10things_NYC

10 things on New York City FC

The home opener is a thing of the past, and the Impact hits the road again for three games in the next four weeks. The Bleu-blanc-noir’s first date takes place at Yankee Stadium, this Saturday at 2pm, against New York City FC (TVA Sports, 98,5FM & TSN Radio 690). Here are 10 things to know about NYCFC.

Context

NYCFC didn’t reward its supporters to the fullest in its season opener in Orlando, putting together a solid effort but still losing. On its return to the Bronx, however, the team was irresistible. The 4-0 win against D.C. United was a showcase for a number of new faces. Rodney Wallace, formerly of D.C. and Portland, opened the scoring and picked up an assist on New York’s second. Maxi Morález, for his part, scored a goal and assisted two more. And former Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson kept the clean sheet.

Current form (preseason and regular season)

L-L-L-W-L-W

Head coach

Patrick Vieira (16-11-9 all-time as NYCFC head coach in MLS) was appointed NYCFC head coach on November 9, 2015. A world champion with France in 1998, Vieira is best known for his stint at Arsenal from 1996 to 2005. After stops at Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester City, he accepted an administrative position with the Citizens upon retiring, in 2011. In May 2013, Vieira became head coach of Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad, which plays in the U21 Premier League in England.

Current top scorer

David Villa (2)

Players to watch

1. Rónald Matarrita (#22) – The Costa Rica international full-back won the NYCFC Defensive Player of the Year award last season.

2. Jack Harrison (#11) – A mainstay on the right flank, Harrison enjoys running at his marker and creating space for David Villa.

3. Alexander Ring (#8) – While Andrea Pirlo remains the deep-lying playmaker, Ring provides a more physical presence as well as balance between Pirlo and Morález.

Team profile

Here is what Impact Media wrote on July 14, 2016: “Patrick Vieira wants a proactive team, a patient group that plays in the opposition’s half. The field dimensions at Yankee Stadium, 101x64 metres, fit that mentality. In front of their own goal, ‘keeper Josh Saunders [now at Orlando City] often plays the ball out to his defenders to start an attacking phase – which doesn’t always work out so well. Side backs get forward, create overloads and draw opponents in, giving a midfielder like Pirlo an opportunity to switch the point of attack quickly and destabilize the opposition backline, especially on the right. Up front, David Villa occupies defenders, which opens space for the likes of Harrison, McNamara […]. Still, Villa shoots a lot, and he brings a great deal of variety to his game; he’s dangerous between the lines, but he also troubles backlines with his runs in the channels – NYCFC scores quite a few goals in combinations and occupies the opposition’s penalty area. Upon losing the ball, NYCFC relish the duels and want to win the ball back as close as possible to goal. But their approach – as well as their technical, rather than physical, midfield – makes them vulnerable to counterattacks, and their defensive block can be all over the place. Matarrita and Allen’s runs forward leave wide pockets of space to be exploited. NYCFC has thus conceded numerous goals off of crosses, but manages to defend well down the middle when it can reorganize. On set plays, NYCFC can improve; while the several goals conceded in such situations in the 7-0 home defeat to the Red Bulls in May seemed to ring the alarm bell, old habits die hard – of the last five goals that NYCFC conceded, three came off of corner kicks, and another was a penalty kick.”

In 2016:

Shots on target*

Goals scored from inside the penalty area

Goals scored from outside the penalty area

Goals scored on headers

1st (174)

2nd (54)

3rd (8)

17th (4)

Possession (%)

Big chance conversion (%)

Successful passes in attacking third (%)

Duels won (%)

4th (53.6%)

18th (40%)

13th (63.6%)

8th (50.9%)

*Source for all data is Opta

In 2017:

Shots on target*

Goals scored from inside the penalty area

Goals scored from outside the penalty area

Goals scored on headers

1st (174)

3rd (4)

8th (0)

1st (1)

Possession (%)

Big chance conversion (%)

Successful passes in attacking third (%)

Duels won (%)

3rd (64.6%)

10th (50%)

11th (61.4%)

10th (50%)

*Source for all data is Opta

Tactical formation

The blue half of New York is going 4-3-3 to start the 2017 season. Lineup v D.C. United (March 12): Johnson; White, Chanot, Callens, Matarrita; Ring, Pirlo, Morález; Harrison, Villa, Wallace.

Against the Impact last season

While NYCFC’s last visit at Stade Saputo, a 3-1 loss, brings back unpleasant memories, the Bleu-blanc-noir’s last visit at Yankee Stadium brings a smile to a supporter’s face. 1-0 down in the dying seconds of the game, Montreal worked hard to win a free kick that Didier Drogba placed into the path of one Dominic Oduro, who dived head first to redirect the ball home. 1-1, road point, good bye and good night.

Injuries (as of March 15)

M Mikey Lopez (ankle)

Next games

New York City FC v San Jose Earthquakes (MLS, April 1)
D.C. United v New York City FC (MLS, April 8)
Philadelphia Union v New York City FC (MLS, April 14)

Topics: