New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union | 2017 MLS Match Preview
New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union
2017 MLS Match Preview
Yankee Stadium – New York, N.Y.
Saturday, June 3 – 1 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE
We're well into the portion of the season where most games are intraconference affairs, and that means most games are six-pointers. Any road point isn't just a boost to your own standings, but a denial of the same to a team you're fighting tooth and nail for a playoff spot.
Such will be the case at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, as the Union look to rebound from last weekend's loss and aim to keep NYCFC mired in their current slump. They'll be hoping for less David Villa magic – we all recall the goal he scored last time these two teams met, right? – as they journey north up I-95 to the South Bronx.
New York City FC
The Citizens have won just once in their last five following Wednesday night's disappointing 2-2 draw against visiting New England. It was a game they certainly had enough chances to win, but also one in which the typically flowing and inventive NYCFC back-to-front chance creation was only seldom on display.
That's been the case quite often lately as injury and international call-ups have taken their toll, as well as a fairly full schedule of games. NYCFC are now just 1-2-2 in their last five outings after coming off a three-wins-in-four stretch, and dropping more home points to a conference foe is definitely not in Patrick Vieira's plans.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: M Yangel Herrera (Venezuela U-20s), M Rodney Wallace (Costa Rica)
- Injury Report: OUT – F Khiry Shelton (Hamstring), M Andrea Pirlo (knee injury); QUESTIONABLE – D Ronald Matarrita (high ankle sprain)
Projected Starting XI (4-3-3): GK: Sean Johnson – Ethan White, Maxime Chanot, Alexander Callens, Ben Sweat – Alex Ring, Maxi Moralez, Mikey Lopez – Jack Harrison, David Villa, Tommy McNamara
Notes: Villa leads MLS in total shots, and is on track to finish in the top two for the third straight year.
The Union saw their franchise-best four-game winning streak come to an end last weekend at Real Salt Lake, as the varied and potent attack they'd ridden back into the playoff picture finally abandoned them for a bit in a 1-0 loss. While they were able to generate 13 shots, they managed to put just four on target and couldn't break RSL's backline down.
Still, things are better now than most figured they would be for the Union, who started off the season so abysmally. They've built their 4-2-3-1 around CJ Sapong at center forward and a pair of attack-minded wingers in Chris Pontius and Fafa Picault, and the backline has held firm ever since the mid-April adjustments made by Jim Curtin.
A point here against a conference foe would be as good as gold, especially with a three-game homestand coming up.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: M Alejandro Bedoya (US national team); Derrick Jones (US U-20s)
- Injury Report: OUT: M - Maurice Edu (left ankle/left tibia surgery recovery), M - Brian Carroll (lumbar disc herniation), F - Fabian Herbers (right adductor partial avulsion); QUESTIONABLE: D - Joshua Yaro (shoulder surgery)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): GK: Andre Blake — Raymon Gaddis, Jack Elliott, Oguchi Onyewu, Fabinho — Haris Medunjanin, Warren Creavalle — Chris Pontius, Ilsinho, Fafa Picault — CJ Sapong
Notes: Philly have conceded just two goals in their last six games, the best such streak in team history.
- Overall: New York City FC 3 wins (9 goals)... Philadelphia 2 wins (8 goals)... 1 draw
- At New York City: New York City FC 1 win (4 goals)... Philadelphia 0 wins (3 goals)... 1 draw
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Jeff Muschik
Fourth Official: Mark Kadlecik