New York City FC travels to Toronto on the second weekend of the new Major League Soccer season.
Looking to pick up the first points of our 2020 campaign, here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
We Go Again
Head Coach Ronny Deila refused to be too down after going down to a 1-0 defeat on the opening day of the season in Columbus.
Maxime Chanot’s early red card proved decisive on a tough day for NYCFC, but the man in the technical area is ready to put it right on another tough road trip to BMO Field.
Deila told NYCFC.com: “We get to bounce back now after the weekend. We were all disappointed that we didn't get anything out of the game and now we're going to have a strong opponent but we know we can hurt everybody when we are at our best.”
That task will be made tougher without Maxime Chanot, who will serve a suspension on Saturday and miss the game.
That poses a question to Ronny in how he will replace one of the team’s defensive leaders but fortunately he is blessed with a deep squad.
Sebastien Ibeagha came out of the Columbus match with a knock but could be fit to face our neighbors to the north, while James Sands could also be an option to drop back into the center of the defense and open up a midfield spot.
How will Deila line up his charges on Saturday? We’ll have the XI and substitutes for you on our social media channels at approximately 4pm on Saturday.
Anton Tinnerholm has admitted an extra level of motivation in the squad for this game after Toronto ended NYC’s MLS Playoffs campaign in heartbreaking fashion last Fall.
While three regular season points won’t be enough to fully throw it back to TFC, it would go some way towards paying the debt.
Tinnerholm said: “This game we're going to show another NYCFC and we'll remember what happened last year against Toronto both home and away, so we want some revenge.
“That game, especially the last one at home was tough and we haven’t forgotten about it. They're going to feel that they’re alive on Saturday, because we're going to do everything to take the three points back home.”
Our hosts will also be chasing a first win for 2020 after they drew 2-2 with San Jose on the opening day.
Greg Vanney’s side took a two-goal lead on the road last Saturday courtesy of goals from Alejandro Pozuelo and Richie Laryea but were pegged back by two second half strikes, eventually settling for a tie.
Pablo Piatti has been added as a Designated Player in the offseason, adding to Pozuelo who was a thorn in NYCFC’s side in his first season in MLS.
It promises to be a stern early season test for Deila’s men and an entertaining game for the neutrals, as meetings between these two sides have tended to be.
There you have it, your pregame primer for Saturday evening’s showdown which will be broadcast live on the YES Network at 5:00PM ET.
Let’s get this dub.