In their first meeting of 2016 New York City FC and the New England Revolution look to get points during the International Break.
Lee Ngyuen and his Revolution squad look to steal a valuable three points against a NYCFC team that is coming off a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Orlando City. New England are coming off a shocking 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union.
The Revolution have lost some of their bite in the offseason as former captain Jermaine Jones was traded to the Colorado Rapids after his contract had run out. New England does have a fierce scoring threat in Diego Fagundez, Ngyuen, Charlie Davies, and Juan Agudelo. Jay Heaps is looking to get his team back to the MLS Cup after a disappointing loss in 2013.
Another game means more controversy around Patrick Vieira‘s NYCFC side. The absence of Kwadwo Poku and the inability of Frank Lampard to get healthy are both problematic for the team. Fans are questioning the club’s direction with Poku and the commitment of Lampard. The team has played rather well as they have dominated in getting quality chances, but defensively they struggle in key moments of the match.
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The team will be without Jason Hernandez, Ronald Mataritta, Mix Diskerud and Khiry Shelton as all four were called into international action for their respective sides. These are four mainstays of the NYCFC side and Patrick Vieira will have to try and find suitable replacements for the missing pieces.
New England will look to set the pace early as NYCFC did in their first meeting in 2015. The Yankee Stadium dimensions will lead to increased pressure from both teams and each team’s defense and goalkeeper will have a big test ahead of them. A key matchup to watch is Diego Fagundez and Federico Bravo.
If Vieira goes back to a three at the back formation, Bravo will have to slow down the 21-year old attacker. A matchup on the other end of the pitch that should be important is David Villa against Jose Goncalves. Villa will be without Shelton to take some pressure off of him, but Goncalves will have his hands full with the World Cup winner.
In three match-ups last year NYCFC won the first while New England won the last two.
This game can be seen on the YES Network at 3:00pm and on MLS Live.
Two rivals each need the crucial three points, but can NYCFC snap their two game losing streak against the Revs?