After winning their last two games against the Philadelphia Union and the Montreal Impact, New York City FC, look to bounce back from their poor start to the season. Slowly, NYCFC are turning into an attacking team, showing confidence with the ball as they have not shown consistently so far in their debut season. NYCFC are certainly not out of the woods by any means, as they still sit bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference standings. No, there is not a threat of being relegated to the USL, but the squad will want to finish in the top half of the Eastern Conference and qualify for a playoff spot.
NYCFC fans should be excited from the last two games ending in their favor, but they face a tough opposition in Toronto FC this weekend. Toronto is the home team for this fixture and is looking to continue their recent form, which has earned them three victories in their last four outings. Sebastian Giovinco has brought his Italian flair to the Toronto side, and his seven goals have put Toronto in the fourth sport of the Eastern Conference. Giovinco is looking comfortable in the MLS after leaving Juventus, and spectators can expect more brilliant goals from him, because of his talent and audacity.
After completing 15 games in their inaugural season, NYCFC has yet to boast a clean sheet. This statistic is worrying for fans, and overshadows their recent back-to-back wins. In order for New York City to rid themselves of the bottom spot in the East, they are going to have to concede fewer goals and to continue to take games to their opponents.
After 15 games, David Villa only has four goals, Patrick Mullins has three, and Mehdi Ballouchy has three marks to his name from midfield. There are no other prolific goal scorers, if you called the other three prolific. At BMO Field in Ontario, expect Toronto to take the game to NYCFC and to assert themselves as a contender for a place in the MLS Postseason Playoffs.
Toronto are going to be eager to test the shaky NYCFC back line, with Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore at their disposal up front. Notably, Altidore has five goals to his name since his switch from AFC Sunderland.
Before the big game this Saturday, NYCFC will face the New York Cosmos in the US Open Cup. The match offers an opportunity for NYCFC to compete against a local team, and a win would add to their current momentum. Despite being underdogs, the Cosmos will be looking for a scalp and to keep their dreams alive in the US Open Cup.
The NYCFC players must be wary that the Cosmos are top of their NASL table and are undefeated in the division with five wins and five draws. The match is just three days before the meeting in Toronto, and David Villa and his teammates will have to play hard to win both games.
Here are my predictions for NYCFC’s upcoming two games: NY Cosmos 1-3 NYCFC & Toronto FC 2-1 NYCFC.
I predict NYCFC to continue their recent form against the Cosmos, in a close game that will not be decided until the second half. NYCFC will fight hard in Toronto and a draw would be a successful result for them. A narrow defeat to the hot Canadian team would still give them confidence before a home game against local rivals New York Red Bulls.
For NYCFC fans, things are looking a lot better than a few weeks ago, but the matches are coming thick and fast, and the team needs to stay hot at the halfway point in the MLS season.