It’s Matchday 4: New York City FC host Philadelphia Union in the Bronx at 1 pm ET.
NYCFC are coming off the emotional rollercoaster that was Tuesday's loss, draw, and win in the CONCACAF Champions League: New York City lost the game 4-2, were drawn on aggregate 5-5, and advanced to the CCL Quarterfinals on away goals. NYCFC’s next CCL opponent will be the Seattle Sounders, who bunkered down in Mexico and beat Club Léon 4-1 on aggregate.
But first, the Union. While NYCFC are revering after a midweek game Guatemala City, Philadelphia will be rested and ready: The Union have played two games at home and one in Montréal this season. Pretty cushy.
New York City and Philadelphia have faced each other a total of 17 times. City have dominated: NYCFC won ten games, the Union won five, and they drew twice. The Union have never won at Yankee Soccer Stadium.
But it’s the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals matchup that looms largest. A Union squad hollowed out after eleven players tested positive for COVID was holding its own against New York City, but then Talles Magno knocked in the game-winner in the 88th minute—it sent NYCFC to the MLS Cup Finals, and drove a dagger into the collective heart of Philadelphia soccer.
They haven't gotten over it in Philadelphia.
Match: NYCFC host Philadelphia Union
Date and Time: Saturday, March 19, 1 pm ET
Venue: Yankee Stadium
Watch: YES, ESPN+ (regional blackout in effect)
Stream: YES app, ESPN+ (regional blackout in effect)
Listen: The game will be broadcast in both English and Spanish on NYCFC Radio
• Injury report: NYCFC Defender Anton Tinnerholm is out with the Achilles injury he suffered last October, and Tayvon Gray is out with a lower-body issue. The rest of the squad is available.
• The Union are in second place in the Eastern Conference with seven points after three games. They’re one of four undefeated teams in MLS.
• Philadelphia upgraded their attack this year by jettisoning the streaky Kacper Przybylko and bringing in 27-year-old Mikael Uhre from Denmark’s Brøndby IF and 21-year-old Julian Carranza from Inter Miami. Neither player has scored so far this season.
• Are NYCFC now the Union’s biggest rivals? Philadelphia fans seem to think so.
• Manager Ronny Deila has been rotating his squad as much as possible these past two weeks: No player is fully rested, but most players are sorta-rested.
• The back-five that NYCFC played against Comunicaciones FC looked wobbly and was prone to making mistakes. How will Deila line up the squad now that they're back in the cozy confines of Yankee Soccer Stadium?
In today’s game against Philadelphia manager Ronny Deila will line up the team in a...
This poll is closed
4-4-2, the club’s most natural formation
3-5-2, give the three center backs time to forge a bond
4-3-3, go on the attack and let three midfielders cover the small field
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