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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MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Atlanta United

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Atlanta United
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Sunday, May 7th – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)
Match Odds: NYCFC 5/6 – Draw 11/4 – Atlanta 11/4

Match Preview

New York City FC welcome Atlanta United to Yankee Stadium on Sunday night as two of the league’s most attacking sides go head-to-head for the first time ever.

NYCFC have stuttered through the first eight games of their campaign, failing to record back-to-back wins despite some promising performances, particularly away from home.

They’ve only played one of their last four games at home, but suffered a disappointing defeat to Orlando two weeks ago and are know they need all three points here ahead of a four-game road stretch.

Patrick Vieira’s men won 3-2 in Columbus last weekend – a result that was all the more impressive considering they were without star man David Villa for the trip to Ohio. He’ll be back this weekend and will be looking to add to his tally of five goals for the season.

Atlanta United arrive in New York off the back of a highly disappointing 3-1 home loss to DC United last weekend. Atlanta were expected to win that game after an encouraging start to life in MLS but were punished for not taking their chances.

They have the quality to trouble any team, particularly with the pace in their attack, and they proved that in their most recent away game as they won 3-1 at Real Salt Lake.

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Tata Martino knows he is building a strong unit but he still needs time and patience to get his philosophy across. What does appear clear is that Atlanta will keep providing us with entertaining games as they look to make the playoffs at the first attempt.

New York City sit fourth in the East coming into the weekend, just two points and two places ahead of Atlanta and know they are expected to take all three points in what should be a great clash.

Team News

Khiry Shelton and Ronald Matarrita remain out for NYCFC, though David Villa should be available again after missing last weekend’s game.

Atlanta United remain without Zach Loyd, Josef Martinez and Jacob Peterson, while Yamil Asad is suspended.

Key Points

NYCFC’s form: W/L/W/L/W

Atlanta United’s form: D/D/L/W/L

Key Stat: NYCFC have had 45 shots on target this season – more than any other MLS side heading into the weekend.

Key Player: Maxi Moralez – The NYCFC playmaker has adapted well to life in MLS and has recorded an assist in his last two outings. He’ll be looking to unlock the Atlanta defence on Sunday evening.

Score Prediction

New York City FC 3-2 Atlanta United – We’re expecting goals in New York this weekend. Both sides are deadly going forward and that could see a real shootout develop at Yankee Stadium. It’s tough to call, but NYCFC should record back-to-back victories for the first time this term ahead of a tricky looking four-game road stint.

Gallery: Exclusive images from New York City’s 4-0 demolition of DC United on Sunday

New York City put in a dominant display to beat DC United 4-0 in their home opener on Sunday night, with DC left searching for their first goal of the new season after firing another blank.

NYCFC were ruthlessly efficient in and around the DC penalty area, scoring from four of their five shots on target to move up to fourth in the Eastern Conference at this early stage of the season.

David Villa was instrumental in the victory, scoring twice as well as grabbing an assist for Maxi Moralez’s first MLS goal. That all came after Rodney Wallace scored the opening goal just eight minutes in, after Jack Harrison had curled an effort off the crossbar.

DC rallied in the second-half to get back into the game, firing in eight shots at Sean Johnson’s goal, but were unable to get on the board and are left waiting for their first goal of 2017. They will hope to find it when they host Columbus Crew next Saturday.

You can see exclusive images from Sunday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographer Ashley Marshall.

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