Yangel Herrera makes his first start for more than five months on Decision Day vs. Philadelphia Union.
The Venezuelan, who returned to action as a substitute in D.C., joins Maxi Moralez and Alex Ring in the middle as the Boys in Blue look to gain home-field advantage for the Knockout Round.
Elsewhere, David Villa leads the line with support from Jesus Medina and Ronald Matarrita, while Maxime Chanot also returns to the XI alongside Alexander Callens at the back.
Anton Tinnerholm and Ben Sweat are the full-backs for this match which will determine Playoff positioning.
A win or a draw means that City will hosts a Knockout Round game next week on Wednesday or Thursday night.
A defeat would mean NYCFC would be relying on Chicago getting something vs. D.C in order to secure the home Playoff game.
You can watch the game on YES 2 (or FSGo) and listen live at NYCFC.com/Radio.
Tickets for the MLS Playoffs are available at NYCFC.com/Playoffs.
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Tinnerholm, Chanot, Callens, Sweat, Ring, Herrera, Moralez, Matarrita, Medina, Villa (C)
Substitutes: Stuver, Ibeagha, Ofori, Amagat, Tajouri-Shradi, Wallace, Castellanos
- NYCFC and Philadelphia have met eight times previously, with the Cityzens winning four times (3L-1D). Each team has been held scoreless just once in this series.
- New York City has just one win in their last nine MLS matches (5L-3D), averaging just 0.9 goals per game. They had averaged 2.0 goals in the nine games prior.
- The Union’s 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls last week snapped a four-game unbeaten run (3W-1D). In the five games since a 4-1 loss to Montreal on Sept. 15th, they have conceded just two goals.
- Philadelphia have only conceded three goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches, tied for the fewest of any team. NYCFC have only scored five goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches, tied for the fifth lowest of any team.
- As a team, NYCFC has scored 31 left-footed goals this season, two more than any other MLS club has in a single season since 2010.
- The Union had 66% possession against the Red Bulls last weekend, just the sixth time in franchise history that they have had more than 65% possession in a single match.
- David Villa had seven shots and three key passes against D.C. United last weekend, the fifth time he has registered 7+ shots and 3+ key passes in the same game. Only one other NYCFC player has done so in a match once (Maxi Moralez against Columbus in July).
- Jim Curtin has lost four of his eight league meetings against New York City FC, tied for his fourth-most losses against any MLS club.
- Alexander Callens has completed 1,748 passes so far this year, the second most of any defender in the league.
- Ilsinho scored against NYCFC in the 2-0 game on August 18th, one of two goals he has in his last six league appearances, after scoring just 12 goals in his first 68 MLS appearances.