MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Houston Dynamo

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, May 30 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: New York City 13/10 – Draw 11/5 – Houston 11/5

Match Preview

New York City FC take on Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening in the first ever MLS meeting between the two sides, in what is an important game for both.

NYCFC have not enjoyed their start to life in Major League Soccer and saw their winless run extended to ten games last weekend as Jason Kreis lost 2-0 in his return to Real Salt Lake.

The expansion franchise have struggled to produce anything in attack and have the worst offensive record in MLS after 12 weeks, netting just nine times so far.

Embed from Getty Images

New York City have picked up just two points from a possible 27 in their last nine and will hope that they can win for just the second time against the Dynamo this week.

Owen Coyle’s side come into the game off the back of a 1-0 defeat to LA Galaxy last weekend but had won two on the bounce prior to that.

They have not lost away at Eastern Conference opposition so far this term and will be confident they can pick up a vital win as three points could see them move as high as fifth in the Western Conference, depending on other results this week.

Embed from Getty Images

This will be the only meeting between the two teams this year and should be a really tight contest as neither will want to suffer another defeat.

Team News

George John, Tony Taylor and Josh Williams all remain out for NYCFC, while Ned Grabavoy and Javier Calle remain doubts. Kwame Watson-Siriboe is one booking away from suspension and will need to be careful. David Villa is fit and will look to cause Houston’s defence problems.

For Houston, Owen Coyle has a clean bill of health for the trip to New York as no players are out with injury troubles. Kofi Sarkodie is one booking away from suspension and needs to stay disciplined. Giles Barnes and Will Bruin are expected to start in attack one again.

Key Points

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

Houston Dynamo’s last five: L/L/W/W/L

Key Stat: New York City have conceded nine goals in their last four and have the second-worst defensive record in MLS so far this season.

Key Player: Mix Diskerud – The USMNT midfielder has struggled to shine as of yet but will look to win the midfield battle and the game for New York City this weekend.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

New York City FC 1-2 Houston Dynamo – Can see goals in this one as both defences are vulnerable. The Dynamo have looked good in recent weeks and may add to the expansion franchises’ misery with an away win this weekend. Jason Kreis can’t buy a win at the moment and the wait for a second victory looks set to go on.

Advertisements

Podcast: David Villa, NYCFC, San Jose Earthquakes & Sunderland

In this week’s MLSGB Podcast Zack Walford talks to Louis East and Jamie Ives about the latest weekend of MLS action as we chat David Villa and New York City as well as the San Jose Earthquakes and their hopes for the season. We also discuss Sunderland after Gus Poyet was replaced by Dick Advocaat at the Stadium of light this week and the Black Cats’ chances of Premier League survival.

MLSGB Goal of the Week winner: Mix Diskerud

The results for our first MLS Goal of the Week vote are now in with New York City FC midfielder Mix Diskerud convincingly winning the award for the first week of the season for his fine curled effort against Orlando City on Sunday night.

Diskerud’s goal was a historic one for NYCFC as it was the expansion franchises’ first ever MLS goal and the USMNT star has scooped our first Goal of the Week award to top off a fine week.

Diskerud earned 55% of the votes this week with Clint Dempsey in second place with 20% of the votes and Lloyd Sam coming in third with 17%.

So here’s another look at your Goal of the Week for week one:

Mix Diskerud’s curled strike against Orlando City (via MLS on YouTube):

MLS Goal of the Week: Week 1 – Vote now!

The first weekend of the 2015 Major League Soccer season is behind us and we’ve seen all 20 teams in action in what was a dramatic but exciting round of matches.

There were 16 goals scored in the ten matches this week but it’s time for you to choose what you think was the best goal of the opening weekend.

We’ve picked what we think are the five best goals from week 1 and now it’s up to you to vote for your favourite before Thursday night. Voting will close at midnight in the UK on Thursday.

