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Keys to the Match | Minnesota vs. NYCFC

New York City FC travel to the North Star State for game no.6 of Season 5 this weekend.

With the hunt for the first three points of the season still on, here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford

Chasing the Dub

It’s a big weekend for the Boys in Blue as Dome Torrent’s men chase their first win of 2019.

With just one defeat from five games, no one is pressing the panic button at this early stage of the campaign, but there’s no question that City needs to start turning draws into wins to kickstart the season.

Last time out, NYC couldn’t find a way past Evan Bush in the Montreal goal, meaning we had to settle for a point in a game that the team feels it should have won – not for the first time this year…

Key to winning this one will be creating more chances than the team has produced in previous games, as well as staying compact and covering for each other when out of possession.

It’s going to be a tough test against a Minnesota side who’ve made a strong start to the season and who will enter this one in a positive frame of mind…

Ice in the Veins

The opening of Allianz Field is sure to dominate the conversation in the lead-up to kick-off in Minneapolis, with NYCFC utilizing the visitors’ locker room for the first time.

Despite the frigid temperatures expected at kick-off time, NYCFC will be walking into a party atmosphere with the opening of the impressive new 19,400 capacity arena in St Paul.

However, according to Maxime Chanot on the NYCFC side, this isn’t a factor which will affect anyone involved on either team come 5pm on Saturday.

Chanot said: “For us, it’s going to be an away game, so we know it’s always tough. I don’t think it’s going to be a big difference for us and even for them, at this point, we just want to win every game that we play - at home or away.

“I’m not worried at all because I know the quality we have in this group and I’m sure we’re going to switch on the blue button.”

Like Maxime says, NYCFC have to approach this game like any other and keep cool heads to avoid getting swept away with the occasion and ensure we head back to New York with a positive result.

Maxi Back?

As previously mentioned, chance creation has been an issue for NYCFC in the opening five games but the potential return of Maxi Moralez would surely hand Torrent a boost on this front.

NYC’s architect-in-chief has missed the previous two games with a calf injury but the good news is that the Argentine playmaker has trained and is off the official injury list.

Dome has rued the fact that he’s not been able to field Alexandru Mitriță, Héber and Moralez in the same lineup in 2019 as of yet, but we could get a first glimpse of the attacking trident who will be key to City’s chances in Season 5.

Will we see them go from the start on Saturday? Visit NYCFC.com approximately at approximately 4pm to find out first…

At the Back

One man who will miss this encounter is Alexander Callens, who remains on the injury list with a hamstring problem.

Sebastien Ibeagha did a solid job alongside Chanot vs. Montreal as the team captured its second clean sheet of the young season, so could be well-placed to continue deputizing for the Peruvian at the heart of the back four.

Another option could be Ben Sweat who has also been fielded at center-back in his time with the Club.

With Darwin Quintero expected back on the Loons’ side after injury, keeping things tight at the back will be important vs. a Minnesota team who’ve won three of their opening five MLS games.

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