It’s Game Day: The international break is finally over, and MLS is back — we missed you, too. Today New York City FC host Colorado Rapids at 5 pm ET at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
Interim head coach Nick Cushing will be on the touchline after Ronny Deila left to take over Standard Léige in the Belgian top flight. Will NYCFC get a caretaker manager bounce? Or is it simply a continuation of their winning ways: New York City are on an eight-game undefeated streak, with six clean sheets in a row. New York City have taken 22 out of a possible 24 points, scoring 20 goals and allowing just four. The Pigeons now sit in first place in the Eastern Conference, and are in second place in the Supporters’ Shield race with a game in hand. Not bad.
Colorado are running hot and cold. The Rapids have just two wins in their last five games, but those came at home against MLS-leading LAFC and Champions League-winning Seattle Sounders. Still, Colorado are winless on the road, having taken just one point out of a possible 18. Bet they’re not looking forward to playing in Yankee Soccer Stadium.
The two clubs have met five times, and NYCFC are undefeated: Three wins, two draws, and zero losses, with 12 goals scored and three goals allowed. The last time the two teams met in Yankee Stadium, David Villa scored twice on a rainy day in 2018 as NYCFC rolled to a 4-0 win.
Match: NYCFC host Colorado Rapids
Date and Time: Sunday, June 18, 5 pm ET
Venue: Yankee Stadium
Forecast: Clear, breezy, pleasant, 70˚F/21˚C
Watch: ESPN+, YES
Stream: YES App
Listen: The game will be broadcast in both English and Spanish on NYCFC Radio
• Injury Report: None. Now that Anton Tinnerrholm has returned to full training, NYCFC are at full power for the first time this season.
• Will Cushing line up NYCFC in the familiar 4-2-3-1? Not only does he have all the pieces on the board, the squad are rested and ready after the three-week international break. But NYCFC are about to enter a busy run of games: They will play five matches in three weeks, and three of those are away.
• Both teams will be wearing kits featuring special “Freedom To Be” numbers that celebrate Juneteenth, the “historic date commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans in the U.S.” per the official release. The numbers were designed by Judah, a Brooklyn-based artist and designer whose Trenches line “make s*** accessible for black women who like streetwear.” Looks to us like she's NYCFC fam:
I can't wait to see @SeanJohnGK in this! @NYCFC pic.twitter.com/nIqqOoX64l— TiggaTip (@tiggatip_) June 15, 2022
• Colorado don’t score many goals, only 16 in 14 games. But they don't allow many goals either, just a respectable 17 so far this season.
• Colorado’s most dangerous player is Chile international Diego Rubio, a speedy striker with seven goals this season — the same number as Taty Castellanos. But Rubio is suspended due to yellow card accumulation and won’t be in the lineup.
• The Rapids signed Gyasi Zardes to a Designated Player contract in April, acquiring the 30-year-old striker from Columbus Crew in one of the biggest intra-MLS transfers of the year. It hasn't exactly worked out for Colorado: Zardes has one goal and one assist in six appearances. Still, he’ll be asked to step into Rubio’s role and lead the attack.
• Draftkings Sportsbook picks NYCFC to be the overwhelming favorite to win. As of the publication of this article, Taty Castellanos is tapped as the most likely to score, followed by Héber, Thiago, Santiago Rodríguez, Talles Magno, Keaton Parks, Maxi Moralez, Gabriel Pereira, and (finally) Gyasi Zardes.
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