Goal A: Clint Dempsey – Seattle Sounders

Goal B: Lloyd Sam – New York Red Bulls

Goal C: Giles Barnes – Houston Dynamo

Goal D: Mix Diskerud – New York City FC

Goal E: Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy

MLS 2015 Season Preview: New York City FC

As the 2015 season draws closer, we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what New York City FC will be hoping to achieve in their first-ever season…

We’re extremely excited for the arrival of New York City FC into Major League Soccer, and fans across the league will be looking forward to seeing how they get on in their first-ever campaign. With players like David Villa and Frank Lampard as part of their inaugural roster, they boast some fine talent. But this is their first season and so there is always going to be doubt over the potential of this side. Only time will tell if they are ready to take MLS by storm.

Last season’s finish: N/A (Inaugural Season)

David Villa in action for New York City FC against Brondby (via NYCFC.com)

David Villa in action for New York City FC against Brondby (via NYCFC.com)

What to expect this year:

As this is their first season there is no bar set. However, with the money invested in the squad, New York City will need to at least make the playoffs for 2015 to be deemed a success. Much depends on the arrival of Frank Lampard in July and the extent of his impact will play a major part in their accomplishments this season. They also have David Villa up front however, so they should still be fine until Lampard arrives and will hope to make a good start to life in MLS.

Key changes to the squad:

With this being the first-ever NYCFC squad there have been endless arrivals. The following players are the key additions.

Ins: David Villa – Striker (Designated Player), Frank Lampard – Midfielder (Designated Player), Mix Diskerud – Midfielder, Patrick Mullins – Forward, Ned Grabavoy – Midfielder, Adam Nemec – Forward

Outs: N/A

Key player: David Villa – Forward

Embed from Getty Images

World Cup winner, David Villa is expected to spearhead the New York City attack and what a man to do it. NYCFC has spared no expense in bringing in the decorated striker who boasts his previous clubs as Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Valencia. The Spaniard is a great addition to the franchise and he will be the marquee man to lead this club forward for their first campaign and beyond. Expect goals and lots of them.

One to watch: Khiry Shelton

First round MLS SuperDraft pick, Khiry Shelton has a running style that looks effortless and so he will glide past defenders. Should he get his chance this year, we’re expecting him to make a huge impact. He could form a lethal partnership with David Villa in attack if given the opportunity and the pair demonstrated their chemistry in NYCFC’s preseason draw with Orlando City in the Carolina Challenge Cup.

Predicted finish: Eastern Conference – 5th

Reaching the playoffs in their first-ever season will be the aim for New York City. Failure to do so would be seen as unacceptable given the amount that has been invested in this squad. Jason Kreis has the players at his disposal and must find a way to get the team ticking as quickly as possible. The Eastern Conference will be fiercely competitive but with stars like David Villa and Frank Lampard on their team, NYCFC must make sure they reach the postseason.

How will New York City fare in their first-ever MLS campaign?

New York City FC confirm signing of Mix Diskerud as non-DP

New York City FC have confirmed that they have signed US Men’s National Team midfielder Mix Diskerud on a free transfer and he has not been signed as a designated player in what is a huge capture for the club and Major League Soccer.

Diskerud has been without a club since he left Norwegian club Rosenborg last month and New York City have used their number one position in the MLS Allocation Order to end what has been a long, drawn out transfer saga.

The 24-year-old had reportedly agreed to move to Liga MX with Club Tijuana at the end of 2014, but those reports proved to be false and the young USMNT star has labelled the decision to move to MLS with New York as “an easy decision”.

Embed from Getty Images

“New York City FC have made my wish as an American a reality by giving me the opportunity to play and live in the US,” he said on completing his move to the expansion franchise.

“Everybody I have spoken to on the men’s national team about Jason Kreis has spoken highly of him to me. I felt exactly the same way after meeting him.

“I’m sure he will help me to develop my game, to succeed with our team here in New York and to stay involved with the national team. Coming to play for New York City FC was an easy decision for me.”

Embed from Getty Images

His signing comes at a perfect time for New York City, and he will slot into the midfield hole left vacant by Frank Lampard’s delayed move to the club.

Diskerud will hope to form a strong partnership with Lampard when the English midfielder moves to MLS in July and at 24-years-old, getting Diskerud to MLS now is a major boost for the league.

