NYCFC vs Minnesota United FC preview: Welcome back to MLS

-NYCFC will resume MLS play against Minnesota United FC

-The Pigeons sit in 13th place before the match

-Here is a preview of the upcoming fixture

NYCFC / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Leagues Cup is almost over, and New York City FC and the rest of Major League Soccer will resume the rest of the 2023 season.  The Pigeons will embark on the most critical ten-game stretch of their history, and the pressure to earn wins will be immense.  The team must find a way to climb from 13th place in the Eastern Conference to ninth.  Otherwise, there will be no postseason in any form.

Fortunately, NYCFC has an opportunity to jump-start the rest of the season.  This weekend, the Queens team will welcome Minnesota United FC to town.  The Loons currently sit in tenth place in the Western Conference.  As such, they are not having the best season either, so a win is possible for the Pigeons.

Of course, there have been many losses and draws against fellow struggle-bus teams.  Anything could happen.  However, the difference is that NYCFC had a strong secondary transfer window.  The new players might be able to bring new life into the team and help lead to wins. 

Let’s not waste any more time.  Here is a look at the first MLS match since July for NYCFC.

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

The match will take place on Sunday, August 20, 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 Minnesota United?

New York City FC can expect a Minnesota team that has a chance to beat them.  As mentioned, the Loons are not having the best season either.  However, they can still defeat the Queens side, for other struggling teams have won this season.

NYCFC has a 2-1-1 record against the visitors.  Yet, they have only met once in the last few years, which was a 1-0 win for the Pigeons.  Nonetheless, this is a brand new season, and records do not mean anything. 

Meanwhile, Bongokuhle Hlongwane has truly skyrocketed into a star after a stunning Leagues Cup.  The South African player scored seven times during the tournament and helped lead the Loons to the quarterfinals.  As such, NYCFC will have to worry about the forward, for he is hot right now.  He is scoring goals whereas, excluding the Toronto FC match, the Pigeons are not.  The defense cannot give him any room whatsoever. 

Which NYCFC player should supporters watch?

New York City FC supporters should watch Nick Cushing and what lineup he puts out.  Some of the new signings only joined the team in the last week.  Therefore, it would be understanding if someone like Birk Risa is not in the Starting XI.  It will still be intriguing to see what the head coach does and who starts. 

What is the prediction for New York City FC?

Since this is the first MLS game in about a month, it is time to try some positivity again.  Mounsef Bakrar revealed the difference a striker makes in the Toronto match, the team proved they are capable of scoring goals, and some of the new signings might make their debuts. 

With that being said, the prediction is that NYCFC will beat Minnesota, 3-1.  Hlongwane will be a problem, but minus one goal, the defense will do their job.

Sunday’s game is one that the Pigeons can find success.  While it is not believed they will make the playoffs, they need to win this match if they want to have any chance.  The pressure, and this is becoming redundant, is on.  New York City FC has no room for error against the Loons.