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Game Day Hub: New York City vs Montréal in Queens

New York City end this homestand with a game against a Montréal that give up goals easily — and that are missing key players to international duty.

The kids are all-in | Courtesy

It’s Marchday 21, and a New York City FC fresh off a 4-2 win over Orlando City are back at Citi Field to host a CF Montréal that just logged a 4-2 win over Philadelphia Union. Twinsies!

New York City now have 10 wins in 20 games. It's a remarkable turnaround from 2023, when the team only mustered nine wins in the 34-game season. NYCFC are now comfortably in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, with 32 points. That puts them just three points behind third-place New York Red Bulls with one game in hand.

Game Day Essentials

• Matchday 21: New York City FC vs CF Montréal

• Date and Time: Wednesday, July 3, 7:30 pm ET

• Venue: Citi Field in Queens, NY

• Forecast: A warm, breezy summer evening 76F/24C

• Watch: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV

• Apple Broadcast Team: Neil Sika and Lloyd Sam (English), Oscar Salazar and Luis Gerardo Bucci (Spanish)

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

• Officiating Crew: Marcos DeOliveira (referee), Chantal Boudreau and Tyler Wyrostek (assistant referees), Chris Penso (fourth official), Fotis Bazakos (VAR), Josef Batko (assistant VAR)

• Kits: New York City will wear their black 24/7 Kit for the second home game in a row; confusingly, Montréal will wear their light blue (ice-blue?) "La Main" kit.

Despite that win over the Union, Montréal are on the outside looking in, and sit in 10th place with 22 points after 20 games. They managed to string together two consecutive wins only once this year, and that was way back in early March, when they beat FC Dallas and Miami on the road.

This Montréal squad have three players away on international duty with the Canada national team, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2024 Copa America. First-year head coach Laurent Courtois will once again be without star midfielders Mathieu Choiniere and Samuel Piette in the Starting XI.

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New York City vs Montréal H2H

19 12 5 2 35 14 21

Historically, New York City have dominated Montréal. NYCFC's 12 wins are joint-most against any team, and the goal differential of +21 is the most by a healthy margin. (New York City are 12-3-7 against DC United, with a goal differential of +17 in 22 games played.)

Two of those wins came last year: Montréal was the only team New York City swept during the 2023 season.

But what stands out are the two Montréal wins in 10 years, which is the lowest for any team that played New York City at least 10 times. The last time Montréal defeated New York City was on July 7, 2021, when a midsummer swoon hit the team and the fans in the stands were calling for #RonnyOut. We all know how that year turned out.

Also notable? Montréal last won in New York City on August 1, 2015. But they have since earned three draws as the away team. The last came on April 6, 2019, when a Montréal reduced to 10 players frustrated a lineup featuring Taty Castellanos, Alexandru Mitriță, and Alex Ring. That game ended 0-0.

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New York City FC

• Player Availability: Malachi Jones (leg) is out after undergoing surgery.
• Who will fill in on the wing now that Jones will spend months in rehab? Andrew Leigh has some ideas.
• This NYCFC defense has ceded just 25 goals in 20 games — that's good for the joint-fourth fewest in the Eastern Conference. Maybe that's one reason why Columbus Crew's Wilfried Nancy selected center-back Thiago Martins for the 2024 MLS All-Star Team.
• But this NYCFC attack scored just 30 goals in 2024 — that's good-not-great. They have to like their chances facing a Montréal that's given up an Eastern Conference-worst 43 goals in 20 games.

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CF Montréal

Player Availability: Striker Mason Toye (hip) is questionable. Mathieu Choinière, Samuel Piette, and Joel Waterman are on international duty with the Canada national team.
• This is the first Senior Team managed by Laurent Courtois. The former player was the head coach of the Olympique Lyonnais academy, Columbus Crew academy, and Columbus Crew 2 before being named to the top spot at Montréal.
• Montréal's 43 goals allowed is the third-highest in the league behind only San Jose Earthquakes (54) and Sporting Kansas City (44).
• Expectations aren't high among the Montréal faithful. A team still clicking into place under Courtois can't be expected to do much when their midfield core is on international duty — even when you have Josef Martínez in your lineup. Elias Grigoriadis of The Ball is Round Montreal tells us more in "Oppo Research: 5 Things about CF Montréal."

Oppo Research: 5 Things about CF Montréal
Elias Grigoriadis of The Ball is Round Montreal tells us about defensive struggles, Josef Martínez’s return, and why Montréal’s midfield depth will be the X-factor.