It is an even bigger boost for New York City that he hasn’t filled their final designated player slot and the club can still bring in another star before the new season starts in March.

Is Mix Diskerud a good signing for New York City FC?

New York City FC set to seal deal for Mix Diskerud – report

Mix Diskerud is a man in high demand, but he has yet to secure a move anywhere and New York City have emerged as the latest frontrunners for the USMNT midfielder’s signature, according to a Goal USA report by Ives Galarcep.

This time last week, the entire New York City FC fanbase was left devastated by the news that Frank Lampard would not be returning to New York for the start of the 2015 MLS season – the club’s inaugural campaign in Major League Soccer.

Embed from Getty Images

But the signing of Diskerud would certainly go a long way to mending broken hearts. The 24-year-old was expected to join Liga MX side Club Tijuana last month but that deal hasn’t gone through and more recent reports have suggested the Norwegian-born American would remain in Europe with Celtic a possible destination.

Though a move to MLS has not fallen off the radar and despite the fact that MLS has already twice failed to bring Diskerud to the league, the opportunity to join New York City FC could be too good to refuse.

The reason New York City would have a better chance than anyone else in the league is because of the allocation order, as the report states:

NYCFC holds the top spot in the MLS Allocation Order, which is used to determine which teams have first crack at the signing of U.S. national team players coming to MLS (with some high-profile exceptions). The team will use that top allocation spot to select Diskerud once MLS has succeeded in agreeing to a contract with the 24-year-old midfielder, sources tell Goal USA.

A move to the expansion franchise would see him play alongside David Villa and eventually Frank Lampard (hopefully). Plus the added incentive that NYCFC has direct connections to Premier League champions Manchester City, and that could interest Diskerud.

Embed from Getty Images

The report indicates that he might not even need to be signed to a designated player contract, depending on the club’s wage budget, but that would need to be clarified nearer the time if a move does indeed happen.

Diskerud is without a club since leaving Norwegian side Rosenborg last month and a move to MLS would give him the chance to shine in a league that’s quality increases with each week.

New York City FC fans need some good news, and it might just come in the form of USMNT midfielder Mix Diskerud within the next week.

Would Mix Diskerud be a good signing for New York City FC?

Mix Diskerud turns down designated player offer from MLS to play in Mexico – report

Mix Diskerud has reportedly made his decision on where he will be playing his football for the next chapter in his career, but he’s chosen to play in Liga MX with Club Tijuana rather than accepting a designated player contract to play in Major League Soccer.

That’s according to Raul Guzman who tweeted that Club Tijuana “are about to announce the signing of Mix Diskerud” and he went on to state that “I think this has to be considered one of the best signings of the winter”.

Diskerud’s current contract with Norwegian club Rosenborg is set to expire this month and that means he can sign a pre-contract agreement with his next club now.

Many hoped, and expected that the USMNT midfielder would make the move to MLS to carry on his progression but his choice to play in Mexico is a disappointing blow for the league.

Embed from Getty Images

Though playing in Liga MX will be the highest level that Diskerud has played at and that is still good for his progression as a player.

He will join up with fellow Americans Joe Corona, Greg Garza and Paul Arriola by moving to Tijuana in a move that will see him play club football outside of Europe for the first time in his career.

Is Club Tijuana a good move for Mix Diskerud?

Mix Diskerud refusing to rule out MLS move

USMNT midfielder Mix Diskerud is open to the idea of moving to Major League Soccer in the upcoming months as he is set to move to a new club as a free agent.

His contract at Rosenborg ended recently and that means that Diskerud is ready for a new challenge, with MLS an option he is “open to”.

“I don’t know [about the future], but I’m excited. I’m open for anything right now. I have my people to talk to and discuss options, so we’ll see what happens. But I’m holding all options open right now,” he said after last night’s 4-1 friendly loss to the Republic of Ireland.

Embed from Getty Images

The 24-year-old Norwegian-American scored the USMNT’s only goal of the game last night but he failed to shine, along with many others in a poor USA performance.

