NYCFC vs Charlotte FC preview: Take advantage this time

NYCFC / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, New York City FC heads south to take on the still rather new Charlotte FC.  In 2022, the Pigeons unfortunately lost both fixtures, but notably those losses came during the team’s rough stretch.  Therefore, the players will be looking to achieve the first regular season win against the team from North Carolina. 

Meanwhile, Charlotte is in its second season this year, and so far things are not going well.  The opposing side currently sits in 14th place in the Eastern Conference, and has just two wins this season. 

Of course, Toronto FC had only one win before NYCFC had the terrible 1-0 loss in Canada.  That means the Bronx side cannot take the match against Charlotte lightly, and have to find a way to grab the first road win of the season.  The result itself will depend on which team shows up.  If the team that plays well at home arrives and performs well, then it is entirely possible win.  The Pigeons have to take advantage this time though, and play the way everyone knows they can play.

So, let’s take a look at this week’s preview.

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

The match will take place on Saturday, May 6, at 7:30 PM.

Where is the NYCFC game?

The game will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium.

Where can fans watch the NYCFC game?

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

What can New York City FC expect from Charlotte?

New York City FC can expect a struggling team when they face Charlotte FC.  As mentioned, the team has won only twice so far, and has played in some poor matches, similar to the Pigeons.  But like the away team, the home side likes to use their full-backs and wingers to move the ball up the pitch.  Often, they will be seen in a 4-3-3 lineup.  Yet, the head coach, Christian Lattanzio, is not afraid to switch things up, and will put out different types of lineups.

Moreover, Charlotte likes to play possession based football, as does NYCFC.  This could lead to a possession based battle.  As many know, possession can aid with the offense, where it leads to more opportunities since the team has the ball.  Additionally, it can aid with the defense, for when a team has the ball, it decreases the opportunities for the opposition.  Therefore, supporters can assume that the side with the higher percentage of possession will be the one to come out on top.  Alas, the goals have to be scored though.

NYCFC might expect a distracted Charlotte FC too.  Recently, reports came out that Andre Shinyashiki was investigated for rape.  Per the police report, a 23-year-old woman reported that she was raped, and there were four suspects.  Per the player, no charges have been filed, and he was cleared by Major League Soccer to play. 

Then, a report by The Athletic said that Nuno Santos, who was recently loaned to Crown Legacy FC, was linked to the police report as well.  At this time, the case is open, but police are not actively investigating the rape.  It is interesting though that Santos was loaned to the MLS Next Pro side, and then Shinyashiki has not played since April 9.  It also needs to be said that sexual assault cases are some of the most difficult to prove and are rarely brought to trial. 

It will be interesting to see whether the recent report impacts Charlotte’s play on Saturday, and whether New York City FC can take advantage.  More importantly, hopefully the club and MLS release a transparent report regarding the investigation into the two players. 

Which NYCFC player should supporters watch?

NYCFC supporters should watch Maxime Chanot.  The veteran continues to impress week in and week out with his defensive capabilities, and leads the backline very well.  There are so many moments that without his tackles, blocks, etc. that opposing teams would score upon the Pigeons.  Without Chanot, who knows where NYCFC would stand.

It also appears the center-back has formed a fantastic pairing with Thiago Martins.  There were some questions to whether the partnership would work, for Chanot and Alexander Callens were one of the best center-back pairings in MLS.  It is working though, and that is exactly what Nick Cushing needs from his center-back starters.  The two push one another to be better, and allow NYCFC the chance to remain in games.

What is the prediction for New York City FC?

New York City FC is still looking for the first road win of 2023.  The struggles are real, but Charlotte’s struggles are real too.  Hopefully the loss in Toronto is a wakeup call, and will lead the Pigeons to getting their act together away from home, and the goals.  They need to take advantage of Charlotte’s issues on and off the pitch. 

Next. NYCFC on loan: Checking in on Nicolás Acevedo. dark

When all is said and done, the prediction for this match is a little positive: NYCFC will win, 2-1… as long as the players play to their potential. But the road woes still linger around like a ghost haunting. Whether the team will be able to shake those problems are yet to be seen.