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Game Day Hub: New York City vs Charlotte in The Bronx

NYCFC are back at Yankee Soccer Stadium to host a Charlotte coming off a bare-bottom spanking at home courtesy of Minnesota United.

It's Matchday 10, and a New York City FC with two dos-a-cero wins in a row are hosting Charlotte FC at Yankee Soccer Stadium.

The NYCFC wins came against a dysfunctional New England Revolution and a short-handed DC United. But the team looked good in both games even when accounting for the weaknesses of the opponents. This young square are starting to deliver on their promise of playing the kind of attractive, progressive soccer New Yorkers have come to expect.

Charlotte are coming off a gutting 0-3 home loss to Minnesota United. They looked completely lost in that game, managing just one shot on target.

Game Day Essentials

• Matchday 10: New York City FC vs Charlotte FC

• Date and Time: Saturday, April 27, 7:30 pm ET

• Venue: Yankee Soccer Stadium

• Forecast: Breezy, seasonably cool 54F/12C

• Watch: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV 

• Apple Broadcast Team: Eric Krakauer and Jalil Anibaba (English), Jesus Acosta and Luis Gerardo Bucci (Spanish)

New York City FC Radio: Glenn Crooks and Matty Lawrence (English), Roberto Abramowitz and Ariel Judas (Spanish)

• Officiating Crew: Ismir Pekmic (referee), Kathryn Nesbitt and Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho (assistant referees), Elton Garcia (fourth official), Greg Dopka (VAR), Eric Weisbrod (assistant VAR)

• Kits: New York City will wear the sky-blue Interboro Kit; Charlotte will wear the deep purple Crown Jewel Kit.

Is it because Charlotte don't have much in the way of a midfield? There's no real No 10 on the roster, no consistent creator.

But that didn't trouble Charlotte much back in February, when they scored early in their season opener against a New York City that couldn't string together a coherent attack. Charlotte comfortably won that game 1-0. But February now feels like a long time ago.

New York City FC vs Charlotte H2H

5 0 1 4 4 9 -5

New York City are winless against three teams: Austin (whom they have yet to play), St. Louis (whom they played once, earlier this year), and Charlotte.

New York City's abysmal record against Charlotte is starting to feel like a curse. Are they a team that NCYFC simply can't beat until the locker rooms at Yankee Stadium are smudged? Maybe sporting director David Lee should dispatch a trusted lieutenant to do run out to one of the many fine botanicas you can find in the South Bronx.

New York City FC

• Player Availability: NYCFC will be without forward Talles Magno (knee) and midfielder Maxi Moralez (ACL). 
• Will the 20,000 fans at Yankee Stadium give striker Mounsef Bakrar a Standing O in the 9th minute of the game?  Javier Gutierrez, one-half of The NYCFC City Boys, a podcast that covers all things New York City FC, proposed it earlier this week and wrote a guest column in these pages that makes his case for the show of support.

Charlotte FC

• Player Availability: Midfielder Ben Bender (knee), wingback Nathan Byrne (other), and forward Brandon Cambridge (ankle) are unavailable. Center-back Adilson Malanda (thigh) is questionable.
• If Malanda isn't in the lineup, New York City will like their chances against a leaky Charlotte defense that gave up six goals in the last two games, including one to the New England Revolution that gave the Revs their only win this year.
• One player who won't make the Starting XI: A proven No 10. Charlotte's lack of creativity in the midfield is the squad's greatest weakness.
• Want to learn more about this streaky Charlotte team? Daniel Bramlette of the Charlotte Soccer Show tells us why mental toughness is an issue, and why there could be enough magic in Patrick Agyemang to get a result in Oppo Research: 5 Things about Charlotte FC.