It’s St Patrick’s Day weekend in the Bronx and a Big Apple vs. Tinseltown showdown.
With three points on the line, here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
Both NYCFC and LAFC enter Sunday’s game undefeated through two games.
For our visitors, it’s been a lightning start to their second season of MLS play, with two wins from two games vs. Sporting KC and Portland.
Although both matches featured red cards for the opposition, there’s no denying that Bob Bradley’s side deserved their victories and will pose serious questions for the NYC backline.
Dome Torrent is under no illusions that it will be a tough game. The NYCFC Head Coach has been studying videos of the West Coast side and is impressed by what he’s seen.
Torrent told reporters: “I like the way they play, especially when they have the ball. They have a clear idea when they play soccer.
“I like the way they play, especially because I know this way, the 4-3-3, the attacking midfielder in the position, doing it wide when the ball is on your side, and overlap. But they respect the position, for me, it’ll be a tough game because they are in top form right now.”
Stick or Twist
Will Dome stick or twist with his lineup for this one?
Vs. D.C. in the Bronx last time out, the Catalan made just two changes to his team, bringing in Jesus Medina for Ebenezer Ofori and Valentin Castellanos for Jonathan Lewis.
With Ronald Matarrita fully up to speed after his preseason injury and with Lewis riding high off his second international callup to the USMNT, it’ll be interesting to see if Torrent changes it up for LAFC or keeps faith with the side who shut out D.C. but failed to score.
We’ll have the third XI of 2019 for you here on NYCFC.com approximately an hour before kickoff in the BX.
LAFC joined the league in 2018 and earned a creditable third place in the Western Conference in their inaugural Regular Season campaign.
On the only previous meeting between these teams, a 2-2 draw was played out at the Banc of California Stadium after a hugely entertaining 90’.
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored the tying goal with a stunning strike from an acute angle, making NYCFC the first team to score multiple goals away at LAFC, but what will happen this time around? It should be a good one.
Alex on Alex
According to the captain Alex Ring, it will take time before we see the best of Alexandru Mitriță in City blue after he became our third DP in the offseason.
“I mean, if you would see him in practice, it’s amazing what the kid can do with the ball,” Ring told Glenn Crooks. “The whole dynamic is that you’ll need a little bit of time to come into MLS. But the fans are going to love him for sure.”
That said, the Romanian international certainly showed out on his Bronx bow vs. D.C. last time out.
Mitriță completed eight dribbles and took seven shots on his home debut, only the second time this decade that a player has done so in the same league game.
Let’s see what he can do in game no.2 at Yankee Stadium…
Before the Break
This game will be the final 90’ before the first international break of 2019 when (at the time of writing) seven NYCFC players will join up with their national teams.
Before the trip to Toronto, a good chunk of the squad will be jetting out across the globe to take part in international matches, meaning it would be extra sweet to clinch this W to go into the break on a positive footing.
It won’t be easy, so we’ll need you all in fine voice to roar our Boys in Blue on to victory.
Let’s get it #ForTheCity.