New York City FC welcomes Philadelphia Union, the Eastern Conference leaders, to Yankee Stadium on Saturday night. The matchup between the two will be the first of the season, as NYCFC looks to extend their unbeaten streak to a whopping 13 games.
Coming off a big U.S. Open Cup win to advance to the quarterfinals, Dome Torrent is happy with his team playing in full form… the way he always intended for them to play.
Taty Castellanos explained: “The confidence of the whole team has changed. We’ve played more. The head coach is confident in a lot of the players. I think the technical staff has been doing a great job.
"We’ve shown on the pitch that the squad is strong and united which is fundamental in a team. We know what’s coming and we want to fight for the championship.”
Although the team came away with a win, they lost their top-scorer to a hamstring injury.
Héber has started in eight matches for the Boys in Blue, with six goals under his belt and two assists. His presence on the pitch increases the team’s win percentage to 63%.
Of course, the team performs well with Héber on the front line, he could be replaced by Taty, who has been in excellent form himself. The Argentine has scored three goals and has had one assist in his ten starts, coming through for the team when they needed them.
“I’m usually a winger, but if it’s to help out my team, I think now I feel comfortable as a number 9. I think I found my position,” Taty said. “When I play, I try to give it my best and contribute the best. I open up a lot of the defense and make up a lot of space so that I can give entry to Ring, Maxi, and Mitri. I think that’s also essential for a 9 to be able to help his team to score goals. We have to focus on that.”
Taty has opened up the scoring for the club in two matches this season, scoring the lone goal against the Chicago Fire to secure the three points. He most recently scored the equalizer for the Boys in Blue against Columbus Crew SC to bring home a point.
Not only do his statistics speak for themselves, but Torrent also spoke to reporters about how happy he has been with Taty’s performance.
“I always say that I’m training to better myself and to continue being essential to the team,” Taty said. “We’re now focusing on the league; we know that our next opponent is difficult. We have to be calm and situated with what the Head Coach does. We’ve studied a lot so hopefully, we can come away with a good result.”
Although losing players to injury is a difficult feat for any team and any coach, Torrent rejoices in the depth of the team, as he has options to fill the holes in his XI. Options ranging from moving players around to new positions, looking to the young players on the team, and players who have showcased their talents in practice to catch his attention.
“Philadelphia has important players. We focus on ourselves and on our rivals, we watch videos and we study them. Luckily we’re doing well and we’re in a situation where we have to be focused because we’re fighting together. Hopefully, we can keep a victory at home,” Taty said.
Tune in to NYCFC.com an hour before kickoff to catch up on Dome’s Starting XI.
As the team looks to climb the table by defeating the Eastern Conference leaders, join us in the Bronx to cheer on NYCFC, #ForTheCity