Stadium: Yankee Stadium
Location: New York, NY
Time: 7:00 PM EST
New York City FC vs D.C. United Preview
Three players who could impact the game
Patrick Mullins was traded from New York City FC to D.C. United this summer transfer window for an international roster spot. He has taken D.C. by storm, notching five goals in seven appearances, with a hat trick last week against the Chicago Fire. In the past Mullins has decimated his former teams. In his first game against the New England Revolution, his orignal club, with NYCFC, his second club, he scored on his first touch. Look for him to play an active role in the revitalized United attack as they look to test a shaky NYCFC defense.
Last week, Jefferson Mena was embarrassed by Kaka. If NYCFC want to retake their spot atop the East, they need to limit United’s shots and goals. That all starts with Mena. Brilliant couldn’t play last match and Chanot may miss the game for international duty. If they are both absent, it falls on to Mena to keep the defense in shape. If he fails to play well, NYCFC will struggle to win a game they should definitely win.
Lloyd Sam was another one of D.C. United’s summer transfer window additions. He came from NYCFC’s biggest rivals, the New York Red Bulls. Against NYCFC, he hasn’t really impressed, only getting two assists in five appearances. In order for DC to succeed he is going to need to provide good service to Mullins. He also will have to track back defensively often, as NYCFC have two dangerous attack minded fullbacks, R.J. Allen and Ronald Matarrita.
When NYCFC is attacking
As always, NYCFC will play out of the back. It will be interesting to see what they do if their normal center backs aren’t playing. Also look for David Villa to get on the score sheet. He was absent from it last week, a rare occurrence from him. If Jack Harrison is starting NYCFC attack will be very different than if Stiven Mendoza was starting. Harrison will inject that technical ability that is just worlds better than Mendoza. However, Mendoza can provide more physicality than Harrison can and is hot coming off scoring last week.
When D.C. United is attacking
United will try to to get the ball to Mullins through Sam. Also, Luciano Acosta will be pulling the strings of the offense. He is coming off one of his best game of the season, with one goal and three assists. It will be interesting to see how D.C. United’s attack have recovered since losing Fabian Espindola this summer transfer window.
Last year, the clubs split a pair of games a year ago with NYCFC taking a 3-1 win at Yankee Stadium, D.C. United taking a 2-1 win at RFK Stadium.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – July 30: Frank Lampard #8 of New York City FC celebrates with team mate Jack Harrison #11 of New York City FC after scoring his sides first goal past Goalkeeper Tim Howard #1 of Colorado Rapids during the NYCFC Vs Colorado Rapids regular season MLS game at Yankee Stadium on July 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)