New York City FC’s win over North Carolina FC in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup saw City be forced to use a makeshift back-four that consisted of Juan Pablo Torres, Sebastien Ibeagha, Anton Tonnerholm (at center back), and Tony Rocha. Despite some players playing out of position, the back line held up surprisingly well as NYCFC coasted to a 4-0 clean sheet win over the USL side.
But on the horizon, a much more competent opponent lies in wait — that being D.C. United. Marking a man like Wayne Rooney is considerably more difficult than anyone North Carolina had to offer, making a more seasoned back line to counter the legendary Englishman all the more paramount. Luckily for City, they’ll be getting that on Wednesday.
Despite losing Rocha due to a training injury over the weekend, Glenn Crooks has reported that captain Alexander Ring and left back Ben Sweat will both be available for selection against DCU on Wednesday in their USOC Round of 16 matchup.
Ring is primarily a defensive midfielder, but has experience at the center back position. The captain’s availability also frees up Tinnerholm to move back to his more usual right back position. In the case that Ben Sweat isn’t 100% healthy and is better suited coming off the, it’s quite possible we’ll see JP Torres switch from left back to right back.
More players means more possibilities. And the more players available for Wednesday, the better. Because I think I speak for everyone when I say it’s time this team starts making inroads towards winning that elusive first trophy.