It’s Matchday 3, and New York City FC are back in the Bronx looking for their first win of the 2023 season against a retooled Inter Miami that shut out Philadelphia Union last week.
NYCFC looked sharper in last week’s 1-1 draw against Chicago Fire than they did in the season-opening loss against Nashville SC, but the team have yet to impress this year. A game at Yankee Soccer Stadium should help – it's good to be home.
NYCFC vs Inter Miami H2H
The head-to-head between NYCFC and Miami heavily favor New York City, but those stats only tell part of the story. Last August, NYCFC threw away a win in Ft Lauderdale — it was Miami’s first victory ever over New York City. But then in October, NYCFC comprehensively dismantled Miami in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs with a 3-0 win in one of the most elegant games ever played by New York City.
Match: NYCFC vs Inter Miami
Date and Time: Saturday, March 11, 7:30 pm ET; Kickoff at 7:39 pm ET
Venue: Yankee Soccer Stadium
Bruce Arena Forecast: Near-freezing, breezy, 33˚F/.5˚C
Watch: Apple TV MLS Season Pass (subscription)
Broadcast Team: Callum Williams (former play-by-play announcer for Minnesota United and Sporting Kansas City, also called games for the English Premier League, Bundesliga, and La Liga for the BBC and Sky Sports), Calen Carr (former player with Houston Dynamo and Chicago Fire)
Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
Referee Crew: Lukasz Szpala (Referee), Jose Da Silva and Ian McKay (Assistant Referees), Pierre-Luc Lauziere (4th Official), Daniel Radford (VAR), Mike Kampmeinert (Assistant VAR)
• NYCFC player availability: Justin Haak has been ruled out of the home opener with a vague “upper body” injury. Alfredo Morales didn't travel with the team to Chicago last week, but was pictured back in training and is questionable for this game. Tayvon Gray was declared “back” by coach Nick Cushing in his pre-match press conference, and the right back is also listed as questionable.
• Who will be in the Starting XI? Head coach Nick Cushing finally has something close to a full box of Crayons now that Santiago Rodríguez and James Sands rejoined the team. Santi didn’t look so hottt last week when he was brought on as a 73’ sub, but he had flown in from Uruguay earlier that week and hadn’t trained much with the team. We expect he’ll make a start this week, and will be more integrated with the rest of the players.
• Will Cushing stick with Talles Magno at striker? The wunderkind didn’t manage a single shot last game, and the natural left-winger continues to look uncomfortable playing up top.
• Miami player availability: The Pink Flamingos report six injured players, including leading man Leo Campana, who is out with a multiple-week calf injury. Noah Allen and Ian Fray join Campana as players ruled out for Yankee Stadium, while Robbie Robinson, Edison Azcona, and Shanyder Borgelin are all listed as questionable.
• This is not the same Miami that NYCFC defeated with such elan last October: They look much more dangerous today. Gonzalo Higuain has walked off into retirement and has been replaced by Josef Martinez. The striker, who left Atlanta United under contentious circumstances, started in both of Miami’s matches to date but has yet to get on the scoresheet. At Yankee Stadium on Saturday night, he’ll be looking to add to his prolific goal-scoring history against NYCFC–he scored against the club six times during his Atlanta days, including in his most recent visit to the Bronx back in July 2022.
• Strikers might hog the headlines, but the biggest change at Miami has been in defense: Gone are the center-back team of Damian Lowe (now at Philadelphia), and Aime Mabika (now riding the bench). They were replaced by Christopher McVey, who slid over from left back, and Serhiy Kryvtsov, who was acquired from Shakhtar Donetsk. McVey and Kryvtsov look much stronger than Lowe and Mabika, and they’re an important part of why Miami have yet to give up a goal this season.
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