Don’t miss: 5 Takeaways from the USA’s disappointing 4-1 loss to Ireland

There were lots of scouts in Dublin last night watching Diskerud, according to ESPN’s Taylor Twellman and interest in the player should be fairly high.

At 24, Diskerud has everything ahead of him and he is a player that has shown glimpses of brilliance. But he has failed to consistently perform and missed the chance to impress in the two friendlies over the past week.

A move to MLS would allow Diskerud to grow in confidence and he is surely excited by the prospect of being the latest American import into the fastest growing league on the planet.

He almost joined the Portland Timbers two years ago, and has been linked with a switch to Columbus Crew this year.

Bundesliga clubs are also said to be interested and a fight for his signature could be set to take place.

Wherever he ends up, Diskerud will be an intriguing signing and a move to MLS would undoubtedly be exciting.

Where do you see Mix Diskerud signing this offseason?

5 Takeaways from the USA’s disappointing 4-1 loss to Ireland

The USMNT capped off the 2014 schedule in poor fashion, losing 4-1 to a weakened Republic of Ireland side in Dublin, making it four games without a win – the worst run of form in Jurgen Klinsmann‘s tenure.

Klinsmann has come under some pressure as a result, but the performances on the pitch are what’s costing the team at the moment, and the long rest before the next international game leaves much to work on.

Defensively, USA looked as vulnerable as they have ever been against Ireland, while they failed to capitalise on some good spells of possession at the other end.

One game (or run of games) cannot take away from what has been a remarkable year for US soccer. But the manner of the defeat tonight will leave a sour taste in fans’ mouths until the next time a ball is kicked.

Here are five takeaways from the game:

1. Concentration levels are a major concern

Embed from Getty Images

The deeply concerning trend of conceding late goals continued against Ireland as the USA let in two in the final ten minutes to put the game out of reach. Those two goals mean that the team have now conceded 11 goals in the final ten minutes in their last 11 games. Whether it’s fitness or focus, Klinsmann must address this issue urgently to ensure things change in 2015.

2. Defensive frailties are being exposed too frequently

Embed from Getty Images

Klinsmann shuffled his defence once again for the game against Ireland – a fair move in a friendly as that’s ultimately what they are for, but it backfired greatly. Fabian Johnson looked better and his place in the side is not under threat. Timothy Chandler failed to impress at left-back and his chances must be running out. The major problem was in the heart of defence as Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron looked vulnerable throughout.

Besler has looked exhausted since the World Cup and needs an extended break to recover, whereas Cameron is making too many mistakes in the centre of defence and should be deployed elsewhere. The Jermaine Jones-John Brooks partnership used against Colombia looked solid and needs to be used again come next year. But things are far from certain in defence.

3. Mix Diskerud missed his time to shine

Embed from Getty Images

Diskerud had the chance to impress the nation in the two friendlies but failed in both. He grabbed the goal against Ireland but that was a tap in from close range and his inability to influence the game from midfield is a worry. He is a free agent in January and has been linked with moves to MLS among other leagues. There were believed to be up to 15 scouts watching him tonight but he didn’t exactly take his chance to shine against an average Irish side.

4. Bobby Wood a bright spark

Embed from Getty Images

Bobby Wood gave at least one positive to take from the game as he looked lively and energetic when brought on at halftime. He made a great chance for himself in the second-half but saw his one-on-one agonisingly saved by Shay Given. Wood looks like a player with a bright future if he can work on his finishing, and his ability to bring others into play make him a valuable member of the team going forward.

5. Bill Hamid needs more time before being handed a starting role

Embed from Getty Images

The DC United goalkeeper cannot be blamed in any way for the loss, but he didn’t look as convincing as Brad Guzan does between the sticks and needs to be introduced more gradually now if he is to eventually take the starting job between the sticks. There was little he could do about the deflected goal and the wonderful free-kick, but he could have been off his line quicker for the first goal, and will be disappointed with how easily the second was scored. Hamid is the man for the future, but that is not now, and he needs time to work with the national team.

What did you make of the USA’s display against Ireland?