Here's three things to look for in today's game against the New England Revolution.
There's some serious speed on the field between Kwadwo Poku and Stiven Mendoza. Poku got his first start of the season, and fans in the stands cheered like crazy at his introduction in the starting lineup. They've pressured the New England defense, but after giving up an early goal, the Revs have tightened way up. The result? Lots of possession for the Blues, with nothing to show for it. We'll see what adjustments Vieira makes during the break. That said, Poku has been solid in his first start, putting in work all over the field.
New York City misses Matarrita. The Costa Rican is on international duty, which meant that Jefferson Mena got the start. But he didn't make a good impression, often leaving lots of space for New England to exploit. Vieira saw enough to sub him off in the 30th minute for Diego Martinez. Martinez hasn't been that much better, either, but it's tough to come in cold like he did.
Does Saunders deserve to be benched? I can see the arguments for and I can see the arguments against. The problem is, there's a big gap between Saunders, with his experience, and the youth of Eirik Johansen and Andre Rawls. The bigger issue is that even if you bench Saunders for Johansen, that doesn't fix the underlying issue, which is that the backline is still working on its rhythm. I suspect that once they have that, Saunders' will improve.