New York City FC returns to the Bronx for a Saturday afternoon meeting with New England Revolution.
Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
City of Dreams
… and the climb goes on.
NYCFC are now in second place in the Eastern Conference with two games in hand on Philadelphia at the table summit.
The Boys in Blue have the opportunity to move into top spot with a win against New England this weekend, with two more home games coming up back-to-back on Wednesday and Saturday.
This could be a decisive week in the race for the East but, for reasons outside of City’s control, it will not be easy...
No Break for NYC
The task of defeating an in-form Revolution side is made more difficult by the international break which NYCFC plays through.
With seven players called up to represent their nations, Dome Torrent will have to utilize all of his squad in order to keep up the red-hot form displayed through this four-game winning streak.
Alex Callens, Sean Johnson, Ronald Matarrita and Tony Rocha have all played integral roles in this run but will miss out on Saturday, meaning City will need to be at their resilient best come Saturday.
One boost for Torrent is the news that Maxime Chanot has opted to leave a little later to join up with Luxembourg, in order to be available for this crucial match.
Without his regular central defensive partners Alex Callens (int’l duty) and James Sands (injured), we could potentially see Max partner up with Sebastien Ibeagha on Saturday, offering stability against a Revs team who’ve been on a roll since Bruce Arena took charge earlier in the season.
Maxime has been in incredible form throughout the season, especially in August when his performances in NYCFC’s seven games earned him an Etihad Player of the Month nom.
Another player who looks likely to miss the match is Héber, who sustained an injury after opening the scoring vs. Vancouver last weekend.
The Brazilian is another of August’s Player of the Month candidates after another strong month in front of goal and would be a big miss for Torrent.
We should know more on the injury and any lay-off period when Dome briefs the media on Thursday – if he doesn’t make it, City are fortunate to have some interesting attacking weapons to bring in.
Gary Mackay-Steven opened his NYCFC account off the bench on Saturday, Jesus Medina will be eager to come back in and show what he can do, while Ismael Tajouri-Shradi is edging ever-closer to a return – again, we should know more on Thursday.
Onto New England and their excellent form under Arena.
Following a rough start to the season, the former U.S. Head Coach has inspired a turnaround of epic proportions, losing just one MLS match, to Supporters Shield pacesetters LAFC, since early May.
Arena’s side knows that a victory vs. NYCFC could move up as far as fifth place and help cement a Playoff spot, so there’s plenty on the line for two in-form teams on Saturday.
NYCFC haven’t beaten New England in their last three attempts, so there are scores to settle on the home side too.
Should be a good one…