GK: Sean Johnson
SeanJohn did not have the best of times against Toronto last week. As the defense in front of him fell apart, the New York City FC conceded four goals, two of which were chips from TFC’s shiny new toy Alejandro Pozuelo. But there’s no reason to hit the panic button just yet. Even the best fall down sometimes.
RB: Anton Tinnerholm
NYCFC’s Swedish right back might not yet be at the level he was last season. But for the most part, he’s been the most consistent defender thus far in 2019. It’s only a matter of time before Tinnerholm finds his footing and with Joe Scally still lacking the proper experience to perhaps get a spot start, I suspect TinnerBoom to get the call.
RCB: Sebastien Ibeagha
My shock pick for this week is center back Sebastien Ibeagha. Though most of City’s issues in the 4-0 loss were in the midfield, conceding that many goals should never happen and someone needs to take the punishment. And seeing as Maxime Chanot seems to be the one having the biggest issue right now, he’s the one that gets the ax.
Plus, Ibeagha needs some playing time. And against a struggling Montreal Impact, this is a perfect time to do it.
LCB: Alexander Callens
Though you can say that the Peruvian had as many issues as his Luxembourg counterpart last weekend, it’s no secret that he is better with the ball at his feet. And in a system that relies so much upon distributing the ball from the back, Callens has made himself virtually un-benchable.
He gets the start, though he should be under extreme scrutiny throughout.
LB: Ronald Matarrita
I like Ben Sweat. You like Ben Sweat. Most people seem to like Ben Sweat. Unfortunately, though, he hasn’t played up to standard.
I think it’s time Ronald Matarrita be given a full start at the left back position and see if he can make a difference, especially on the attacking side of the ball.
CM: James Sands
Without a doubt, the former NYCFC Academy product has been City’s best player so far this year. And despite the Blues’ lack of creativity in the midfield, it would be unfair to give Sands the bench at this point in favor of moving someone else in.
CM: Alexander Ring
NYCFC’s newest captain is a shoo-in. But there’s a caveat: have him start in the defensive midfield alongside Sands.
The Pigeons lining up with one defensive pivot in the midfield has been a disaster. And despite the fact that he’s got a pair of goals in the first four games of the season, Ring is most optimal when acting as a destroyer.
CM: Keaton Parks
All signs point to Maxi Moralez missing tomorrow’s match. Because of this, City are gonna need some kind of creative presence in the midfield. This is where Parks comes in.
Unlike Ebenezer Ofori, Parks actually has a penchant for moving the ball forward. And if NYCFC want to avoid another catastrophe, he should be given a shot this week. I’ll also happily accept Juan Pablo Torres in this position.
RW: Jesus Medina
The Blues’ youngest DP is running out of time to make believers out of New Yorkers. The Montreal game could prove to be his last chance at redemption before the powers-that-be start looking down the pecking order for a suitable replacement.
If Medina can’t find his groove against a struggling Montreal, then maybe it just isn’t meant to be.
LW: Alexandru Mitrita
We’re not having this discussion. We’re just not.
Long story short, he’s NYCFC’s newest DP and he is the only attacking player to score a goal this season. Conversation: over.
I don’t buy it for a second when I hear Domé saying that there’s a chance Héber could possibly come off the bench. Like I’ve said numerous times, this Montreal team isn’t exactly a world beater. It’s a perfect time to plug Héber into the system and see how he fares.