NYCFC vs Charlotte FC preview: Can the Pigeons win again?

NYCFC / Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, New York City FC will face Charlotte FC at home for a midweek battle.  Coming off the first win since April, the Pigeons are looking to win again, and grab all three points from the visitors.

Earlier this season, NYCFC lost to Charlotte in a 3-2 thriller that saw fantastic play, but also mistakes, from the Bronx side.  It was clear the team should have won, but that was during the rougher stretch of the winless streak, where losses came in one after another.

In addition, both sides have 24 points, and Charlotte sits in tenth place while the Pigeons sit in eleventh in the Eastern Conference.  Wednesday’s fixture could be a battle to get back into a playoff spot, for if D.C. United falls on Tuesday, then either team could take their spot with a win.

So, let’s not waste any time.  Here is the preview for the upcoming game between NYCFC and Charlotte FC.  

When is the match between New York City FC and Charlotte FC?

The match will take place on Wednesday, July 5, at 7:30 PM.

Where is the NYCFC game?

The game will take place in Queens, NY at Citi Field.

Where can fans watch the NYCFC game?

Fans can catch NYCFC on Apple TV via the MLS Season Pass.

What can New York City FC expect from Charlotte?

New York City FC can expect a Charlotte team that is somewhat struggling, but one that is able to grind and fight.  In their last six matches, the North Carolina side is 1-2-3, and has scored eight goals during this stretch. 

As NYCFC fans already know, the head coach, Christian Lattanzio, prefers for his team to play possession based football, and like last time, both teams will be battling for the possession.  Although, the Pigeons know in their case it does not matter whether they have the higher percentage, for they must score.

Speaking about goals, Charlotte has proven their defense in fragile.  Using the last six fixtures again, the team has given up ten goals.  At the same time, the Crown had two clean sheets amongst these six, so it is unknown what will occur on game day.  But if the Queens team can get even one goal, then the floodgates can be opened.

Which NYCFC player should supporters watch?

NYCFC supporters should watch the defense in this game.  Of course, goals must be scored, but after the last two strong defensive performances, it will be intriguing to see whether those performances can continue.

Maxime Chanot and the fullbacks are expected to play at their best, but Tayvon Gray and Justin Haak have done extremely well fitting into the center-back roles.  It makes sense for Gray since he can play in that position and is more of a defensive-minded right-back.  But Haak has been the biggest surprise, for it looks like he is a natural center-back.

If Nick Cushing opts to use Gray as the right-back on Wednesday, then fans can expect Tony Alfaro, who has also done well, to get the start.  But it would be silly to change what has worked over the last two games, so Cushing should perhaps avoid rotation with his center-backs.

What is the prediction for New York City FC?

New York City FC has to have a boost of confidence after defeating CF Montréal to break the winless streak, but also earn the first road win of the season.  Now, the Pigeons are returning home to face another mid-table side in Charlotte FC, and should use that confidence booster to earn the second win.

As such, the prediction is that NYCFC will win, 2-0.  It will not be a back and forth like the last fixture, but the defense will continue to have strong defensive performances to lead to the clean sheet.

In all honesty, the reason for the positive prediction is due to Charlotte’s recent stretch, and the belief in the fact that New York City FC can continue to turn the page.  But the players must continue at full-speed ahead, and cannot falter in any way.  That is how they can win again.