FC Cincinnati travels to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday to match up against New York City FC for an Eastern Conference tilt.
FCC comes into the midweek affair off a game where the side looked anything but dominant against a lower-level side in the Colorado Rapids. In that match, both sides looked like they were the ones playing away from home, but FCC was the one in a hostile environment at an extreme and unfamiliar altitude and a later-than-usual start time. With these stipulations, it seems relatively fine for FCC to only come away with a 1-0 victory.
However, in this matchup, FCC suffered a very unfortunate injury to forward Sergio Santos, who at that point had become the second-choice striker with Brenner’s departure. While this might have been predictable, it is still a shame because when he’s on the field he looks like he could even be a first-choice striker, but his injury issues really hamper him. It isn’t yet known how serious the injury is, but I think it’s pretty obvious he won’t be available for the NYCFC match.
While this injury could have been a real problem, Dominique Bodji’s has emerged as a real option at the position. He had another decent matchup this past weekend in Colorado, a return to Badji’s former club. In the match, he also picked up his first goal in an FCC jersey. It remains to be seen if Badji will be a high-level backup option for the foreseeable future, but right now he is showing his quality.
While there might be some turmoil in the attack, the defense is the exact opposite, at this point, at least. Yerson Mosquera and Matt Miazga are two of the best center backs in the whole league, and Ian Murphy is acquitting himself well.
FCC has only allowed 13 goals so far on the season, which is third-best in the Eastern Conference, only behind the New York Red Bulls and Nashville SC with 13 and 10 allowed respectively. That defense, coupled with FCC’s improving offense, are the reasons FCC are far ahead of everyone in the league right now.
NYCFC is currently 11th on the Eastern Conference table, with a record of 4-4-6 and 16 points, tied with three other teams. The side has scored 16 goals on the season and allowed 19, compared to FCC’s 22 and 14, respectively.
In FCC’s last matchup with NYCFC earlier this season, the Orange and Blue picked up a 1-0 victory in the U.S. Open Cup thanks to a goal from Brandon Vazquez.
NYCFC has had a relatively dry bit of form in their last few matches, as the side has had five losses in its last six.
NYCFC has multiple players on their side that have the ability to score, with Santiago Rodríguez and Gabriel Pereira tied for the team lead with four goals apiece, and Talles Magno also with three.
Another player that FCC will need to watch out for is Richard Ledezma. The midfield currently holds the lead for NYCFC with four assists and does a good job getting the Pigeons into a good position for attack.
Whoscored.com said some of NYCFC’s strengths include creating chances using through balls and creating long-shot opportunities. It also said that the side’s weaknesses include avoiding individual errors and defending set pieces. Whoscored.com also said that NYCFC’s style of play includes short passing, taking long shots and playing in its own half.