Preview: New York City FC host DC United

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

Things won’t get any easier for New York City FC this week.

After suffering a deflating loss to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, Jason Kreis and his side will host the top club in the Eastern Conference, DC United, at Yankee Stadium.

After taking a slight stumble earlier last month, DC have continued on their winning ways, riding a three match winning streak into the Bronx. United have beaten the Montreal Impact, Real Salt Lake and Philadelphia Union in recent weeks, outscoring their opponents a whopping 10-7, including a shutout win against the Impact.

New York City FC, however, continue their struggles. The club is eighth in the Eastern Conference (6-11-6, 24 points), and have one just one of their last five matches (1-3-1).


PROJECTED STARTING XI

NYCFC (4-4-2): Saunders; Iraola, Facey, Mena, Angelino; Diskerud, Pirlo, Jacobson, McNamara; Mullins, Villa

DC UNITED (4-4-2): Hamid; Korb, Birnbaum, Boswell, Kemp; DeLeon, Kitchen, Arnaud, Rolfe; Saborio, Arrieta

HISTORY/LAST MATCH: N/A

BATTLE TO WATCH: Angelino vs. DeLeon. DC United’s industrious attack relies heavily on wing play, where DeLeon excels. Angelino has been a revelation for NYCFC early this season and will face a pesky challenge this Thursday night.

X-FACTOR: Frank Lampard. NYCFC’s enigmatic DP is questionable for Thursday’s match after picking up a quad injury during Wednesday’s training. His insertion to the starting XI will continue the experiment Kreis began against the Red Bulls. His absence, however, will be just the latest moment of flux in an already unstable starting XI.


WHAT TO EXPECT:

If you glance at the starting XI for either side, you will certainly find more familiar names on the NYCFC roster than that of DC United. Despite that fact, continuity and familiarity are what have built DC into an annual contender under head coach Ben Olsen.

Well that and a pesky style of play. Like the Red Bulls, DC United are an industrious group of workers that grind opponents to surrender en route to victory. That is what has brought them to their lofty perch atop the Eastern Conference.

If Kreis hopes to make the most of his home field advantage Thursday night, NYCFC have to come out strong from the onset and find a crucial early goal. An interesting stat that plays into NYCFC’s favor: DC United hold the league lead in most goals surrendered within the first 15 minutes of play (8). That is balanced by their propensity to score in the final 30 minutes (20 of their 34 goals have come in that time frame this season).

David Villa continues to be the focal point of the NYCFC offense and he will be put to task against a solid two blocks of two at midfield and defense. Arnaud, Kitchen, Birnbaum and Boswell are all MLS veterans who are familiar with each other and able to frustrate even the best of players. If Villa finds a way through them, Bill Hamid is still standing in his way of goal.

NYCFC must develop a more robust tact in their offense if they hope to make a dent against DC. Wingers McNamara and Diskerud will need to stretch the DC defense in hopes of opening lanes for Mullins and Villa. On the counter, Pirlo and Jacobson will be vital in shielding the still-developing back four. Keep in mind, NYCFC has given up over three goals in their last four home matches. It won’t get any easier against DC, especially with the craft Arrieta and Saborio leading the top line.

Can NYCFC pull off the upset? Anything is possible in MLS. However, that results seems unlikely.

Prediction: DC United 3-2 NYCFC

 

 

 

  • The Realist

    Hey, City Fans, I know you’re team is crap, but can you do RBNY a favor and beat DC tonight?

    • Anonymous

      You’re welcome. LOL

    • Rip

      You realize the difference between the Red Bulls and NYCFC is the three games of the derby right? Otherwise against the rest of the league they are equal in points. So while you can argue that your team is better…..saying NYCFC is crap doesn’t mean much for you.

  • send over the RFP

    is Hamid finally playing? I’ve turned on like 5 DC matches this year and he hasn’t played in any of them

  • The Realist

    Wow. It’s amazing how much better NYCFC looks when Poku plays and Fat Frank sits.

    Thanks for beating DC, hispters.

    • Rip

      You’re welcome Jersey Shore.

  • New strike partner Giovani dos Santos collected an assist; he now has a goal and two assists in his first two MLS matches.

  • Pingback: Dentist That Accept Metlife Dental In Indian Lake (Metlife Dentist Atlanta)()