Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Minnesota United
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Thursday, June 29 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: NYCFC 2/5 – Draw 15/4 – Minnesota 11/2
New York City welcome Minnesota United to Yankee Stadium on Thursday night as Week 18 gets started with a first-ever MLS clash between the two sides.
NYCFC will be in high spirits after picking up a first win at Red Bull Arena in Saturday’s 2-0 derby win. That result kept them in third place in the East and just five behind Toronto at the top of the standings.Embed from Getty Images
Patrick Vieira’s men have looked strong all season but they are particularly good at home. They are unbeaten in four at Yankee Stadium and have won three of those.
That will sound ominous for a Minnesota side that have struggled massively on their travels in their inaugural season so far.
The Loons have lost four in a row away from home in all competitions and have picked up just two points from eight away games in MLS this term.Embed from Getty Images
They come into the game off the back of Saturday’s hard-fought 2-2 home draw with Vancouver, in which they came back from two goals to earn a point. But they know they will need to put in a special performance if they are to halt NYCFC on Thursday.
This will be the first clash between the two sides in history, so it should be an exciting matchup between two sides with plenty of dangerous attacking players at their disposal.
New York City FC will be without attacking duo Khiry Shelton and Maxi Moralez once again, with both still sidelined through injury. Ronald Matarrita is in line to start after coming off the bench in Saturday’s win at Red Bull Arena.
Minnesota United’s injury list is still worrying long as Bernardo Anor, Thomas de Villardi, Joseph Greenspan, Abu Danladi, Marc Burch, Vadim Demidov and Brent Kallman are all set to miss out.
NYCFC’s form: L/D/W/W/W
Minnesota United’s form: W/L/L/W/D
Key Stat: Minnesota United haven’t won away from home since joining MLS. In fact, they haven’t won a single away game of any kind since beating FC Edmonton in April 2016.
Key Player: Jack Harrison – The young English attacker has been in great form this season and added his seventh goal of the season in Saturday’s 2-0 win at the Red Bulls with a fine strike into the top corner. He has three goals and two assists in his last six MLS outings and will look to hurt the Loons here.
New York City FC 3-0 Minnesota United – It’s difficult to see anything other than an NYCFC win in this one. Minnesota are decimated by injuries and haven’t looked like winning away from home this season. New York City have hit stride at a crucial stage of the season and should continue to put pressure on Toronto FC at the top of the East with a routine home victory.