New York City FC returns from the bye week and travels to Chicago for a meeting with the Fire.
Here are the Keys to the Match for Saturday, presented by Tri-State Ford…
Back from the Break
Did the break come at a good or bad time for the Boys in Blue?
City were in dominant form last time out in LA, securing a fourth win in their last five games and their third straight victory on the road with a clean sheet.
With that kind of momentum, Dome Torrent may have been keen to keep motoring on but he will be able to welcome back players to full fitness for this trip to Bridgeview, meaning there’s no reason NYCFC can’t continue pushing up the Eastern Conference standings.
Speaking of the standings, City find themselves in sixth place, above the Playoffs line with up to three games in hand on some of the sides above them.
A win on Saturday could see NYC climb as high as third place in the Conference, leapfrogging Atlanta and Red Bulls if results go our way.
After a tricky start to the year, Dome and his band of blues are looking up the table and are eager to continue racking up the points.
Chicago suffered a bruising defeat to San Jose on their last assignment but they’ve been strong at home of late, winning their last three home games by a combined score of 11-1.
The Fire have only been defeated once in Chicago in 2019, although City have already beaten Veljko Paunovic’s side this season at Yankee Stadium earlier in the campaign with Taty Castellanos scoring the only goal.
NYCFC haven’t won in Chicago since a crazy 4-3 on the opening day of the 2016 season, so Torrent’s charges will be eager to settle that score too in this exciting Week 13 matchup.
Dome Torrent has some nice selection headaches to chew over on the flight to Chi-town on Friday afternoon.
With Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Maxi Moralez and Héber in great form, will that be the favored attacking trident, or will Castellanos, Jesus Medina or Alexandru Mitriță come into the picture?
In the middle, Tony Rocha was excellent vs. LA Galaxy last time out alongside Alex Ring, but Ebenezer Ofori has returned to full training after his injury and will also be keen to continue the eye-catching form he’s displayed so far in 2019.
At the back, Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot and James Sands have tended to line up as the three, with Anton Tinnerholm and one of Ronald Matarrita or Ben Sweat as wing-backs, but as ever, Torrent will make his call based on what he’s seen on the training field over the last week.
We’ll have the team news for you here on NYCFC.com at approximately 2.30pm on Saturday!