New York City Football Club visit New England Revolution on Sunday.
Here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Ford.
A new month provides the opportunity for a new chapter.
Soccer has ups and downs for any team but it is how you respond to those challenges which stands the greats out for success.
Though August yielded a frustrating run of results, the hunger and team spirit within the squad never faltered.
Often, teams learn the most about themselves (both as individuals and as a collective) when times are tough and these moments bring out the true leaders, as the players look to dig deep and work together to set things right.
With just seven games of the regular MLS season remaining, the squad know they are entering a crucial period. A positive result this weekend could prove to be the catalyst for turning the tide and finishing the campaign with a run of momentum.
We Meet Again
City and Revolution are familiar foe, having locked horns on 22 occasions in total, winning nine games apiece.
The Boys in Blue have enjoyed a good recent record against the Massachusetts outfit, triumphing in both of our encounters this season (a 4-2 league win and 1-0 US Open Cup victory).
Our last trip to Gillette Stadium saw the Pigeons eliminate the reigning Supporters’ Shield holders in a dramatic playoff penalty shoot-out en route to lifting the MLS Cup. Having surrendered two hard-earned leads, including an equalizer in the 119th minute of extra-time, and with a man down following Taty Castellanos’ red card, the team showed tremendous character to bounce back in testing circumstances, impressively netting all five PKs to clinch progression.
Both sides head into this game in challenging form – the Revolution (who have favored a 4-3-2-1 formation in recent games) have won just two of their nine home games since early May, drawing six, and are winless in their last four. With each desperate for three points, New York will look to draw inspiration from that previous unforgettable visit to Foxborough.
While the pre-match discussion often focuses on attacking stars, the two goalkeepers could be key to this contest.
While New York captain Sean Johnson leads the charts for shutouts, Djordje Petrovic also boasts an impressive clean sheet record, having saved three penalties already this year, including one against Chicago Fire in midweek. Only one player (Nick Rimando, 4) has saved more PKs in a single season since 2010.
Meanwhile, 10 of NYCFC’s 13 wins this season have arrived as a result of shutouts.
The fixture could also see Tommy McNamara face his former Club. The Midfielder was a popular figure for the Boys in Blue, scoring 13 goals and crafting 14 assists between 2015 and 2018.
Former City Forward Ismael Tajouri-Shradi also made the move to Massachusetts this summer.
In regards to NYCFC team news, Cushing will share an update, including the latest on Anton Tinnerholm who was forced off with injury against D.C. United on Wednesday, in his press conference on Friday afternoon.