It’s game day: New York City FC will play Santos de Guápiles in the second leg of the 2022 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 matchups today at 6 pm ET. NYCFC won the first leg 2-0 in a disorganized game in which City controlled possession but never fully dominated.
The Santos squad that takes the field today will be even stronger. As we disclosed in “The Bielsa Report: Five things you should know about Santos de Guápiles,” three key starters weren’t available for the first leg because of work visas. Two of those players are back in the lineup: Striker Javon East and central defender Everardo Rubio are both expected to play.
Match: NYCFC at Santos de Guápiles
Date and Time: Wednesday, February 23, 6 pm ET
Venue: Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles
Watch: FS2 and TUDN
Listen: The game will be broadcast in both English and Spanish on NYCFC Radio
• Santos attacking midfielder and Cuba international Luis Paradela was denied a visa to enter the United States. According to La Nación, Santos “did everything possible to bring Paradela” to Los Angeles, but the team will be without its regular starter.
• La Nación also reports that five additional Santos players who were unavailable for the first match because of COVID safety protocols are now with the squad. This might be the second time NYCFC face Santos, but it will be the first time City play a squad that are nearly at full strength.
• NYCFC and Liga MX side Club Léon had the best first-leg performances in the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16, with both teams winning away games by the score of 2-0. Last night, Léon defeated Guatemalan side C.D. Guastatoya 1-0 at home, and will advance to the quarterfinals.
• NYCFC midfielder Alfredo Morales will be able to play today after sitting out the first leg because he reportedly contracted COVID while training in Mexico.
• While Keaton Parks is still not yet ready to play a full 90-minute game, the midfielder will once again be available to come in off the bench. “Keaton is getting better every day,” manager Ronny Deila said. “We will see tomorrow how much we will use him, but he is available.” In the first leg, Parks came on in the 75th minute along with newly-signed Designated Player Thiago Martins.
• Midfielder Santiago Rodríguez will not be available because of a red card he was shown in the 68th minute of the first leg.
• Taty Castellanos is on an eight-game scoring streak that dates to October 23, 2021. In that run of matches, the striker has scored 11 goals.
CONCACAF Champions League Game Day Poll: Today NYCFC will...
This poll is closed
Win pretty and advance
Win ugly and advance
Lose pretty and advance
Lose ugly and advance
Lose, crash out, and who wants your stupid CONCACAF Champions League anyway
• Will we see the debut of the Bowie Kit? When NYCFC released the second kit last week it divided fans: While some thought the shirt a little extra, others see The Third Rail- and Los Templados-inspired design as fire.
• As reported in January, NYCFC is playing its home game of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League matchup at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles because Yankee Stadium is not a CONCACAF-approved venue; Citi Field, NYCFC’s second home, is also not CONCACAF-approved; and Red Bulls Arena, NYCFC’s other home-away-from-home, is unavailable due to stadium and field renovations.
• NYCFC have been on the road for more than five weeks, spending all that time in sunnier climes: First Orlando, then Cancun, then San José, and now Los Angeles. City will stay in Los Angeles for a little longer: The team play Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday, February 17 at 5 pm ET to open the 2022 MLS season.
• The comment section below is for everybody in the Hudson River Blue community to use for the game thread. Not a member? It’s free: Sign up here.
UPDATE: The starting lineup was posted at 5:03 pm ET.