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Keys to the Match | Back in the BX with Pride

New York City FC returns home, after four matches on the road, this Thursday to take on FC Cincinnati for the first time ever. 

Here are the Keys to the Match presented by Tri-State Ford

First Meeting with Cinci

After a long four-match stretch on the road, New York City FC returns to the Bronx this Thursday evening to take on FC Cincinnati. 

The road campaign was good for the Boys in Blue, with two wins and two draws, bringing home 8 points and continuing our singular season all-time unbeaten record. But after traveling far and wide, they are back home to extend their unbeaten streak. 

While NYCFC has been successful on the road, our opponents have lost in their last five games away, which City will look to continue here. 

Our visitors currently sits on the bottom of the Eastern Conference, with a 3-2-10 record. As the newest MLS expansion team, FC Cincinnati made their debut in the league this year, which means the matchup on Thursday will be the first-ever meeting of these two teams. 

As these two teams clash at Yankee Stadium, it will be a historical night for the MLS and could be a night to remember.  

Summer of Soccer

The call-ups have been rolling in and players are being scooped into national team duty, which means they will not be available for Thursday’s match. 

Players like Alex Callens, Sean Johnson, Ronald Matarrita, and Ebenezer Ofori are reporting to their respective national teams. Callens is off to Peru for Copa America prep and Matarrita is headed to Costa Rica for a Gold Cup training camp, meaning both defenders won’t be available in the backline for the Boys in Blue.

Meanwhile, Johnson, who has been a staple in the goal for Dome Torrent, is headed to the USMNT, which leaves the question of who will be starting in the net for NYCFC?

Last, but not least, Ebenezer Ofori who has one goal under his belt and has been a solid force to be reckoned with in the midfield is in Ghana with the Black Stars.

With the international break looming, and a Summer of Soccer under way, NYCFC’s depth will be tested in the upcoming matches and it will be interesting to see the Starting XI coach draws up for this match. 

Brad or Luis?

Since Sean Johnson made the cut for Greg Berhalter’s 28-man Gold Cup training roster, the keeper is off to serve on the national team.

Johnson has started in goal for every game thus far in Season 5, so the question remains… who’s in goal on Thursday? Brad or Luis? 

Brad Stuver, joined NYCFC from Columbus Crew in 2017 and has experience when it comes to playing in MLS and may be a solid option for Torrent. 

While Luis Barraza, the young keeper who NYCFC selected in the MLS SuperDraft in January, has yet to start a competitive game but has impressed in training since signing up.

With the upcoming match and the daunting question hanging over Torrent, he has an important decision to make. 

Stay tuned to NYCFC.com to see what the coach decides an hour before the match when the Starting XI is released.

Unbeaten Streak

NYCFC has been on quite a hot streak, they’ve been undefeated in the last nine matches. The team has only lost one match this young season and are unbeaten in the Bronx.

The unbeaten streak has fueled their fire, they showed heart and pushed everything they had to keep the streak going against Columbus Crew SC, recovering from deficits twice.

The streak has also added confidence to the squad… Going into Thursday’s match they’ll fight to keep the streak alive and get a win in front of the home crowd. 

Be there in the stands to support your Boys in Blue as they push to make history and keep this unbeaten streak! 

Pride Night 

New York City's Football Club is celebrating their third annual Pride Night on Thursday night.

Celebrating Pride has always been important to NYCFC and the Cityzens because it promotes inclusivity and welcomes everyone into the beautiful game.

NYCFC has partnered with Athlete Ally for the Pride festivities and there will be a panel featuring Athlete Ally Founder Hudson Taylor and Retired MLS Goalkeeper and Athlete Ally Executive Director Matt Pacifici, discussing LGBTQ issues through the prism of soccer.

Come out and celebrate Pride Night with NYCFC and fellow Cityzens - everyone is welcome, #ForTheCity!

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