Friday night is a rivalry night for New York City FC as they welcome Orlando City SC to Yankee Stadium.
Ricardo Kaka and Co. look to take down club captain David Villa, Andrea Pirlo and the rest of NYCFC in the Expansion Derby. NYCFC is coming off a heartbreaking 2-2 draw to Toronto FC after seeing their 2-0 lead slip. Orlando City comes into Yankee Stadium having drawn their last two matches.
Orlando City is a dangerous team with Rookie of the Year Cyle Larin along with Ballon d’Or winner Kaka and former AC Milan star Antonio Nocerino. These three spearhead the attack of Adrian Heath‘s team. The Orlando head coach will look to get his team a win after having two disappointing draws at home.
NYCFC’s boss, Patrick Vieira experimented with a new formation and for majority of the first half, it was very successful. Vieira also made a crucial mistake by subbing off attacking players when his team had conceded the game tying goal. NYCFC will have to move on and look to play a full 90 minutes to beat a strong Orlando City team.
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The defense of NYCFC comes into question again as Frédéric Brillant looks to be removed from the starting XI after a nightmare opening day in MLS. Ethan White has been rumored to get the starting nod and give NYCFC another strong center-back. Federico Bravo and Pirlo should be paired again after having a lot of success together.
Bravo, acting as an additional center-back, gave Pirlo the opportunity to work his magic in the midfield. Villa and Khiry Shelton will have to carry the offense in order to beat a quality Orlando City team.
Orlando City is a very strong team that just missed the playoffs in 2015. Kaka has missed the last two matches with an injury and may miss this match if he is not fit. Nocerino had a quite debut, but Larin has looked impressive since the first whistle sounded to start the season. Larin has the potential to be a goal scoring leader in the MLS and he needs to be slowed down for NYCFC to win this match.
In the three meetings against each other in 2015, NYCFC won one (5-3), lost one (2-1), and drew one (1-1) which was the inaugural match for both clubs.
This game can be seen on Unimas and MLS Live at 7:00 pm.
NYCFC need the three points to show Orlando City and the league who the better expansion team is.