NYCFC vs Atlanta United FC preview: Pigeons embark for more disappointment

NYCFC / Mark Smith-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC will head to the Peach State on Wednesday for a mid-week battle with Atlanta United FC.  The team has not won since April 22, and at this rate, a win seems impossible until reinforcements arrive, or hopefully arrive, this summer.

Earlier in the season, the two teams shared the points after a 1-1 draw in New York City.  Since then, the Pigeons have been struggling mightily over their last nine games in Major League Soccer, for they are winless.  Then, Atlanta has had a mixed season thus far, for they sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.  Plus, the Five Stripes are unbeaten over the last six matches, but the record stands at 2-0-4 in this period.

Moreover, away from home has been an unkind place for the Pigeons.  They are still winless on the road, and it seems impossible to win in a place like Atlanta.  At least, that is the case due to the team’s current stretch.

So, let’s take a look at the upcoming match between NYCFC and Atlanta.

When is the match between New York City FC and Atlanta United FC?

The match will take place on Wednesday, June 21 at 7:30 PM.

Where is the NYCFC game?

The game will take place in Atlanta, Georgia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Where can fans watch the NYCFC game?

Fans can catch NYCFC on Apple TV via the MLS Season Pass.  This game will be available for free.

What can New York City FC expect from Atlanta United?

New York City FC should expect an Atlanta United side that is hungry to get a win in front of their own supporters.  As mentioned, the team is unbeaten in their last six fixtures, but managed just two wins.  Yes, those two wins occurred at home, so that can also add to the pressure to earn all three points, for the expectation to win is there. 

Meanwhile, since NYCFC last played Atlanta, players like Giorgos Giakoumakis have improved and grown more as the season progressed.  Fortunately, the forward will not be be a goal-scoring threat, for he is not available due to yellow card accumulation. The forward has ten goals this season and would have been player that is hard to stop, for half of his goals are from these past six matches. 

However, like the Pigeons, wins have been difficult this year.  Atlanta has won just three times since that April 8 draw.  As a result, if Gabriel Segal’s goal from this weekend acts as a catalyst for more goals, then the defense can be broken down. In addition, multiple players will be out or possibly unavailable due to international duty. So if the second leading goal scorer, Thiago Almada, is not ready to go, then the home team is breakable, despite the recent stretch for the Bronx/Queens team.

Which NYCFC player should supporters watch?

NYCFC supporters should watch Justin Haak.  The Homegrown player has started over the last few games in the center-back position, and has done a decent job.  There were some questions, and undoubtedly there were fans that thought he would blow it.  Still, he held his own, and helped the team defensively.

Now, James Sands will also be gone, for he will be with the USMNT over the next few weeks.  In addition, Maxime Chanot will not be available since he will just be returning from international duty.  Therefore, it would be shocking if Haak does not start as a center-back again, especially if Nick Cushing plans on continuing with his three-back system. 

Supporters should watch to see whether Haak steps up in Sands’ absence, and whether he continues to improve as a center-back. 

What is the prediction for New York City FC?

It would be nice to say that New York City FC will finally get that win.  Alas, a dark cloud hangs over the Pigeons, and rain continues to fall.  The team is not as good on the road as well, so that is why it is impossible to say that there will be a break in the clouds, and a win will occur. The missing players for Atlanta does not matter.

That is why the prediction is that NYCFC will fall to Atlanta, 2-0.  If the visitors score, then a draw may be possible, but it is unlikely, despite the home side’s recent record.

Next. NYCFC in the USMNT is proof the academy works. NYCFC in the USMNT is proof the academy works. dark

At this point, it would take a miracle for a win to come on the road.  It is getting tiresome, but as it has been repeated often, New York City FC is on a bad stretch.  Mostly it is due to the lack of goals, but this young team should be stepping up by now.  There should have been at least two or three more wins during this season, but that is not the case.  Times continue to be tough, and will likely continue to be that way.