By Nick Fiorino (@stretch_fio)
On the tail end of the Hudson River Derby, City’s most impressive win of the season and a tactical masterpiece by Domè, NYCFC will look to continue their incredible home form (8-0-1) against the red hot Montreal Impact. The quick turnaround will certainly be difficult, while also looking ahead to Saturday’s match against Columbus in only three days as well.
With three games in a seven day span and injuries to several key starters, City’s lineup will be difficult to predict. After a solid thirty minutes off the bench on Sunday, I believe that Ronald Matarrita will get the start, giving Ben Sweat rest. Fresh off an injury of his own, Maxime Chanot should get the night off after earning MLS team of the week honors, allowing Sebastien Ibeagha to reclaim his starting spot, if only just for a game. NYCFC Player of the Month Anton Tinnerholm should remain in the lineup, but do not be surprised for Saad Abdul-Salaam to get the nod. Jonathan Lewis deserves the start, and should get it with Ismael Tajouri-Shradi’s injury on Sunday. Lastly, I believe that Tommy McNamara will get a game under his belt after a solid Derby performance by Ebenezer Ofori.
As we have been saying all season, City’s form depends heavily on where a match is played. Winless in their last six road matches, Domè needs to bring a consistency to the team regardless of venue. Luckily, City’s next two matches are in the Bronx, and all three points seem necessary to keep pace with Atlanta United.
After a poor run of form to begin of the season, the Impact are one of the hottest teams in the league since June. Winners of four in a row and five out of six, including four clean sheets, Montreal come to the Bronx will loads of confidence.
Last September, NYCFC traveled across the border to grab all three points against the Montreal Impact, winning 1-0. City was all over Montreal for most of the night, with Jack Harrison scoring an outside of the foot wonder-goal from a one-two with Rodney Wallace. NYCFC were unlucky to score only once, with Wallace missing golden chances and David Villa hitting the crossbar late.
Six points behind Atlanta United with two games in hand, NYCFC have two must-win games this week to keep pace. The Impact are currently holding the final playoff position by one point, and are the only team in MLS yet to draw a match this season.
NYCFC: Jonathan Lewis
NYCFC fans know how great Jonathan Lewis has been this season, and hopefully Domè now knows as well. Even with the riches of depth that City hold on the wing, Lewis should be playing week in, week out. When Lewis sees the pitch, NYCFC simply have a more dynamic attack. His pace and ability to beat defenders one-on-one is unrivaled by any other player on this roster. Jonathan Lewis is the future of the City attack, and deserves ninety minutes to further prove so in the Bronx on Wednesday night.
Montreal: Ignacio Piatti
Ignacio Piatti is one of the most dangerous players in MLS, and he will look to showcase why on Wednesday. His efficiency on goal is incredible, scoring nine times on only fifteen shots on target. He is one of only ten players this season with over 10 expected goals plus assists, and is in the top three in key passes for forwards. Piatti has scored four times during Montreal’s four game winning streak, and is as important to the Impact as any player is to any team in the league.
Goals: David Villa (8), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (8), Maxi Moralez (7)
Assists: Maxi Moralez (8), Jesus Medina (6), , David Villa (4)
Home Goals: David Villa (5), Maxi Moralez (5)
Goals: Ignacio Piatti (9), Jeisson Vargas (4), Saphir Taider (3)
Assists: Ignacio Piatti (7), Alejandro Silva (5), 3 Players (3)
Away Goals: Ignacio Piatti (2)
Follow Nick Fiorino on Twitter at @stretch_fio and The Third Rail at @ThirdRailSC. Interested in learning more about the Third Rail? Visit our website at thirdrail.nyc for merchandise, weekly game previews and more. Interested in joining? Click here.
Watch NYCFC v Montreal on the Fox Sports Go app at 7:00 ET or Listen on WNYE 91.5 FM