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Game Day Hub: NYCFC vs Minnesota at Citi Field

Stop us if you heard this before, but this is a must-win game for New York City .

Looking good in blue |

Welcome to Matchday 25, which has New York City FC facing Minnesota United as MLS teams return to league play after a three-week Leagues Cup vacay. Here is your NYCFC vs Minnesota game preview.

Oppo Research: 5 Things about Minnesota United

Game Day Essentials
  • Matchday 25: NYCFC vs Minnesota United
  • Date and Time: Sunday, August 20, 7:30 pm ET
  • Kickoff Time: 7:39 pm ET
  • Venue: Citi Field
  • Bruce Arena Forecast: Warm but pleasant, 82˚F/28˚C
  • Watch: Apple TV
  • Apple TV Broadcast Team: Jenn Hildreth, Ricky Lopez-Espin
  • Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
  • Officiating Crew: Nima Saghafi (referee), Ian McKay and Brian Dunn (assistant referees), Alex Chilowicz (fourth official), Malik Badawi (VAR), Jonathan Johnson(assistant VAR)
Where to eat at Citi Field: 2023 Update

NYCFC vs Minnesota preview

Both the Pigeons and the Loons are below the postseason cutoff, and both can’t afford to drop many points if they’re to make the playoffs.

NYCFC signed six players in the summer transfer window, including four attackers. The math is simple: The team needs goals, so they added more goal-scorers. Expect to see a new-look NYCFC tonight.

Minnesota were cruising through Leagues Cup games before a 5-0 demolition by Nashville SC in the quarterfinals last week. They also did some business in the transfer window, adding Teemu Pukki, a 33-year-old Finnish striker from Norwich City in England.

NYCFC vs Minnesota United H2H















There isn’t much of a history between these two clubs. They played just four times in six years, and the last three of those games were held in Minnesota. No fair! Still, NYCFC have the edge after last year’s 0-1 win behind an Alex Callens header. Such a sweet, sweet memory:

Nick Cushing: Andrés Perea brings “Alex Ring-type profile” to midfield


  • Player Availability: No injuries or suspensions. The entire squad is available for selection by head coach Nick Cushing.
  • Both Mitja Ilenič and Keaton Parks are one yellow card away from sitting out a game due to yellow card accumulation.
  • Will we see Andrés Perea in the Starting XI? In a recent interview, Cushing sang the defensive midfielder’s praises, calling him an “Alex Ring-type” player who can recover the ball and make the team “hard to play against.”
  • Will Mounsef Bakrar also get the start? The new signing feels like a lock-in at striker.
  • Going to the game? You’ll naturally want to plan out your food options with our Citi Field dining guide.
  • Will NYCFC win? Three points will put them on the road to finishing with at least the 44 points we estimate they need to make the playoffs.
NYCFC playoff tracker

Minnesota United

  • Player Availability: Starter Franco Fragapane sustained a thigh injury and is listed as questionable.
  • Will Pukki score? Minnesota’s newest Designated Player found the back of the net in his first start on July 12, but didn’t score in the six starts he’s made since then.
  • Will Bongokuhle Hlongwane score? The 23-year-old notched six goals in Leagues Cup action, second only to Lionel Messi.
  • Will Emanuel Reynoso control the tempo of the game? The 27-year-old No 10 is arguably the key to Minnesota’s success.
  • Will Ismael Tajouri-Shradi play? The former NYCFC winger has made only three appearances for the Loons, all off the bench, but managed one goal in one assist in his 64 minutes on the field.
  • You can read more about Minnesota in Oppo Research: 5 Things about Minnesota United.
Some advice for Nick Cushing

Projected Minnesota Starting XI according to  Bridget McDowell of the Northland Soccer Journal:

Minnesota United predicted Starting XI 9/20/23 copyright Hudson River Blue
Minnesota United predicted Starting XI 9/20/23 | copyright Hudson River Blue
Managing the busiest summer transfer window in NYCFC history