New York City Football Club head to Audi Field on Wednesday night to take on D.C. United
Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
*On The Road Again *
New York City FC are back on their travels this week as they head to the nation’s capital to take on D.C. United.
United are in a state of transition as they seek to move on from the Hernán Losada era. Chad Ashton is serving as interim coach, and he faces up against an NYCFC side eager to claim their first road win in MLS this season. This will be the team’s fourth away trip in the leageu, following on from games against Vancouver Whitecaps, LA Galaxy and Toronto FC.
The team’s home form has been nothing short of stellar, and now Ronny Deila and his staff will be keen to mirror that on their travels.
The key to achieving that goal Wednesday may well be to start the game at a good pace and establish a rhythm. NYCFC have scored three goals in the opening 10 minutes of games this season – proving the team does have the ability to catch their opponent early. Last season the team did exactly that and it clearly unsettled the hosts. While it didn't produce win that night, a similar start could produce a different outcome this time around if NYCFC can maintain the pace.
*Three Back *
Although D.C. have undergone an aforementioned coaching change, Chad Ashton has stayed consistent with the team’s use of a back three formation.
NYCFC have faced a back-three system twice of late during meetings with Toronto FC. On both occasions, Ronny Deila opted to maintain faith in his preferred 4-2-3-1 system. One of the frailties of a back three system is that it affords space behind the full-backs or wing-backs when they advance up the field.
That could allow NYCFC to catch D.C. on the break with quick transitions and overloads down either flank. Those have been key tenants to the way the team attacked and will make for an enthralling tactical battle Wednesday.
*Busy, Busy, Busy *
Although the international break is almost in sight NYCFC aren’t slowing down just yet.
The team has four games between now and the end of May, with MLS and U.S. Open Cup combining to keep the team busy. That condensed schedule is not something Ronny Deila will be concerned about, however, with the Head Coach facing similar situations during last season.
The benefit of such a situation is that the team can easily build good momentum, while any setbacks can be quickly corrected with a game in just a few days. So while it will ultimately be a physically demanding few weeks for the team it could have a hugely positive influence on their 2022 season.