It’s Game Day: New York City FC are hosting New England Revolution in the Round of 16 of the US Open Cup. The game will be held on the plastic grass at Belson Stadium on the campus of St John’s University in Queens, which should make New England feel right at home.
NYCFC are the hottest team in MLS right now: Undefeated in their last seven league games, New York City have taken 19 out of a possible 21 points and scored 18 goals while allowing just five. Most impressive, NYCFC have logged five clean sheets in a row: New York City last allowed a goal on April 24.
New England had horrendous start to the season, but are now on a four-game unbeaten streak. The Revs grabbed a late-minute winner against FC Cincinnati on Saturday after allowing two goals. In fact, they have allowed two goals in each of their last three games.
NYCFC and New England have met 20 times in all competitions, and the Revs have the advantage: New York City won seven, drew four, and lost nine. NYCFC have scored 24 goals to New England’s 27 — only four other MLS teams have outscored New York City.
Match: NYCFC host New England Revolution
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 25, 7:30 pm ET
Venue: Belson Stadium
Forecast: Breezy, 60˚F/16˚C
Listen: The game will be broadcast in both English and Spanish on NYCFC Radio
• Injury Report: Forward Kevin O’Toole is out with a head injury, and Defender Anton Tinnerholm is out with the Achilles injury he suffered last October.
• Who will be in manager Ronny Deila’s Starting XI today? Hard to say. Rotation is the key: This is NYCFC’s fourth game in 12 days, and the club will head to Minneapolis for a tough away game against Minnesota United on Saturday. By comparison, New England didn’t have a midweek game last week, and they have a shorter trip (albeit to face a tougher squad) when they go to Philadelphia on Saturday. Really, the US Open Cup is as much a poker game as a soccer match: You keep your lineup card close to your chest until the last minute.
• NYCFC played to win their Round of 32 match against Rochester NY FC, but only just. Deila fielded five Senior Team starters, five Senior Team backups, and one NYCFC II starter. They won a disjointed game by the score of 3-1.
• New England fielded a strong team when they faced Cincinnati FC in the Round of 32 at Gillette Stadium, and comfortably won 5-1.
• Who will New England play in goal? They have four keepers on their Senior Team, and head coach Bruce Arena has divided the season between them. The smart money is on new acquisition Djordje Petrovic, or maybe Matt Turner. You can read more about handicapping the selections in “Bielsa Report: Five things you should know about New England.”
• Who will head New England’s attack? Adam Buksa is a safe bet. Gustavo Bou is just back from an injury, and while he likely won’t start he might find some minutes. We won’t see super-sub Jozy Altidore, who is out with an injury.
• The core of New England’s record-breaking 2021 squad is mostly intact, but the team isn't performing like they did last year: They currently sit in ninth place, with a perfectly mediocre 15 points from 12 games. New England have scored 21 goals (second-best in the conference), and allowed 22 goals (third-worst in the conference). It just ain’t clicking at Gillette.
• Let’s take a moment to acknowledge that Arena became the winningest head coach in MLS history back in March, when he logged his 241st victory. The man is a legend.
Later today, Ronny should start...
This poll is closed
Our Best XI: We’re in it to win it
A Near-Best XI: Squad rotation is necessary, but we want silverware
Mix of Senior Team and NYCFC II players: Get a result without risking injury and exhaustion ahead of a tough road game
Our Best U17 XI: Only an idiot would put our run of form in MLS at risk
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 annopuncbed at 6:39 pm ET