Saturday, April 6th
On Saturday, April 6th NYCFC will look to turn the 2019 campaign around at home against the Montreal Impact, who are without Ignacio Piatti. When their star isn’t in the lineup, the Impact only win 16% of the matches they play. City will also be without their playmaker Maxi Moralez for a second straight match, hopefully leading to a new look XI after a disappointing month of March. Only losing one of their nine total matches against the Impact, City will be confident in front of their home supporters on Saturday afternoon.
New signing Heber will almost certainly debut against Montreal; I believe it would be foolish for him not to start. Although Domè alluded to Heber coming off the bench, another week of Taty or Jesus Medina through the middle would almost certainly escalate fans’ negative opinions of the manager. Alexandru Mitriță has locked down the starting position on the left, and Heber’s addition and strong holdup play will likely create more chances for the Romanian on Saturday. As always, the attacker on the right is in question, with Jonathan Lewis, Jesus Medina, and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi all available as capable options. I expect ITS to start, put together a solid performance, and begin to take hold of a weekly starting spot in the new NYCFC attack.
City looked completely lost last week without Maxi in the lineup. To head the midfield and link up play between the defense and the attack, I hope to see Keaton Parks get his first start. Most outspoken NYCFC supporters have been calling on Domè to give Parks a run out for weeks, and if not now, when?
Alex Ring and James Sands will both almost certainly start; The question is, where? Alexander Callens will be out with a hamstring injury, and we may see Sands get his first start in the defense alongside Maxime Chanot, but Domè will likely leave the remainder of his midfield unchanged. I expect Ring to remain in his 2019 box-to-box role with Sands spending most of his time just in front of the back four.
Ronald Matarrita deserves another start at left back after some questionable performances from Ben Sweat in recent weeks. Mata is at his best at Yankee Stadium, and his service from the left may have newfound meaning with Heber’s aerial ability. Anton Tinnerholm has not been himself yet this season, but Anton has the potential for game changing performances week in and week out. Ibeagha is on this roster for the absences of Maxime Chanot or Alex Callens, and shouldn’t be a liability for the City defense.
Match Prediction: NYCFC 3- 1 Impact
With Domè’s job security on the line, City should be able to dominate the Impact in the Bronx. If Heber can find his name on the goal sheet, supporters will be forced into at least some optimism for the first time this season.
New York City FC:
Goals: Alex Ring (2), Ebenezer Ofori (1), Alexandru Mitriță (1)
Assists: Five Players (1)
Goals: Saphir Taider (3), Ignacio Piatti (3), Orji Okwonkwo (1)
Assists: Maximiliano Urruti (2), Five Players (1)
Watch NYCFC v Montreal Impact at 1:00 ET on YES Network and the FoxSportsGo app
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