In Pictures: NYCFC stroll past Philadelphia Union in Eastern Conference Knockout Round

Maxi Moralez scored and picked up two assists as New York City FC strolled past Philadelphia Union 3-1 in Wednesday’s Eastern Conference Knockout Round. The result sees NYCFC through to the Conference Semifinals for the third-straight year. But it means Philadelphia are left searching for their first ever playoff win. A search they’ll have to wait another year to continue.

The game saw a repeat scoreline from Sunday’s Regular Season clash, which was also at Yankee Stadium. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and David Villa added NYCFC’s other goals on the night. While Corey Burke scored a late goal for the Union, which was little more than a consolation after a tough night for the East’s sixth-seed.

NYCFC will now face Atlanta United over two legs in the Eastern Conference Semifinal, with the first leg on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

Check out exclusive photos from Wednesday’s Playoff game, courtesy of MLSGB photographer Ashley Marshall.

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New York City FC vs Orlando City | 2018 MLS Match Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: New York City FC vs Orlando City

Yankee Stadium – Saturday, March 17 2018 – 15:55 ET (19:55 GMT)

New York City FC vs Orlando City: Preview

New York City FC welcome Orlando City to Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The home side are looking to make it three wins in a row as their former coach Jason Kreis comes to town. It is the first time in their history they have won their opening two games.

Last weekend should have been a far more comfortable result for NYCFC. Their 2-1 win against the Galaxy was a solid result but there is still plenty for them to improve on.

There can be no excuses for not killing the game off this weekend if they get into a similar position. If NYCFC are looking to send out a message to the rest of the Eastern Conference, they need continue their fine start.

MLS: NYC FC vs. LA Galaxy at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y., USA, on Monday, Mar 12, 2018. Photo: Ashley Marshall

Orlando City have had a rough start to their 2018 campaign. They have been blighted with injuries and have felt the impact of missing players. Despite preseason optimism after a busy winter of re-shaping the squad, the Lions find themselves in a tough position with one point from two home games.

This weekend should mark the debut for new signing Sacha Kljestan. That will be a much needed lift to the rest of a depleted squad. The former RBNY man will be out to prove a point and continue his fine run of form against NYCFC.

Some might find the all-time series standings a surprise. Orlando have won five of the nine meetings between the two, with NYCFC winning just twice. If Orlando can pick up their first three points of the season here it should kick-start what could be a very exciting 2018.

New York City FC vs Orlando City: Team News

New York City FC

❌ Suspensions: None

❓ Doubts: None

🚑 Out: None

Orlando City

❌ Suspensions: Pierre da Silva

❓ Doubts: Stefano Pinho (right ankle)

🚑 Out: Mason Stajduhar (Localized Ewing Sarcoma), Dom Dwyer (quad strain), Josue Colman (thigh bruise) and Oriol Rosell (fitness)

New York City FC vs Orlando City: Key Stats

NYCFC’s MLS form: W/W

Orlando City’s MLS form: D/L

Key stat: Sacha Kljestan is back and due to make his Orlando City debut. The creative midfielder has ten assists against NYCFC from his time with New York Red Bulls.

New York City FC vs Orlando City: Prediction

New York City FC 3-1 Orlando City: Given the key players missing for the Orlando side and how NYCFC have started the 2018 season a home win looks likely. Patrick Vieira’s side will have to be careful not to allow Orlando too much time on the ball as despite absentees, they still have players who can have a huge impact here. Goals are expected but the home side should run out winners.

New York City FC vs LA Galaxy | 2018 MLS Match Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: New York City FC vs LA Galaxy

Yankee Stadium – Sunday, March 11 2018 – 17:00 ET (21:00 GMT)

Live on Sky Sports Football (UK)

New York City FC vs LA Galaxy: Preview

New York City FC welcome LA Galaxy to Yankee Stadium for their home opener on Sunday evening in what is probably the standout MLS fixture of Week 2. Both sides picked up wins on opening weekend and will be looking to make it two from two here.

NYCFC impressed a lot of people with the way they went about beating Sporting Kansas City last weekend. It’s not an easy place to visit by Patrick Vieira’s men countered really well and came away with all three points and a clean sheet. Jesus Medina impressed on his debut and got himself a goal too. The only negative was the late red card shown to Maxime Chanot, meaning the defender won’t be available here.

NYCFC will be expecting to make it two wins from two. The home fans will be excited for their home opener and know the squad has the quality to be one of, if not the best teams in MLS this season. Beating the Galaxy on Sunday would further emphasise that.

