Game Preview: NYCFC @ DC United

Sunday, April 21st

Nick Fiorino (@stretch_fio)

NYCFC will spend Easter Sunday in the nation’s capital, facing DC United for the second time this season. The two teams drew 0-0 at Yankee Stadium in March, and a similar low-scoring contest may be in store, as DC has gone scoreless in two consecutive home matches. Domè is still on the hot seat after City’s fifth draw in six matches, and another week without a win may be the final straw.

Projected Lineup by Formation

Throughout Domè’s tenure as manager, City have usually set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. However, Torrent has often changed the team’s shape away from Yankee Stadium, as he did in Minnesota last weekend. With Mitriță, Héber, and Maxi all seemingly healthy at the same time, we may finally see Domè’s preferred shape for 2019.


The 4-2-3-1 formation allows Domè to play his best eleven. The return of Alexander Callens allows the usual back line to start, with Ronald Matarrita taking back the starting left fullback position from Ben Sweat. James Sands and Alex Ring should slot back into their usual midfield positions, allowing Ring the freedom to get forward. A healthy first-choice front four should get City supporters excited, with Maxi Moralez, Alexandru Mitriță, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, and Héber all available for selection.


2019 Lineup 4-21 #2.PNG

James Sands was a revelation at CB last weekend and has real experience in the back with the USMNT. If City start with a back three as they did last week, I expect Alexander Callens to start in place of Tony Rocha, who was, simply, terrible. Width is provided by the fullbacks, and Maxi is free to roam and spend most of the match on the ball. When Moralez and Tinnerholm fill the space on the right, Héber and Mitriță can push to their preferred left sided spaces in the attack. This formation forces another midfielder into the eleven, sending Ismael Tajouri-Shradi to the bench in place of either Eben Ofori or Keaton Parks

Previous Meeting: 0-0 Draw (March 10th)

City’s Home Opener was a tale of two goalkeepers, with Sean Johnson and Bill Hamid both saving everything they saw. Johnson showcased his reflexes early, saving a Luciano Acosta shot from about nine yards away. By the end of the first half, NYCFC had only registered one shot on target, a first time shot from Alex Ring from far outside the box. Johnson and Hamid continued to hold their clean sheets throughout the second half, with the only clear-cut chances falling to NYCFC in the final five minutes. Hamid saved a diving header from Alex Ring, and Jonathan Lewis missed a golden chance in added time. A boring contest finished with a boring scoreline of 0-0. In a perfect exemplification of City’s early season troubles, the boys in blue were simply not clinical enough in the final third, continuing their home woes under Domè.

Match Recap

Player Stats

New York City FC:

Goals: Alex Ring (2), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (2), Three Players (1)

Assists: Seven Players (1)

DC United:

Goals: Wayne Rooney (4), Lucho Acosta (2), Lucas Rodriguez (2)

Assists: Wayne Rooney (3), Junior Moreno (3), Lucho Acosta (2)

MLS Statistics

Follow Nick Fiorino on Twitter at @stretch_fio and The Third Rail at @ThirdRailSC.

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Watch NYCFC v DC United at 4:00 ET on ESPN and the WatchESPN app

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