NYCFC looks to rebound from its disappointing loss to the Red Bulls on Wednesday when they take on the defending MLS Champion Seattle Sounders this Saturday at Yankee Stadium. With two potent attacks going at it, Saturday’s matchup should be a quite the appetizing affair.
Last season, NYCFC hit the road (or better yet the air) and traveled to Seattle to face the Sounders in what ended up being an important 2-0 win. In their only meeting before last year’s contest, the Seattle Sounders came to Yankee Stadium and took home three points despite this worldly goal from Mehdi Ballouchy.
Is this the match in which the home team finally wins?
Here are three things to make a note of before tomorrow’s match.
1. NYCFC Are Banged Up & On Short Rest
Three players have been confirmed out for tomorrow’s fixture. Defender Ronald Matarrita reinjured his ankle in practice on Thursday and is out as he begins a second recovery process. Midfielder Maxi Moralez is also out due to a calf injury sustained in Wednesday’s US Open Cup match against the Red Bulls. Additionally, forward Khiry Shelton is still out due to injury.
NYCFC may have star centre-back Maxime Chanot back, but the Luxembourg-international is Questionable due to a nagging hamstring injury. A decision on Chanot will be made tomorrow morning before the match.
Since NYCFC played on Wednesday, they will be on short rest for Saturday’s inter-conference contest. Thankfully, the Sounders will also be on short rest as they played the Portland Timbers on Tuesday evening.
2. The 18-Man Roster Is Getting a Jolt of Familiar Faces
NYCFC will get a much-needed jolt of fresh legs in their 18-man roster for Saturday’s fixture. Costa Rican winger Rodney Wallace is back from international break as well as Panamanian midfielder Miguel Camargo.
NYCFC’s wunderkind of a loan player, Yangel Herrera, is also back and ready to wreak havoc on the Seattle midfield. The Venezuelan U-20 Captain earned honors for his performance in the recent U-20 World Cup as he led his native Venezuela to a runner-up finish. Look for Herrera to continue to his fine form with a strong performance against Seattle tomorrow.
Andrea Pirlo is also back from injury and looks poised to make the roster following the injury to Moralez. However, don’t expect “the Maestro” to crack into the Starting XI.
3. Villa Is On The Brink of Yet Another Milestone
“El Guaje” currently has 49 goals to his name in an NYCFC shirt. On Saturday, NYCFC’s Captain will look to break the half-a-century mark at Yankee Stadium, a place where he loves to score historical goals.
Lineup & Score Prediction
If Chanot is healthy, this is probably the lineup that Vieira is going to field. With Matarrita out, again, Ben Sweat will get the start at left-back. As for Maxi Moralez’s replacement, expect to see Tommy McNamara back into the Starting XI. The now short-haired fan favorite created some quality chances for NYCFC in Wednesday’s match against the Red Bulls thus earning him another starting spot.
This match will pit two deadly attacks against one another. On the Seattle front, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, and Nicolas Lodeiro are amongst the best in MLS and for a good reason. NYCFC will have its hands full against that trio especially if Chanot is deemed unfit to play.
If there is one thing that is clear though, it is that NYCFC loves to score goals, even more so at home. Seattle is capable of giving up quite a few on the road (gave up four on the road to Chicago a short while ago,) so don’t be surprised if a goal-fest breaks out.
NYCFC 4 Seattle 2