LA Galaxy got their season off to the right start too, as they beat Western Conference rivals Portland 2-1 at StubHub Center. That win was much needed for Sigi Schmid and his team after their disastrous 2017 campaign. Ola Kamara scored on his debut and got off to the perfect start.

The Galaxy still need time to get back to their absolute best but the early signs were promising. Defensively they looked better but NYCFC have a lot of quality for the LA defenders to deal with. The major blow for the Galaxy is the loss of Romain Alessandrini. The Frenchman picked up a hamstring injury last week and is ruled out as a result.

Sunday’s clash will be just the fourth meeting between the two sides. The only previous game at Yankee Stadium saw NYCFC run out 1-0 winners thanks to an early David Villa goal. The Spaniard also scored in last year’s clash, netting a fine left-footed strike to seal a 2-0 win at StubHub Center. This weekend’s game will be Villa’s 100th for the club. He’s scored an incredible 65 goals and added 22 assists in his 99 appearances so far.

New York City FC vs LA Galaxy: Team News

New York City FC

❌ Suspensions: Maxime Chanot (red card)

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Jo Inge Berget (thigh)

LA Galaxy

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts:Chris Pontius (knock)

🚑 Out: Romain Alessandrini (hamstring)

New York City FC vs LA Galaxy: Key Stats

NYCFC’s MLS form: W

LA Galaxy’s MLS form: W

Key stat: New York City FC only lost two home games during the regular season last year, although one of those losses came in their final regular season game at Yankee Stadium as Portland left with a 1-0 win.

New York City FC vs LA Galaxy: Prediction

New York City FC 3-1 LA Galaxy: Both sides like to play free-flowing, attractive football and that should lead to a great spectacle. NYCFC may struggle with the absence of Chanot in defence, although LA Galaxy’s chances of capitalising on his loss have been negated by the injury to Alessandrini. Goals are expected but NYCFC look poised to make it six points as they take to the field at home for the first time this season.

David Villa vs Sebastian Giovinco: How the strikers compare

Two sides expected to battle for MLS supremacy in 2018 will go head-to-head in the Eastern Conference again. It’s New York City FC vs Toronto FC and that also means David Villa vs Sebastian Giovinco in the scoring charts.

Toronto kick things off with the season opener on Saturday at home against Columbus Crew, while NYCFC aren’t in action until Sunday evening. They face a trip to SKC.

They were the top two sides in the East last season, however Toronto finished 12 points ahead, winning the Supporters’ Shield. Interestingly the pressure on Villa to deliver the good is seemingly more than Giovinco. NYCFC scored 56 goals last season, compared to Toronto’s 74.

Both players head into their fourth season. Villa is yet to win any silverware, while Giovinco and Toronto are looking to defend their historic treble from 2017. There is no doubting how influential they both are and how much of an impact they can have on how their side performs respectively. But how do the two compare?

David Villa vs Sebastian Giovinco in stats

David Villa vs Sebastian Giovinco compared

Their stats are incredibly similar. Villa has played in an additional eight games, mainly due to Giovinco’s injury struggles last season. Villa’s goal output is higher, having scored eight more goals.

However, Giovinco’s direct involvement in overall goals is where he comes into his own. In his 86 appearances he has contributed to 92 goals, with his 37 assists nearly doubling Villa’s 21.

Villa does however have a better minutes per goal ratio, making him the more clinical of the two with his chances.

Last season Villa finished on 22 goals, while Gio netted 16. They were outscored by Nemanja Nikolic, who topped the standings with 24. Both players will have an eye on winning the golden boot this season. Although personal accolades aren’t going to be their main aim, it’s going to be an interesting battle to watch.

Who will score more goals this season? 

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs New England Revolution

Major League Soccer: New York City FC vs New England Revolution

Yankee Stadium – Sunday, August 20 – 18:00 ET (23:00 BST)

Match Odds: NYCFC 8/13 – Draw 16/5 – New England 100/30

New York City FC vs New England Revolution: Preview

New York City FC welcome New England Revolution to Yankee Stadium on Sunday night in what is a key Eastern Conference clash for both sides. The hosts know they need to win to keep on track with Toronto FC at the top of the standings. The visitors need to win to keep playoff hopes alive.

NYCFC have won back-to-back games against the Red Bulls and LA Galaxy coming into the weekend. They impressed in both outings and Patrick Vieira will be delighted with a return of six points. They are expected to win on Sunday. But must ensure they stay level-headed at a crucial stage of the season.

They are unbeaten in eight home games and have outscored their opponents 19-11 in that time. Games at Yankee Stadium tend to produce goals. And lots of them.

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That should give New England some encouragement. The Revs haven’t won a single game away from home this season. But they have picked up their form in recent weeks, winning their last three at home.

