Preview: New York City FC hosts Montreal Impact

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

New York City FC made history last week ending their 11-game winless streak in emphatic fashion against the Philadelphia Union, securing their first road win ever as an MLS franchise.

This week, another bit of history will be within their grasp.

For the first time ever, NYCFC will look to win two matches in a row as they host the hot-and-cold Montreal Impact.

Both clubs will be missing key personnel. For Montreal, Ambroise Oyongo and Maxim Tissot are out on international duty, while Hassoun Camara (knee injury), Kenny Cooper (knee surgery), Dilly Duka (head injury), Justin Mapp (elbow surgery), Eric Miller (hamstring injury), Dominic Oduro (groin injury) and Cameron Porter (knee surgery) remain unavailable. NYCFC will miss Mix Diskerud and Adam Nemec with Javier Calle (quad strain), Khiry Shelton (MCL) and Josh Williams (adductor) out for the match.

The losses on both sides will make for some creative tinkering from both Jason Kreis and Montreal boss Frank Klopas. To the credit of the Montreal coach, the team has dealt with injuries all season long, culminating in their recent run of four wins in five games.


PROJECTED XI:

New York City FC (4-1-2-1-2): Saunders; Brovsky, Facey, Hernandez, Wingert; Ballouchy, Jacobson, Poku, McNamara; Villa, Mullins

Montreal Impact (4-5-1): Bush; Soumare, Ciman, Lefevre, Toia; Reo-Coker, Bernier; Romero, Piatti, Alexander; McInerney

LAST ENCOUNTER: N/A

HISTORY: N/A

BATTLE TO WATCH: Piatti vs. Jacobson. After a strong start to the season, Jacobson, like his teammates, has fallen into a funk. Though his performances have improved a touch in recent weeks, he will need to be at full capacity to take on the Argentine playmaker. Piatti has the skills to rule the midfield. If allowed, he will slice City’s backline with trademark passes and strikes that will make for a long day at Yankee Stadium.

X-FACTOR: Pitch. The last time NYCFC played at home, turf became an issue for the first time at Yankee Stadium, interfering with the footing of David Villa on a scoring opportunity in the box. As the weather heats up, the turf will be under scrutiny.


 

ANALYSIS:

NYCFC captain David Villa has long said that the team needs a win to change their fate. That sentiment will be tested this Saturday night.

What is going well for NYCFC? For starters, they are finding the right mix on the defensive end to bolster their guard. Shay Facey and Jason Hernandez, both natural centerbacks, combine at the heart of the line. Chris Wingert has been shifted back to his traditional left full back position while Brovsky has filled in nicely on the right.

That solidity has allowed Jason Kreis to tinker with the diamond midfield once more. The addition of youngsters McNamara, Poku and Mullins has added an energy to the attack that was previously missing. Their play, along with the defensive efforts of Jacobson, have allowed the team to finally put use to their meandering possession style.

Montreal will certainly test them. While the Yankee Stadium field will be a narrow grounds, Montreal has all the right players down its spine to play a centrally focused game, testing the defensive triangle of Jacobson, Hernandez and Facey. Piatti and Romero have worked magic on offense, scoring six goals amongst them. McInerney adds a solid finish to the combination as well; another face NYCFC will have to smother if they hope to take points.

It hasn’t been easy for opponents to adjust at Yankee Stadium. For that reason, taking the early lead will be of the utmost importance to the home side.

New York will have to capitalize in the first 45 minutes and show the resiliency they have exhibited in many second half performances to put this match away. However, Montreal won’t make it easy.

PREDICTION: 2-1 Impact

  • Anonymous

    This is going to be a truly unwatchable game between two terrible teams.

    Are you going to watch 90 minutes to see who sucks less?

  • Sam U El

    Start of a new loosing streak for NYCFC

    • DanGerman

      Umm… they won 3-1 and they pretty much dominated the match in front of over 24k fans. So it was a pretty good night overall.

  • chepe

    Seems to me that american soccer fans worry more on attendance , than the level of play on the field.

    • DanGerman

      No American fans are worried about supporting their top division teams. And in NYC they’re making Americans jealous. :-)