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PREVIEW: New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union

Blues hoping for fun in the sun after midweek letdown

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

WHO: NYCFC. Philly.
WHAT: MLS kicking
WHEN: Saturday, 1:00pm ET
WHERE: Yankee Stadium

Patrick Vieira said it, but we all knew it: New York City FC threw away two points Wednesday night against New England. Under the lights at Yankee Stadium, the good guys blew the lead not once, but twice on their way to a downright disheartening draw.

Now, having taken just five points from their last five games, there’s no better day than Saturday to strike back hard against a team with just one win away from home in 2017.

You know, these guys:

For NYCFC, the weekend’s opponent may as well be life-giving ambrosia. The Bronx Blues have taken the last two contests against Jim Curtin’s Philadelphia Union team, and the last time they lost came before Jack Harrison had even made his professional debut. But of course, most signs pointed to a New York City victory Wednesday night, too.

So stay frosty.

THREE THINGS WE’RE WATCHING FOR

  1. Reshuffling the deck: Who gets hurt more by injuries and international absences? Both teams will have to figure out how to make do without first-choice players: Philly lacks Alejandro Bedoya (USMNT) and Fabian Herbers (thigh injury), while our own Yangel Herrera (Venezuela) remains engaged with the U20 World Cup, Rodney Wallace has rejoined Costa Rica, and nobody has any earthly idea about what’s going on with Andrea Pirlo’s knee. The manager that puts his trust in the right spot-starters and role-players will likely reign victorious.
  2. Cornered: After getting positively gashed in the air in their first two years, particularly on set pieces, the 2017 edition of NYCFC looked to have finally moved on from its most damning defensive vulnerability. Then Kei Kamara and Xavier Kouassi (literally) reared their heads. Wednesday was a terrible flashback to a relatively helpless iteration of New York City. Was it a regression to the mean, or just an aberration? CJ Sapong intends to find out.
  3. The Mac or the ‘Margo? While Tommy McNamara has continued to fight through uneven performances, particularly when deployed as a central midfielder, Miguel Camargo made his presence known Wednesday with a headed goal just two minutes after coming on from the bench. With Wallace’s left wing spot available, we may be looking at a platoon/super-sub situation between these two very different players.