The break is now over and it’s time to get back to business. Looking to grab it’s first win in June, New York City F.C. will try it’s luck against the New York Cosmos for a fourth round battle in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
This is the first time that NYCFC will host a cup match, but not necessarily at home. Instead of the game taking place in Yankee Stadium, just a few more train stops, both teams will clash at Fordham University.
The boys in blue will look to grab their revenge on the Cosmos dating all the way back to last year when the NASL side knocked NYCFC out.
It’s highly anticipated that NYCFC boss Patrick Vieira will do a full squad rotation and give some players a chance to shine. With an important league match against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, don’t expect the big names.
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Between the posts, I think the time has come and we’ll finally see Erik Johansen get the starting nod. The NYCFC supporters have been calling the youngster’s name for weeks now, especially after Josh Saunders allowed seven goals in the Hudson Derby.
Johansen got the start last year under the same circumstances, against the Cosmos in the fourth round of the Open Cup. Johansen lost in a penalty shootout and hopefully this time around, it won’t go that far.
In the back, Vieira will definitely go with a four man line. Instead of going with the usual suspects such as Frédéric Brillant, Jason Hernandez and Ronald Matarrita. It’s highly possible he can go with Jefferson Mena and Ethan White in the middle with Diego Martinez and Shannon Gomez on the sides. Gomez has yet to touch the field this year for NYCFC, so it’ll be interesting to see his performance.
In the middle, there is a plethora of options but the most likely starters will be Kwadwo Poku, Frank Lampard and Mehdi Ballouchy. Lampard has come on as a substitute in NYCFC’s last two outings, so maybe Vieira might want to see how he’ll perform from kick-off.
Right up front will be Patrick Mullins. Interacting with the media about the turf field throughout the field is a clear sign that Mullins will get the start. It’s a logical choice for Vieira and on the wings will be Steven Mendoza with Jack Harrison.
Prince Jack showed a lot of promise in his last two outings, especially in his last game where he scored his first ever career goal on his first career start.
The last time Vieira rotated his squad, the match ended 1-1 against Toronto FC. This time around, it’s a full rotation and now he can really see if his squad has depth.
The first part of history is done with NYCFC hosting the match, to finish off the second part of history would be for NYCFC to get it’s first ever cup win.