Jay Heaps’ side are 10th in the East coming into the weekend. They sit six points behind Atlanta United in 6th place and have played one game more. If they want to make the playoffs, they must start taking points from games like this, even if it’s just one.

New England’s playoff hopes are hanging by a thread. But they know their fate lies in their own hands as their fixture list is kind over the next few weeks. The Revs play four of the other six teams in the bottom half of the East over the next month, with home games against Orlando and Montreal coming up.

This will be the second of three clashes between NYCFC and the Revs this season. They have already met at Yankee Stadium, drawing 2-2 in June. NYCFC led twice on that day but Xavier Kouassi scored in the final five minutes to earn the Revs a point. They will meet at Gillette Stadium on the penultimate weekend of the regular season.

New York City FC vs New England Revolution: Team News

Patrick Vieira will be without Ronald Matarrita, Miguel Camargo, James Sands and Maxime Chanot. All four are sidelined with ongoing injury problems. Alexander Ring and Ethan White will sit out of Sunday’s game after picking up suspensions for yellow card accumulation.

New England Revolution have no injury worries, which is a huge boost for Jay Heaps at this stage of the campaign. However, Je-Vaughn Watson is suspended and won’t be involved.

New York City FC vs New England Revolution: Key Points

NYCFC’s last five: D/W/L/W/W

New England Revolution’s last five: L/W/W/L/W

Key Stat: New England Revolution are still the only Eastern Conference side yet to win a single game this season. They have lost eight of their 11 road games this term, scoring just nine times.

Key Player: David Villa – The Spanish striker is the league’s leading scorer coming into the weekend. He has 18 goals in 23 games and has seven assists on top of that. If the Revs fail to deal with him, he’ll likely cause chaos for the opposition again here.

New York City FC vs New England Revolution: Prediction

New York City FC 3-1 New England Revolution – NYCFC are the much stronger side on paper. However, they struggle to keep clean sheets at home and New England will take confidence from that. The Revs have been abysmal away from home this season, but are starting to find some form at a crucial stage of the season. That said, NYCFC should record a third-straight home win without too much trouble on Sunday evening.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs New York City FC

Major League Soccer: LA Galaxy vs New York City FC

StubHub Center – Saturday, August 12 – 23:00 ET (04:00 BST)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 13/8 – Draw 12/5 – NYCFC 6/4

LA Galaxy vs New York City FC: Preview

LA Galaxy welcome New York City FC to StubHub Center on Saturday, looking to end their eight-game winless run in MLS. The Galaxy are struggling to build any form and are in real danger of missing out on the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Curt Onalfo was replaced by Sigi Schmid but results haven’t picked up. A 0-0 draw at home to the Sounders was followed by a 3-1 road loss to Portland last weekend. The Galaxy come into the weekend in 9th place in the West and nine points outside the playoffs.

Failure to win on Sunday would surely leave LA with too much to do in their remaining 11 games. Especially when you consider they still have trips to Columbus, Seattle, Atlanta, Sporting KC, Houston and FC Dallas to come.

New York City FC look well on course for their second-successive playoff appearance. Patrick Vieira’s men have had a bit of a wobble over the past few weeks. But they proved their credentials by once again beating local rivals New York Red Bulls last Sunday.

Embed from Getty Images

David Villa fired a hat-trick in that 3-2 win, moving NYCFC four points behind league leaders Toronto FC. The visitors are ten points above the red line in the Eastern Conference. A playoff berth is all but guaranteed, but the aim will be to go into the postseason in the strongest form possible.

This will be the only regular season meeting between the two teams this season. They have only met twice before, with the series tied at one win each. The Galaxy beat New York City 5-1 in their first ever meeting at StubHub in 2015, before NYCFC responded with a 1-0 home win 12 months ago.

LA Galaxy vs New York City FC: Team News

LA Galaxy remain without long-term absentees Sebastian Lletget, Baggio Husidic and Robbie Rogers. Jonathan Dos Santos is in line for his first MLS start after coming off the bench last week. Jelle Van Damme and Bradley Diallo are available after serving suspensions at Portland. Romain Alessandrini is one booking away from suspension, so will need to watch his step.

New York City will be without four players on Saturday. Maxine Chanot, Ronald Matarrita, Miguel Camargo and James Sands are all out. Rodney Wallace is in line to make his first MLS appearance since June after recovering from an adductor strain. Maxi Moralez picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last time out and will serve a one-game suspension as a result.

LA Galaxy vs New York City FC: Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five: L/L/L/D/L

NYCFC’s last five: L/D/W/L/W

Key Stat: LA Galaxy are winless in their last eight home games in MLS. That’s their longest streak since 2010. They’ve only managed to score seven goals in those eight games too.

