web analytics
Preview: New York City FC vs. Toronto

Preview: New York City FC vs. Toronto

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Major League Soccer clash between New York City FC and Toronto, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In a matchup of arguably the two biggest early MLS surprises for opposite reasons, New York City FC host Toronto on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

It has been a disappointing start to 2024 for the Boys in Blue, who have yet to claim a point this season, losing 2-1 versus the Portland Timbers a week ago, while the Reds are still undefeated, after claiming a 1-0 triumph at home to Charlotte FC.

Match preview

New York City FC celebrate on March 10, 2024© Reuters

The Pigeons played a stellar opening 45 minutes versus the Timbers last week but ultimately lost their composure in the second half, conceding twice in the final five minutes plus stoppage time for their third successive defeat.

Afterwards, Nick Cushing talked about this being a valuable learning experience for his youngsters not to take their foot off the gas, with New York losing an MLS encounter at home after netting the opener for the first time since May 2023 (3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union).

Should they suffer another defeat this weekend, it would mark their longest losing run in this competition since going pointless in four successive encounters to begin the 2020 season.

New York have not lost consecutive league fixtures at Yankee Stadium in the same season since their inaugural MLS campaign in 2015.

At this stage of the new season, New York City FC have netted just once, their fewest to this stage of a regular season since 2020 (0), while they have scored fewer goals than anyone in the Eastern Conference this year.

NYCFC have won their last three home games played against Toronto in all competitions, scoring 13 goals in those victories combined, but have not beaten them at Yankee Stadium since 2018 (2-1).

Toronto FC forward Lorenzo Insigne (24) celebrates on March 3, 2024© Reuters

He seems to do it everywhere he goes, and John Herdman is performing miracles early into the 2024 season as head coach of Toronto.

It took this side until matchday 10 of 2023 to collect their second domestic triumph, but Herdman has guided the Reds to a second in just three matches this year.

That will feel miraculous given what this team incurred last season, losing 16 of their final 17 league contests while winning just two of their last 20 matches played in this competition.

Toronto conceded at least once in their last 18 encounters of the 2023 campaign but have not given up a single strike in three matches this season, which is half as many clean sheets as they posted throughout their entire MLS campaign last year (six).

With their victory over Charlotte last weekend, the Reds have now claimed successive MLS triumphs for the first time since August 2022 (two).

Although they lost their last two competitive fixtures at NYCFC by an 8-0 margin, TFC are unbeaten in their previous four visits to Yankee Stadium, coming back to earn a 1-1 draw the last time out in 2021.

New York City FC Major League Soccer form:

Toronto Major League Soccer form:

New York City head coach Nick Cushing on February 25, 2024© Reuters

Talles Magno missed the previous encounter for New York City with a sprained knee, Maxi Moralez continues to recover from his right knee problem sustained last year and Rio Hope-Gund is unlikely to feature this weekend because of an injury to his abdomen.

James Sands is eligible to return after serving a one-match suspension following his red card in the loss to St Louis City (2-0), while Andres Jasson started in his absence last week.

Santiago Rodriguez netted the first goal for the Pigeons in the 2024 domestic campaign, but it was not enough, as Matt Freese has now conceded five times in three games.

Richie Laryea is still dealing with a sore thigh and will probably be sidelined for Toronto on Saturday, while Deandre Kerr has a left calf injury.

Last weekend, Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty featured for the first time since matchday one, while Matty Longstaff made his first career appearance for the Red, replacing Alonso Coello just beyond the hour mark.

Longstaff set up the winning goal scored by Lorenzo Insigne, his second of the year, while Luka Gavran started in place of former NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson, making three stops to collect his first clean sheet of the campaign.

New York City FC possible starting lineup:
Freese; Ilenic, Martins, Risa, O’Toole; Parks, Sands; Fernandez, Rodriguez, Wolf; Bakrar

Toronto possible starting lineup:
Johnson; O’Neill, Long, Gomis; Marshall-Rutty, Flores, Coello, Petretta; Bernardeschi, Insigne; Osorio

SM words green background

We say: New York City FC 1-1 Toronto

The Pigeons showed flashes of brilliance at home to Portland last weekend but have not convinced us they can find that killer instinct, which is why we believe an upstart Toronto side can go to the Bronx and come away with a point.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

ID:538870:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect10012:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole‘s daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!

Read More

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *