New York invincible at home this season
If playing at home in MLS is as big of an advantage as they say, then it’s certainly New York City FC that benefits the most out of playing in its own stadium. We know, the field at Yankee Stadium is the smallest in the league and barely abides by FIFA’s rules. The result is a very New York style game: congested, charged, busy. Yankee Stadium’s visitors have a lot of difficulty adapting to it this season; in nine games in the Bronx in MLS, new Catalan head coach Domènec Torrent and his team have only allowed four goals and have failed to win just once, a 1-1 draw against Atlanta United FC. Here are the three keys to Wednesday night’s game, broadcast live on TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5fm, or on TSN Radio 690 as of 7pm.
- Press and close spaces from the front
On such a small field, it’ll be difficult to break free and find spaces in between the lines. It complicates any sort of progression through the middle with short passes, opening possibilities to recover the ball high up the field – which the Impact did well most notably against Colorado. By putting wave after wave of pressure on New York’s defense when it has possession of the ball, the Bleu-blanc-noir can create good scoring opportunities through turnovers, something seen often at Yankee Stadium.
- Charge when spaces do open
Against a team like NYCFC, Montreal will certainly have moments to accelerate. When the spaces do open up, Rémi Garde’s players will have to take risks in order to break the opponent’s lines and do so faster than usual; the size of the field changes the game quite a bit and diminishes the distances between everyone.
- Believe in the game plan
The Impact saw its sequence without allowing a goal end at 420 minutes. Other than establishing a club record, this period of invincibility also fortified the team’s confidence towards the system in place. When the Bleu-blanc-noir sticks to its plan, opponents have a very hard time finding a teammate in between the lines or in the middle, in front of the defense. No talk yet of a Big Wall of Hochelaga, but it’s coming.