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NYCFC vs. Seattle Sounders (6/17, 1pm ET, ESPN)

We find ourselves saying this a lot: can the Boys in Blue bounce back from a stupefying loss?

MLS: New York City FC at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Yep. New York City FC couldn’t score a goal against Ryan Meara.

Think about that.

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Done throwing up? Good, us too.

NYCFC will look to get the baddest of bad tastes out of their mouths when they take on the defending MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Have you got any Listerine? Every bit helps.

On Wednesday evening, the Bronx Blues crashed out of the US Open Cup in demoralizing fashion against the New York Red Bulls, leaving multiple should-been-goals on the table on the way to a paralyzing 1-0 defeat. With such a quick turnaround to Saturday — and with midfield string-puller Maxi Moralez reportedly out with a calf ailment sustained just before halftime Wednesday — the odds would appear stacked against Patrick Vieira’s team.

But lo, take heed! In addition to the fact that Jordan Morris is only a theory, Maxime Chanot is better than Nico Lodeiro, and Clint Dempsey is, like, old, Here’s why NYCFC is going to win:

  1. ALL HAIL DADDY YANGKEE: Yangel Herrera, shortly after putting his stamp on New York City’s season with a monster performance on the road at Columbus, went on extended leave to captain Venezuela to an unprecedented runner-up finish at the U20 World Cup. The midfield dynamo’s attractive, cerebral all-around play earned him Bronze Ball honors as the third best player in the tournament— needless to say, the already-game Herrera returns to the Five Boroughs as confident as he’s ever been. While there’s no like-for-like replacement for Moralez, Herrera is undoubtedly a first-choice pick for midfield Saturday.
  2. GONE GUAJE: David Villa is the best player in MLS and he hasn’t scored a goal in three weeks overall. It’s worth noting that he hasn’t gone goalless in any three-game league stretch this year. Considering a home crowd, the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of Villa slamming one into the back of the net. At least one. It’s just #maths.
  3. KILLIN’ CASCADIA: Have you taken a moment to consider how utterly dominant New York City has been against the three MLS teams from the Pacific Northwest? Sure, they’ve split both games to date with Seattle, with the road team winning each time. That’s OK; not great. But perhaps there’s something in the water all the way out there that makes them susceptible to the particular stylings of the Bronx Blues: in two meetings each with the Sounders, Portland, and Vancouver, New York City sports a handsome four wins against just two losses. Oh, and the kicker? In league play this year, NYCFC has scored nine more goals than Seattle while allowing three fewer. What more do you want?

We’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight the fact that Saturday is Pride Day at Yankee Stadium. This is something to celebrate, and we know just how to do it: if you still need tickets to the match, make your purchase via THIS LINK. In so doing, a $5 donation will be made to the Hetrick-Martin Institute and City in the Community initiatives.

The Hudson River Blue family is united behind the idea that “We Are One” and “Don’t Cross the Line” aren’t simply marketing campaigns. They have unlimited potential to mean something sincere, and even urgent— but we have to make them so. We’ll have more to say about this over the course of the weekend. Until then, keep being a good neighbor, and we’ll see you in the South Bronx.