Marriage requires work, effort and dedication through sickness and in health. So does a soccer team. The New York City Football Club have seemingly worked through the early season hiccups with Patrick Viera’s system and are enjoying a great run of form pushing them to the top of the East. All of that work will be put to the test in New Jersey this Sunday in the last New York City derby game.
Something Old and Something New: New York City Derby
Frank Lampard turned 38 recently. Jack Harrison just turned 19 in November. Together they have combined for 8 goals in the last 8 games for The New York City Football Club. The duo are a huge reason for the success of NYCFC of late. Both of them adding a spark to the attack and giving the team other options than David Villa.
With Lampard the team gets smart and aggressive passing in the advanced midfield along with some unorthodox goals scored with the chest, arm, thigh, or lucky bounce. His goals have not been beautiful but NYCFC fans are not complaining with his average.
With Harrison, the team get a much needed way to relieve the pressure that comes with playing from the back. Against The New York Red Bulls in May the team was sorely exposed to the high press and suffered the worst loss in MLS history. The last meeting between the two teams was much more successful and a large part of that has to do with the speed and runs of Harrison. Suddenly a long ball over the top to a streaking Jack Harrison is an option and a way to keep the high defensive line played by the Red Bulls honest. If NYCFC prevail on Sunday it will certainly involve several attacks by Jack Harrison. After all they are playing in “Harrison” New Jersey.
If you add these two new offensive threats to the already dangerous attack of David Villa and Thomas Macnamara, you get a truly potent attack. With temperatures expected in the upper 90’s The Red Bulls will have their work cut out for them to aggressively apply the high press in the extreme heat and NYCFC should get chances to counter and score.
Jesse Marsch this week made statements about preferential treatment by the refs for NYCFC’s designated players. With those statements and the trash talking coming from the fans, one thing is for sure, the temperature is not the only thing that will be hot on Sunday.