FT: NYCFC draw 1-1 with the Fire in a game that was, tactically speaking, a complete dud.
City only showed spurts of competence throughout this game. And had Chicago been a better team, the Blues would probably be leaving Bridgeview with zero points. Every time this team seems to take small step forward, they take a big step back.
As I said earlier, I’ll be completely off of the #DomeOut train once NYCFC proves competent enough to beat teams like this on two-weeks’ rest.
87’: The thought that Tony Rocha is moments away from playing a full 90 minutes is insane.
77’: Taty Castellanos comes on for Héber
66’: Ebenezor Ofori comes on for Ronald Matarrita. Not sure of the tactical thinking on this one.
63’: At first, it loooked as if Mitrita was brought down inside the box for a penalty. Upon second look, it happened outside the box. VAR confirms as much. Free kick.
52’: SeanJohn denies Sapong of a brace
From the looks of it, NYCFC have abandoned the three-back and moved to a more traditional 4-3-3. James Sands has moved into the midfield alongside Alex Ring and Tony Rocha, the latter of which is miraculously still on the field.
And we’re back to the action! NYCFC were in desperate need of a tactical adjustment. Let’s see if they can make some inroads into taking a lead here.
HT: NYCFC and Chicago are even at 1-1 going into the intermission.
It was an atrocious start for the Blues as they failed to control the game and conceded the first goal to the Fire. But heroics on the part of Alexandru Mitrita have given the Pigeons a second chance. In order to take the three points in this one, NYCFC is gonna have to revert back to their philosophy of controlling the game as opposed to just absorbing pressure and inviting the likes of Alexander Katai and C.J. Sapong to cut up the back line.
45’: Another great buildup almost leads to a follow-up goal for City. Unfortunately, Maxi’s header doesn’t even test the Chicago goal keeper. That’s gotta be better.
40’: GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL! Alexandru Mitrita converts from distance!
NYCFC finally have begun to show semblance of their usual selves. That was a prolonged attack anchored by possession and quick movement, and it payed dividends. Plus, what a strike from Mitri!
38’: In all fairness, Mitrita was completely hacked when attempting to penetrate the back line. Still, City was almost burned on the counter once again.
28’: Chicago take a 1-0 lead after consultation with the VAR. This is embarrassing right now.
21’: This has been such a poor start to this game.
This is where my hesitance to completely get off the #DoméOut train comes from. Tony Rocha has been awful in these first 15 minutes and has failed where Ebe Ofori would otherwise be expected to succeeded.
Team selection is just as important as tactics.
11’: Héber almost give NYCFC the advantage with a chip that struck the crossbar. We almost missed it due to Univision’s insistence on showing a replay.
4’: Sean Johnson is called into action early and delivers. Play was whistled dead for offside regardless.
We’re off in the Windy City! Can NYCFC extend their 7-game unbeaten streak to 8?
Rosters are out! Oddly enough, Tony Rocha has returned to the Starting XI despite Ebenezer Ofori being available for selection. Interesting indeed.
New York City Starting XI:
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: Maxime Chanot (D)
- International Duty: None
- Injury Report: N/A
Chicago Starting XI:
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: None
- International duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT: Nicolás Gaitán (M) - thigh injury
Referees: Ramy Touchan (referee); Frank Anderson, Chris Elliott (assistant referees); Elvis Osmanovic (4th official); Jon Freemon (VAR)
How To Watch
Match date & time: May 25, 2019, 3:30 pm.
Venue: SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, IL
Online streaming: Twitter
Local radio: WNYE 91.5 FM — English, ESPN Deportes AM1050 — Spanish
All-time series: If you want to talk about two teams with polarizing paths to this point, look no further than New York City FC and the Chicago Fire.
City is enjoying their best form thus far in 2019, going unbeaten in their last seven games having been saved from the prospect of mediocrity by Brazilian forward Héber. With at least two games in hand on everyone above them in the table — and only being 6 points off of first place — NYCFC has the chance to potentially leapfrog all of the Eastern Conference as they begin to come into their own.
The Fire, however, are a week removed from a crushing 4-1 loss against the San Jose Earthquakes in which Chris Wondolowski broke Landon Donovan’s MLS goal record, and seem to be a mid-table club in disarray. And though their form prior to that game had been passable, their overall body of work has done them no favors as they currently sit on the outside looking in when it comes to the current playoff picture for the Eastern Conference.
Chicago may be helped a bit by being at home. But NYCFC’s two-week layoff leading up to this has put them at full-strength, making them possibly one of the most dangerous teams in the league.
This post will update with highlights and information as we receive it.