Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, June 18 – 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Match Odds: NYCFC 13/10 – Draw 23/10 – Philadelphia 21/10
These Eastern Conference rivals will hope that they can pick back up following the short break, with the visiting Union looking to keep their place at the top of the East.
NYCFC will be desperate to improve on recent results here. Patrick Vieira has had a long time to prepare for this game and will not want to see the club’s four-game winless run extended on Saturday.
That said, there is little to suggest the club will go on and win this game in front of their own fans. They have been very poor at home this year, winning just one of nine at Yankee Stadium – a return that is far from good enough.
Philadelphia will look to capitalise on any New York City slip-ups as they are looking to set a club record if they can stretch their unbeaten run to nine games on Saturday afternoon.
The Union have been excellent this term and beat Columbus 3-2 in their last outing. They have only managed to win one away game so far, but they come into this one unbeaten in three-straight games on the road.
Jim Curtin’s side are four points clear at the top of the East but will be looking to continue picking up points as they chase Supporters’ Shield leaders Colorado Rapids, who sit five points ahead at this stage.
This will be the second meeting between the sides this season. Philadelphia beat NYCFC 2-0 at Talen Energy Stadium back in April thanks to goals from Chris Pontius and CJ Sapong before halftime. That result kickstarted their current eight-game unbeaten run and so they will no doubt be tough to beat here.
New York City will still be without Connor Brandt and Federico Bravo for this clash. Ronald Matarrita was the only international absentee and his Costa Rica side have been eliminated from the Copa America so he should be available for selection.
Philadelphia are still without Maurice Edu, while Josh Yaro is a doubt with a shoulder problem. Andre Blake was with Jamaica at the Copa America but they are no longer involved in the competition and so he is back with his Union teammates.
New York City’s last five: W/D/L/D/L
Philadelphia Union’s last five: D/W/D/D/W
Key Stat: Leaky – New York City have conceded 13 goals in their last four home games – an average of 3.25 per game.
Key Player: Chris Pontius – The Union midfielder has been in great form since moving from DC United during the offseason. He has five goals for the season and has already netted against NYCFC this term. Expect him to threaten Josh Saunders’ goal on Saturday evening.
New York City FC 1-1 Philadelphia Union – Both sides might be a little rusty after the two-week break but they will both know this is an important game. New York City don’t find it too difficult to find the net at home but they just can’t seem to win in front of their own fans. Philadelphia don’t tend to win much away, but they are a solid outfit this term and will settle for another draw on Saturday.