Today is Match Day 24, and New York City FC are in Southern Florida to take on Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium.
NYCFC is coming off the news that defensive anchor Alex Callens is out with an MCL injury he suffered in last week’s loss to Columbus Crew. That loss wasjust the club’s fifth this year, but it came at the hands of a Columbus that knew how to handle an NYCFC that haven’t looked so sharp since the departure of Taty Castellanos for Girona FC in La Liga.
New York City is facing an Inter that drew Montréal on the road after beating San Jose Earthquakes and drew FC Cincinnati in a wild 4-4 game. Miami have seven goals in those three games, and four of those were knocked in by Gonzalo Híguain, aka the Most Interesting Benchwarmer in the World. To be honest, he makes Miami’s pink “Cabana Boy” kit work.
Still, NYCFC have dominated the head-to-head between the two clubs: Five matches, five wins. New York City have scored 11 goals on Miami, and have a goal differential of +8.
Match: NYCFC vs Inter Miami CF
Date and Time: Saturday, August 13, 8 pm ET
Venue: DRV PNK Stadium
Bruce Arena Forecast: Hot with rising humidity and a slight chance of showers at kickoff, 82˚F/28˚C
Watch: YES, ESPN+ (blackouts apply)
Stream: YES App
Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
• Player Availability: Keaton Parks is out after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot, and Alex Callens is out with an MCL injury.
• What will interim head coach Nick Cushing do to get NYCFC back on track? The defense was uncharacteristically disorganized when they faced Columbus last week, and two of the goals that the Crew scored were at the expense of New York City errors. Callens will likely be replaced by the more-than-capable Maxime Chanot, but the entire backline looked off in the sticky Midwest heat.
• Who will score goals for NYCFC? The team knocked in two against Columbus, but one was marked as an own goal. Will Cushing keep Héber in the striker role? Or will he slide Talles Magno into the center?
• New York City’s road record is decent if not exceptional: Four wins, three draws, and four losses. This will be their third consecutive road game in a row — New York City only managed one point from the previous two matches. Miami has a strong record at DRV PNK Stadium: Six wins, three draws, and three losses.
• Gonzalo Híguain, aka the Most Interesting Benchwarmer in the World, has recently brought an edge to a Miami attack that has been shut out nine times so far this season — New York City beat them 2-0 just three weeks ago. Híguain’s four goals in three games give him eight this season, and draw him even with Leonardo Campana for team best.
• Alejandro Pozuelo has yet to score for Miami since joining the club in early July. He might not yet be fully integrated into the system of head coach Phil Neville, but he remains a danger: He has the unfortunate habit of knocking in goals against NYCFC.
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