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New York City FC vs. Real Salt Lake: Tape-delayed Blues aim for 4 straight unbeaten

Give it up for the YES Network, everyone!

MLS: Real Salt Lake at New York City FC Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Hey! Do you like watching live soccer on television?

Well, f— you.

New York City FC’s road trip rolls on to Salt Lake City to take on La Real tonight at 9pm ET. At least that’s what we’re told; due to a Yankees baseball broadcast, your soccer fix will appear on YES Network tape delay.

That means almost practically midnight eastern time.

Yes, you can stream the game live via Fox Sports Go and MLS Live, but still.

Indeed, your team’s own home television network might think said team is stupid and irrelevant, but take heart— we don’t share that view. We actually think NYCFC is pretty cool. And with Patrick Vieira’s boys riding a three-match unbeaten run, and just as many unbeaten on the road besides, tonight’s tilt remains tasty by any estimation, broadcast logistics be damned.

Andrea Pirlo is set to rejoin the team after being spared the weekend’s trip down to Dallas. With such a short turnaround between matches — are you ready for yet another jaunt down to Orlando this Sunday?!? — any continued absence from the NYCFC team sheet would constitute some manner of scandal. The squad just has to rotate. Remember Yangel Herrera? He’ll remain away with Venezuela at the U20 World Cup for the foreseeable future. How about Alex Ring, the immortal worldbeater who loves the taste of blood? One more yellow card gets him a suspension. Really, the return of Mikey Lopez couldn’t have happened soon enough. Over these next two weeks in particular, he’ll likely be called upon again.

And don’t even get us started singing the praises of Tommy McNamara, the sexiest spot-started ever around. The only thing that’ll keep him from stealing points for New York City is if he’s elected Pope, which could happen at any time.

Extended road trips and cramped fixture lists are a proper test for any team that fancies itself a contender, and it so happens that things look pretty well lined up for NYCFC— not only is it worth celebrating the hard-earned point at still-undefeated FC Dallas, but tonight’s opponent finds itself in a rough patch. Losers of four straight and seven of eleven on the year, Real Salt Lake are owners of the worst goal differential in MLS at -13. Yes, even Minnesota United is better.

Would you believe that New York City has never defeated La Real in both meetings to date? Yep. Things look pretty well lined up tonight.

Speaking of RSL:

INJURED & ABSENT

New York City:

OUT: Ronald Matarrita (high ankle sprain), Khiry Shelton (hamstring)

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Yangel Herrera

Real Salt Lake:

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Danny Acosta, Justen Glad, Brooks Lennon, Sebastian Saucedo

THE LAST TIME WE MET