New York City FC
Last weekend, in my preview of the Orlando City match, I said it couldn’t possibly be worse after a 1-0 loss to New England that was reminiscent of early season struggles. It seems as though I was right, with last weekend’s 5-3 NYCFC win over rival expansion side OCSC showing what this team can be going forward. In the highest-scoring match of the season for us, our offense awakened with five goals that were as talented as they were exciting. While the defense was less than perfect, they showed improvement as they finally rounded into the line-up you can expect to see for the rest of the season, and developing communication and consistency is now the goal. The debut of Andrea Pirlo was just icing on top of a very delicious cake, as the Maestro looked every bit the part in the midfield. With the midfield line-up finishing as Diskerud, Poku, McNamara, Jacobson, and Pirlo, we’re very nearly at the line-up most fans expect to start the rest of the season, pending the arrival of Lampard and his replacement of either Poku or McNamara. The transformation is almost complete for NYCFC, and the league is now on notice. Every indication is that this is the beginning of a big time playoff push, and it starts this weekend at home against Montreal, where Lampard seems likely to make his debut.
L’Impact de Montreal (deux)
Montreal comes to the match in slightly poorer form, but 2 wins and a draw in their last five isn’t too shabby. The team’s spirits will be high with the recent news of the acquisition of Didier Drogba. Though the former star Chelsea man won’t be playing this weekend, his arrival brings confidence to a side that is one of three teams (NYCFC included) that is currently tied for the final playoff spot. L’Impact have their work cut out for them, as they play an NYCFC team that has beaten them each of the two previous times the teams have met, 3-1 at Yankee Stadium, and 2-1 in Montreal, and with the massive improvement shown from City, you can be sure it’ll be an even tougher contest.
- Montreal will certainly be without new signing Didier Drogba, but expect to see Frank Lampard debut, as he practiced fully this week.
- NYCFC has yet to lose against a Canadian team. They have two wins vs. Montreal, and a win and a draw vs. Toronto FC.
- Though the teams are tied in the table at 24 points, Montreal has three games in hand over NYCFC.
- City goal leader David Villa has double the goals of Impact goal leader Ignacio Piatti (12-6).
Injury/Discipline (O=Out, D=Doubtful, Q=Questionable, P=Probable, U=Unknown, S=Suspended)
L’Impact de Montreal: Porter (O), Cooper (O), Alexander (O), Camara (U), Mapp (U)
New York City FC: John (O), Taylor (O), Brandt (O), Wingert (O), Lampard (Q), Shelton (Q), Meara (U), Ballouchy (S)
Discipline Warnings: McInerney (MTL), Donadel (MTL), Watson-Siriboe (NYC), Jacobson (NYC)
Projected Formation: 4-5-1
Projected Starting 11: Saunders, Iraola, Facey, Mena, Angelino, Pirlo, Jacobson, Diskerud, Poku, McNamara, Villa
Prediction: So far so good against Montreal, and I see no reason why recent improvements don’t lean towards the same result. 4-2 NYCFC, keep the goals coming!
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Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Colton Coreschi