After the excitement and fanfare of their first home game New York City Football club set their sights on the Colorado Rapids. New York City has been a hot topic of discussion both in discussions within MLS, as well as around the country. The dazzling performance of David Villa, whom stole the spotlight during NYCFC’s inaugural Home game, has been for the past week thoroughly analyzed and marveled at by fans and reporters alike.
The pressure, and excitement seemingly behind them it will be interesting to see how they respond come Saturday as they are set to meet western conference foes the Colorado Rapids. The well-established Colorado Rapids will be looking to sap the energy and momentum from New York City F.C. who stole many of the headlines of week two around the MLS. The key to doing that will be to maintain possession of the ball, and be unrelenting on the New York back line.
Such a task will be easier said than done however as the collective calm performance under pressure was thoroughly on display against the New England Revolution. The unsung hero’s of last weeks matchup consisted of defenders: Josh Williams, Jason Hernandez, Chris Wingert, and Jeb Brovsky whom contributed to the clean sheet despite sustaining heavy pressure through out the majority of the match.
New York City Football Club has been tested so far this season, and very well could have tallied six points were it not for an unfortunate deflection in stoppage time. That being said the bounce back from such a strong performance against New England will not be easy. Head Coach Jason Kreis seems to be hesitant to start rookie Khiry Shelton as current role as a spark off the bench seems to be paying off in late game pressure and scoring opportunities.
It will be hard to image that in the upcoming matchup Kreis will be eager to change things up considering the primary goal he had set for himself in providing David Villa with more time and space was absolutely achieved as villa was able to score a goal, and mark an assist in the contest.
New York will be in a similar position that New England had been last week as they are visiting Colorado in their home opener. Seemingly unfazed by the spectacle of it all this will be their third home opener in as many weeks. Colorado is coming home after not playing a game last week and tying the Philadelphia Union 0-0 in the opening game of the season.
Colorado will be looking to score early to alleviate the pressure of not tallying a goal this season. Rapids fans will be chomping at the bit to defy the new kids on the block, and secure their first win of the season. The atmosphere will be exciting to say the least. Arriving in Colorado two days in advance of the matchup the team has trained at altitude in order to prepare for the matchup later today.
The matchup will test the team’s fitness, and will serve as a good measuring stick for them. It will be important for the team to get the early lead in order to pull the crowd out of it, and apply more pressure on the home team. Another aspect of their game that New York City will want to address against Colorado is their reaction to gaining a lead on their opponent.
In both of their previous match ups New York City was able to gain an advantage and as a result wound up sitting back somewhat allowing the play to come to them. This tendency lead to a lot of shots coming at them, and a lot of scoring chances by the opposition. They will want to make sure that they do not sit back on their heels in response to gaining the advantage, as well as sustain pressure and work with the momentum in the event of taking the lead.
After the positive performance of last week there may not be too many changes to the lineup however Jason Kreis may move things around in order to emphasize possession and the attacking game. Predictions for the Starting Eleven: Josh Saunders, Josh Williams, Jason Hernandez, Chris Wingert, Jeb Brovsky, Mix Diskerud, Sebastian Velasquez, Ned Grabavoy, Patrick Mullins, Adam Nemec, David Villa. The season of proving themselves, and passing tests amidst the scrutiny will continue Saturday March 21st 2015 at 4 p.m. ET.