the xi colorado

The XI: Villa Makes the Bench

Patrick Vieira has kept the same personnel in his starting XI against Colorado as he did during last weekend's match versus Portland. With three points on the road on the line, NYCFC will welcome back a big piece of the puzzle to the matchday 18...

READ: How To Follow: NYCFC at Colorado

With David Villa back in contention for selection but not in the starting lineup, Tommy McNamara once again wears the captain's armband in midfield, where he'll be joined by Andrea Pirlo. In a more attacking role is Maxi Moralez, who will be pulling the strings in his No. 10 jersey. 

The midfield will be without Alexander Ring, who is still out due to the injury he sustained during international duty.

Along the back line, the steady foursome of RJ Allen, Frederic Brillant, Alexander Callens, and Ben Sweat will try to make Sean Johnson's job as easy as possible. With this start, Callens retains his title as the only NYCFC player to play every single minute of the season.

READ: Injury Report: Villa Back in Contention

Making a start up top in place of David Villa for the second match in a row is Jack Harrison, who will be leading the line instead of providing danger out on the flank. 

Replacing him on those flanks will be Khiry Shelton and Rodney Wallace, who will look to provide service for their ad-hoc center forward in hopes of improving City's already impressive road record. 

Joining Villa on the bench are newcomer Andraz Struna and young buck James Sands, who are both looking for their NYCFC debut. 

READ: 9 Reasons to Watch: NYCFC at Colorado Rapids

NYCFC XI: Johnson; Allen, Brillant, Callens, Sweat; Wallace, McNamara (C), Pirlo, Shelton; Moralez, Harrison

BENCH: Villa, Okoli, Stertzer, Awuah, Sands, Lewis, Johansen, Struna

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