Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Portland Timbers
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Sunday, April 19th – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: NYCFC 13/10 – Draw 9/4 – Portland 21/10
NYCFC drew 1-1 with the Philadelphia Union on Thursday night as CJ Sapong stole two points away from the home side with his late goal, and Jason Kreis will hope his team can get back to winning ways on Sunday.
New York City have won just once so far, but that did come at home and they have looked a much better force when playing in front of their own fans.Embed from Getty Images
Portland will hope to avoid losing to another expansion franchise after being beaten 2-0 at home to Orlando City last Sunday, and they have also won just one game this season.
Caleb Porter’s side currently sit bottom of the Western Conference and should be a lot higher up than that after six weeks. They have yet to hit the ground running and need to find form fast.
A slow start last season cost them a place in the playoffs and they need to start winning matches to prevent the same fate this year.Embed from Getty Images
A trip to New York presents an opportunity in what should be an even contest, but neither can really afford to lose this one so it could be tight.
This will be the two sides’ only regular season meeting this season and it should be a good one.
New York City FC will be without George John, while Shay Facey remains a doubt. Mix Diskerud missed the game on Thursday after travelling with the USA squad but should come back in for this one. David Villa only played 45 minutes on Thursday and should be fresh to start come Sunday night.
Portland have four injury concerns to deal with as Will Johnson (leg), Diego Valeri (knee), Ben Zemanski (knee) and Michael Nanchoff (hernia) are all still out. Jack Jewsbury could return to the starting lineup, as could Dairon Asprilla. Fanendo Adi will start in attack and needs service to fire the Timbers to success.
New York City FC’s last five: W/D/L/L/D
Portland Timbers’ last five: D/D/L/W/L
Key Stat: Leaky – Neither side has kept a clean sheet in their last three so goals can be expected in this one.Embed from Getty Images
Key Player: Darlington Nagbe – The Timbers playmaker has shown glimpses of class so far this season but needs a breakout game to give his side victory. This could be that game as he will hope to capitalise on some potentially tired NYCFC legs.
New York City FC 1-2 Portland Timbers – This should be a close fought contest but the midweek game could come back to haunt NYCFC, who may be tired. The Timbers should be higher than bottom of the Western Conference and will look to seal a crucial victory in this one.