Key Player: David Villa – The New York City hitman comes into the weekend off the back of scoring his first MLS hat-trick. The Spaniard netted three in last week’s New York derby and comes into the weekend as the league’s leading scorer with 17 goals. Given the Galaxy’s struggles this year, Villa can expect to be at the forefront of the action on Saturday.

LA Galaxy vs New York City FC: Prediction

LA Galaxy 1-3 New York City FC – The fact is, this is not the sort of LA Galaxy team we’re used to seeing. They lack a clinical edge and confidence is all but gone. They face a real uphill battle if they are to make the playoffs and an in-form NYCFC will be able to smell blood here. Vieira’s men looked lethal against the Red Bulls when going forward last week and will prove too strong for the Galaxy if they are in a similar mood here.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Chicago Fire

Major League Soccer: New York City FC vs Chicago Fire

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, July 22 – 14:00 ET (19:00 BST)

Match Odds: New York City FC 4/5 – Draw 5/2 – Chicago Fire 16/5

New York City FC vs Chicago Fire: Preview

New York City FC host Chicago Fire in the prime time match at 7pm BST on Saturday evening. It’s a big clash between two strong teams. It’s second against third in both the Eastern Conference and the Supporters’ Shield standings. So this is an important one for both sides.

Both NYCFC and Chicago come into the weekend’s clash with a good run of form behind them. Both have recorded four wins from their last six. However, without a win in their last two, New York City will want to return to winning ways with a big scalp in front of their own fans.

NYCFC should take confidence into the game, knowing they have scored in every league game since their opening day loss to Orlando City.

Patrick Vieira’s men put two past league leaders Toronto on Wednesday night in that 2-2 draw. They will be pleased to have not lost such a big game, but the truth is the home fans know they were in a solid position to win that game. The hosts can’t afford to drop more points on Saturday.

Chicago Fire are without doubt the big storyline of the 2017 season. They finished bottom of the entire league last season and now they are just a couple of places below the summit. Their transfer business was excellent during the offseason, but Veljko Paunovic deserves great credit for the way he has drilled the team.

Chicago are unbeaten in their last eleven, winning eight and drawing three. The Fire are in blazing form and do not look to be fading anytime soon. Having only failed to score on two occasions thus far this season, goals could be in abundance in Saturday’s battle.

This will be the first game between the two sides this season. Their last meeting came in September 2016, with NYCFC running out 4-1 winners at Yankee Stadium. Chicago are still looking for their first away win at New York City.

New York City FC vs Chicago Fire: Team News

New York City: Khiry Shelton (hamstring) and Ronald Matarrita (foot) are both still out with long-term injuries. Miguel Camargo is no longer at the Gold Cup with Panama but might not be ready to feature here.

Chicago Fire: John Goossens (ankle), Jorge Bava (elbow) and David Arshakyan (ankle) are all out. Bastian Schweinsteiger is listed as questionable with a hip injury. Matt Polster is a doubt with a leg injury but could feature. Dax McCarty is away on international duty.

New York City FC vs Chicago Fire: Key Points

New York City’s last five: W/W/W/L/D

Chicago Fire’s last five: W/W/W/W/D

Key Stat: Chicago’s only league victory over New York City FC came in their first meeting in April 2015. A 1-0 win at Toyota Park. They haven’t won any of the four clashes since, conceding ten times.

Key Player: David Villa – It’s becoming very common for the Spaniard to be named as key player. But when you have been involved in 17 goals (13 goals, 4 assists) in 19 league appearances, it’s hard not to be. Villa scored again on Wednesday night and will look to carry NYCFC to victory against the Fire on Saturday.

New York City FC vs Chicago Fire: Prediction

New York City FC 2-2 Chicago Fire – Both teams are bang in form and despite a slight blip for NYCFC, they are still unbeaten at home. Chicago will provide stiff competition but we expect an entertaining score draw.

Gallery: Exclusive photos from Vancouver’s 3-2 win over NYCFC on Wednesday 

Vancouver Whitecaps go into the MLS Gold Cup break in high spirits after pulling off a dramatic late win over New York City FC on Wednesday night.

Both sides gave up leads in an entertaining game that could have really gone either way. But the hosts prevailed, with Reyna’s introduction proving crucial in the end.

The Whitecaps wasted no time in taking the lead as they scored after just three minutes, with Fredy Montero slotting in before Maxine Chanot equalised for NYCFC half an hour later. The visitors then took the lead before halftime after David Villa cooly converted from the spot.

