NYCFC set to battle Chicago Fire

New York City Football Club are on the road Sunday as they take on Chicago Fire.

Here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Ford.

Tighten Up

While NYCFC’s last two road games haven’t produced ideal results, all hope is not lost.

Against both Inter Miami CF and Columbus Crew the Boys in Blue finished the game with a higher Expected Goals total than their opponent. While that isn’t the only deciding factor when evaluating a performance, it highlights the quality and consistency of the team’s attacking output.

Nick Cushing has acknowledged the team’s need to cut out individual errors, and it is with that small change, tightening up at the back, that NYCFC can build a platform for success and ultimately an important road win this weekend.


Xherdan Shaqiri was a major new arrival for Chicago Fire in the off-season.

It should come as no surprise that the former Liverpool and Bayern Munich winger leads Chicago for assists this season with 11. Typically playing behind the striker, the playmaker’s willingness to float across the final third and inhabit pockets of space is what makes him dangerous.

The Swiss international will provide a stern test for NYCFC defensively alongside his colleagues, and if they can quieten Shaqiri’s involvement they will significantly boost their chances of leaving the game with a positive result.

Quick Turnaround

It’s been a busy few weeks for NYCFC.

Dating back to the start of July the team have only once had a full week between MLS games. The dilemma that presents is good form can be easy to build, while bad form can quickly pile up. Thankfully, July was a largely successful one for NYCFC, with two draws and four wins from six games.

August hasn’t quite had that same return, but Sunday’s game coming so quickly after Wednesday’s disappointment gives the group ample opportunity to turn things around and possibly be the start of brighter days.