New York City Football Club travel to Subaru Park on Sunday to face Philadelphia Union.
Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Ford.
Jim Curtin is the second longest-serving coach in Major League Soccer, and one of the reasons for that is his crystalized playing style.
The former Chicago Fire midfielder likes his Union side to operate with a narrow diamond in midfield which facilitates quick and dangerous transitions when required. One of the key ways to combat that approach is to attack the team out wide by forcing overloads and switching the play quickly.
An example of this could be seen during our last visit to Subaru Park in the Eastern Conference Final when Maxi Moralez’s pass allowed Gudi Thórarinsson to sneak in down the left and square for Talles Magno to score.
A similar approach could cause Philly problems and may be central to any path to victory.
On The Road
New York City Football Club unbeaten run in MLS has seen them pick up some good results on the road of late against Minnesota United and D.C. United.
The team were able to keep clean sheets in both and that has been central to their unbeaten run. The prospect of facing Philadelphia Union won’t be easy, but the Boys in Blue can take confidence from some of their recent performances in the league.
Philadelphia are themselves aspiring for a place atop the Eastern Conference, (where NYCFC currently sit) and will view the chance to take three points from a rival as something not to be passed up.
With both teams playing for something important it should make for a feisty and entertaining game and one NYCFC can definitely win.
Busy, Busy, Busy
NYCFC’s trip to Philadelphia kicks off a busy run of MLS games, with eight matches in a little more than one month.
That will take the team as far west as Dallas, Texas, as well as tough fixtures against fellow Eastern Conference rivals.
The key will be to manage the physical and mental demands attached to that run, but if last season was evidence of anything it’s that this group can dig deep when required.
That trait will be tested in the coming weeks and togetherness will be vital in the team’s attempts to maintain their spot atop the Eastern Conference.