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Vancouver fans would have been forgiven for fearing the worst at the interval. But their players responded well during the second half. Jordan Harvey volleyed them level with a perfectly taking shot at the back post on 54 minutes, before Yordy Reyna entered the game ten minutes later.

Reyna’s entrance proved a masterstroke. Playing at BC Place for the first time since joining Vancouver, Reyna changed the game with his pace and energy. And scored the all-important winner three minutes from time, heading in past Eirik Johansen in the New York City goal.

Check out exclusive photos from Wednesday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographers John May and Hazel May.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Philadelphia Union

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, June 3 – 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)

Match Odds: New York City FC  4/5 – Draw 11/4 – Philadelphia Union 3/1

Match Preview

New York City FC are live on Sky Sports this weekend as they play host to Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening. The Eastern Conference rivals are separated by five points in the table.

In the earlier meeting between the two sides this season NYCFC came off 2-0 winners away from home at Talen Energy Stadium. Jack Harrison and David Villa with the goals in April.

However, recent form has seen the Citizens fall short of expectation. With only one win in their last five, City are slightly off the pace and will want to return to winning ways in style this weekend. They are expected to go deep into the playoffs and potentially challenge for the MLS Cup, so a win is necessary.

Philadelphia have been the opposite, with only one loss in their last six (four wins), the Union are in form. As history shows, results can drastically fluctuate in MLS, so it’s important to capitalise on a good run of form.

The Union will want to forget about their last outing as they fell victims to a struggling Real Salt Lake side, 1-0. Their confidence will surely have taken a dent with this loss.

Playing on the road has been a struggle for Philadelphia as they have just one win away from home in 2017. New York City FC will want to seize this opportunity to pick up three much needed points, for which they are strong favourites to do so.

Team News

New York City are still waiting on Khiry Shelton to regain fitness following a hamstring injury, and so he remains sidelined. Ronald Matarrita and Andrea Pirlo are questionable and not expected to be risked.

Philadelphia remain without Maurice Edu who has no scheduled return. Brian Carroll and Fabian Herbers are also out. Joshua Yaro is a doubt as he recovers from shoulder surgery.

Key Points

New York City FC’s last five: D/L/W/L/D

Philadelphia Union’s last five: W/W/W/W/L

Key Stat: Philadelphia Union have only won one of their last eleven away matches in MLS.

Key Player: David Villa – Last year’s MLS MVP will prove difficult to stop on his home ground. With eight goals already this season, Villa is bang in form.

Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-0 Philadelphia Union – Philadelphia’s form will give them confidence going into this huge clash, but as mentioned away from home it has been a different story. We see NYCFC being too strong with home comforts on their side.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Orlando City

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Orlando City 
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Sunday, April 23 – 13:30 ET (18:30 BST)
Match Odds: NYCFC 4/6 – Draw 14/5 – Orlando 15/4

Match Preview

New York City welcome Orlando City to Yankee Stadium in one of the standout fixtures of gameweek eight, the Eastern Conference sides are separated by just two points ahead of the clash.

NYCFC come into this one having won 2-0 away at Philadelphia. David Villa scored one of the goals of his career, an incredible strike from distance.

Patrick Vieira’s side are unbeaten at home so far this season and they will want to keep that run going this weekend. They should be competing to top the Eastern Conference and will need to be beating sides like Orlando to do so.

Orlando City are one point off top spot in the East despite playing two games less than leaders Columbus. They have scored just six goals in their five games this season, but have been resolute at the back.

The Lions are looking fierce and resilient early on this season but to win here is going to be a huge ask. Their only away game of 2017 was a 2-0 loss against Columbus and they only won three times on the road last season.

Cyle Larin has enjoyed some great success in front of goal against NYCFC, netting seven in the last six meetings between the two sides.

Team News

Khiry Shelton and Ronald Matarrita look set to be the only absentees for NYCFC against the visiting Orlando this weekend.

Orlando could be without up to five players for this fixture as Kaká, Seb Hines, Rafael Ramos and Jose Aja are all out, while Antonio Nocerino remains a doubt.

Key Points

NYCFC’s form: W/D/W/L/W

Orlando City’s form: W/W/L/W/W

Key Stat: David Villa and Kyle Larin have both scored four times so far this season, their reliability in front of goal may well be key to decide who wins this one.

Key Player: Jack Harrison – The NYCFC forward has had a good start to the season, he netted his second goal of 2017 last weekend and will be hoping to get on the scoresheet once again here.

Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-2 Orlando City – Score draw. NYCFC will continue their unbeaten run at Yankee Stadium and not lose any ground against their Eastern Conference rivals this weekend. Orlando to pick up their first away point of the season, albeit this is only their second game on the road.