New York City FC are back in action Wednesday with a home game against Chicago Fire.
Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford...
Bury The Past
This will be the third time that NYCFC have faced the Chicago Fire this season, and it’s fair to say the previous meetings have been frustrating.
The Boys in Blue failed to find the net in either of the previous meetings, with a goalless draw in August and a 2-0 loss in September. That game would be Raphael Wicky’s last in charge, with the Fire appointing Frank Klopas on an interim basis. The former U.S. International has done a fine job since stepping in, recording two wins, a draw, and a loss in four games.
The Fire have already been eliminated from playoff contention, but there is still personal pride on the line for Klopas and his players. After producing a six-star showing on Saturday, this would be the perfect opportunity for NYCFC’s players to display their progress as a group and exorcise the frustrations of earlier in the season.
One of the best aspects of Saturday’s victory over D.C. United was the speed at which NYCFC started the game.
The visitors barely had time to take in the surroundings when Thiago Andrade steered the ball past a helpless Bill Hamid. That clearly unsettled United, and forced two defensive errors before the 12th minute had arrived. As Ronny Deila noted afterwards, when NYCFC are at their frenetic best few, if any, teams in MLS can live with them.
The Boys in Blue need to approach Wednesday with that same fully charged approach and put pressure on the Fire from the earliest exchanges.
It should come as no surprise that some of NYCFC’s most emphatic victories this season have come at Yankee Stadium.
Speak to either the coaches or players, and they’ll all agree that playing in front of a home crowd in the Bronx brings something special to proceedings. That has been central to results including the 5-0 win against FC Cincinnati, the 5-0 win against Orlando City SC, the 4-1 win against Columbus Crew, and most recently the 6-0 win against D.C. United.
To be able to sample that atmosphere again is great, and the hope is that we can all create more great memories in the Bronx come Wednesday night.