain injury.

Rodney’s Replacement?

That said, Matarrita’s club and international teammate will not be taking to the field on Saturday.

Rodney Wallace will be away representing Costa Rica and so will miss this showdown which will be a blow considering the 28-year old’s impact since arriving in the offseason.

That could open the door for one of Tommy McNamara, Jonathan Lewis or Miguel Camargo to come into the XI – or perhaps Patrick Vieira could decide to change up the system.

We’ll let you know first here on when we post the XI on Saturday at around 12pm.



Philly Form

Philadelphia are currently lying in ninth place in the MLS Eastern Conference, five points behind NYCFC having played one game fewer.

Their defeat at Real Salt Lake last time out was their first since they lost the reverse fixture to NYCFC, six weeks ago.

Despite the fact that Jim Curtin’s side are currently outside of the Playoff berths, they boast one of the league’s meanest defenses, having conceded just 16 goals in 13 games and just two in their last six games.

Villa vs Blake

A big part of the reason for Philly’s recent upturn in fortunes is the form of their goalkeeper, Andre Blake.

The stopper would have probably earned the Man of the Match award last time these teams met if it weren’t for David Villa’s ridiculous 50-yard strike.

He made four crucial saves which kept NYCFC at bay until Jack Harrison finally broke the deadlock as the hour mark approached and he will be the man to beat once again on Saturday afternoon.

Bring it on!