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How NYCFC Can Beat LA Galaxy in 10 Easy Steps

“Doctors hate these simple tricks!”

MLS: LA Galaxy at New York City FC Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Turn Rodney Wallace loose. The #RodFather is finally expected back from a nagging adductor injury sustained at the Gold Cup with Costa Rica. His relentlessness up and down the left is one of NYCFC’s most potent assets. Time to let the man eat!
  2. Don’t take the foot off the gas, even if Romain Alessandrini is limited. The pivot from the dog days to the back stretch of the regular season is the wrong time to get cute— or conservative. Whether or not LA’s star attacking man is 100% back from a knee issue that held him out last weekend at Portland, the Boys in Blue should aim for nothing less than a statement win. That’s what contenders do.
  3. Use the Galaxy’s aggression against them. LA has been plagued by its inability to get back on defense after giving up the ball— that bodes well for David Villa and Jack Harrison to use their quickness and guile to full effect. Further:
  4. Try a couple cannon shots from distance. All season long, Alex Ring has been jonesing for a goal from way downtown, but to no avail. Now may be the time.
  5. Force Jonathan dos Santos to prove himself. The hosts’ newest designated player signing arrives with much fanfare, but fitting in with a new team takes time, especially when it’s struggling. If he gets the start on Saturday, NYCFC shouldn’t be afraid to take it right to him.
  6. Ask about Ugo. Patrick Vieira’s consistent belief in Sean Okoli is starting to pay dividends after a series of deer-in-the-headlights appearances this summer. Recent returns suggest that late-game two-striker formations that place him alongside David Villa can bear some tasty fruit for New York City.
  7. Don’t f—ing start Andrea Pirlo. This should be a no-brainer even with Maxi Moralez’s yellow card suspension, but Vieira has proven that he needs reminding anyway.
  8. Conversely, hope that Sigi Schmidt starts Jermaine Jones. Here’s a great stat from NYCFC.com: in the 11 games JJJ has been out of the starting XI this year, the Galaxy have taken an average of 1.3 points per game. In the 11 games he has started, they’ve earned a woeful 0.8 points per.
  9. No defensive subs. Ever. Playing the prevent defense never works. Like-for-like switches are one thing, but removing an attacking player for an extra defender is an easy way to give away points faster than free samples at Baskin-Robbins.
  10. Dance with the one that brought ya. Despite some bad beats and blown leads, New York City still holds the third-best record in MLS. With just the final third of the regular season to go, the worst thing they can do is abandon the core elements of the style and philosophy that got them this far.