Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, June 17 – 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Match Odds: NYCFC 10/11 – Draw 13/5 – Seattle 13/5
New York City FC welcome Seattle Sounders to Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon in what will be the only regular season meeting between the two sides this season.
Both were involved in rivalry clashes in the US Open Cup during the midweek fourth round action. Seattle got past rivals Portland with a 2-1 win on Tuesday night before NYCFC fell 1-0 at the Red Bulls on Wednesday. The extra days’ rest might be a boost for the travelling Sounders here.
NYCFC come into the game needing a win to ensure they stay in touch with front runners Toronto and Chicago in the Eastern Conference as we approach the midpoint of the campaign. They have only won two of their last six though and know they must improve.
Seattle have won four of their last five in total – including that US Open Cup win over Portland – and things look to be improving after a slow start to the season for the reigning MLS Cup Champions.
Brian Schmetzer has his side set up to defend well, proven by the fact they’ve kept clean sheets in three of their last four MLS games, although all three have come at home. They’ve only kept one clean sheet away from home all season.
The major worry for Seattle this weekend is that they’ve lost their past three road games on the spin, scoring once and conceding ten in that period. They’ve not won a regular season game at an Eastern opponent since last August.
This will be just the third ever meeting between these two sides. Seattle won the first meeting 3-1 at Yankee Stadium in 2015 before NYCFC got revenge with a 2-0 win at CenturyLink Field last season.
New York City boss Patrick Vieira will be without Khiry Shelton and Maxi Moralez, while Maxine Chanot remains a doubt. Ronald Matarrita is expected to miss out again after picking up another injury.
Seattle Sounders have no injuries or disciplinary concerns ahead of the trip to New York and so Brian Schmetzer will be able to pick a full strength side.
NYCFC’s form: L/W/L/D/W
Seattle Sounders’ form: L/W/W/L/W
Key Stat: NYCFC have not lost a home game to a Western Conference opponent in over a year. The last defeat coming in early June 2016 to Real Salt Lake.
Key Player: David Villa – The New York City talisman has eight goals for the season but hasn’t scored in over six hours of action. He’ll be desperate to end that run against a side he’s yet to find the net against in MLS.
New York City FC 2-1 Seattle Sounders – This is a big game for both sides but Seattle’s struggles on the road make it difficult to see them picking up anything on Saturday. New York City have the quality to overcome anyone on home soil and they should be able to edge past a Seattle side that have been conceding goals for fun away from CenturyLink Field.