MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Venue: Yankees Stadium – Saturday, April 30 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)

Match Odds: New York City FC 11/8 – Draw  23/10 – Vancouver Whitecaps 2/1

Match Preview

New York City FC welcome the Vancouver Whitecaps to Yankee Stadium on Saturday. Both sides are looking to push for a playoff berth this season but have not been as good as they would have both hopes so far and so this could play out to be a great matchup.

NYCFC have struggled so far this season with their only win coming on the opening day against Chicago Fire. Patrick Vieira will need to pick this team up soon as they are falling off the pace with every passing week.

The form and fitness of their Designated Players will be key to sealing any potential playoff spot and getting Frank Lampard and David Villa into top form will be paramount. Frank Lampard will have to regain fitness first though as he is still yet to play in 2016.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact

Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw with Montreal will have left New York City frustrated once again as they conceded in the dying embers of the game but an immediate response is now needed.

Vancouver Whitecaps are not the same side that we saw at the start of the 2015 season as they are struggling to maintain form thus far.

One win in five has seen the Whitecaps drop out of the playoff spots in the Western Conference. However, the 3-0 win against FC Dallas last weekend – in which David Ousted produced one of the goalkeeping displays of the season – followed by the midweek draw with Sporting Kansas City has seen them regain a bit of confidence.

Embed from Getty Images

If the Whitecaps are to replicate their form from 2015, these are the sort of games on paper they should be winning and Karl Robinson will be expecting nothing less on Saturday night.

These two sides have only met once before, with NYCFC winning 2-1 at BC Place in September thanks to goals from Villa and Lampard, with the Spaniard’s 94th minute penalty sealing all three points.

Team News

New York City FC will be without Connor Brandt through injury. Jack Harrison (hip), Frank Lampard (calf) and Ethan White (hamstring) are all doubtful.

Vancouver Whitecaps will not be able to call upon Christian Dean (foot) or Deybi Flores (adductor strain), who are both out with injuries. Pedro Morales is struggling with a hip strain and may not feature.

Key Points

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

Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: D/L/L/W/D

Key Stat: NYCFC are attempting to go unbeaten for four consecutive matches at home for the first time in their short MLS history, although they have yet to win at Yankee Stadium this year.

Key Player: David Villa – Having scored two braces already this season, the World Cup winner has shown signs of his immense value to this squad but he needs to produce more regularly. NYCFC will look to him for inspiration once more on Saturday and he will need to deliver.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact David Villa

Score Prediction

New York City FC 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps – New York City FC have struggled so far this season and Vancouver have too, but having not won since the opening day leaves NYCFC lacking confidence and we expect Vancouver to capitalise with an away victory on Saturday.

Advertisements

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

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

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Sunday, March 13 – 16:00 ET (21:00 ET – Live on Sky Sports)

Match Odds: New York City FC 29/20 – Draw 5/2 – Toronto FC 7/4

Match Preview

New York City FC open their 2016 home campaign against Toronto on Sunday evening, with both sides entering the second week looking to make it two wins from two.

NYCFC won 4-3 at Chicago Fire last weekend, winning an exciting game thanks to their young attacking stars. New head coach Patrick Vieira will have been worried by the defensive display however, knowing that if they concede three goals against other MLS sides they won’t be picking up many points.

City were unbeaten in all three games against Toronto last year, winning two and drawing the other. However, they will need their key players available such as Frank Lampard and David Villa if they are to keep that streak going this time out.

Embed from Getty Images

Toronto started their season last week with an impressive counter-attacking display against the Red Bulls, where they beat the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners 2-0 at Red Bull Arena.

The counter attack, as mentioned above, is of course spearheaded by 2015 MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco, which provides a clinical edge. The basis for the style has, however, been built from the back with new additions Clint Irwin, Steve Beitashour, Drew Moor and Will Johnson bolstering Toronto defensively and providing a firm platform for Giovinco to shine.

We are expecting Toronto to have more possession this weekend and with that Michael Bradley should play a more pivotal role. Rookie winger Tsubasa Endoh should see more of the ball on the flank after an encouraging debut last week.

Toronto players celebrate scoring vs the Red Bulls (Photo by Ashley Marshall)

Toronto players celebrate scoring vs the Red Bulls (Photo by Ashley Marshall)

Team News

New York City FC are still without Connor Brandt and Jack Harrison through injuries. Jefferson Mena and RJ Allen are both doubtful, though Frank Lampard could feature if he overcomes a calf problem.

Toronto FC are still missing Clement Simonin with a knee injury. Jozy Altidore is still doubtful, but could feature despite his hamstring problems.

Key Points

New York City FC’s form: W

Toronto FC’s form: W

Key Stat: New York City FC were the only team in MLS to concede over 25 goals at home in 2015. They shipped a total of 31 goals at Yankee Stadium last term.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Italian produced the goods last week by snatching three points form the Red Bulls. He will be relishing the prospect of facing a vulnerable NYCFC defence here and could quite easily produce a hat-trick.

Sebastian Giovinco Toronto FC 2016

Score Prediction

New York City FC 1-3 Toronto FC – As good as Toronto were defensively last week, this NYCFC side has goals in it. However, keeping Giovinco and co. out should prove too difficult for Vieira’s men and the away side look primed for success in New York for the second-straight week.

2016 MLS Season Preview: New York City

As the 2016 MLS season edges closer, we’ll be publishing each team’s MLS 2016 Season Preview. Today we take a look at what New York City will be looking to achieve this year…

Despite 2015 being New York City’s inaugural season in MLS, they will still be disappointed with their final position, given the quality of players they had in their squad. So much so, it cost head coach Jason Kreis his job and he was replaced by Patrick Vieira in November. Building a successful team isn’t something that happens overnight and NYCFC fans will have to continue to be patient, but they will be hoping that after a year-long bonding session, the players will be able to repay them with a more productive and memorable 2016 campaign.

Last season’s finish:

Eastern Conference – Position: 8th – P34 – W10 – D7 – L17

Embed from Getty Images

What needs to change this year?

There are numerous areas that require significant improvement for New York City going into 2016. Before the season, it seemed they were a little top heavy, and so it proved. They didn’t struggle to score goals and finished as the sixth highest scorers in MLS. However, defensively, it simply wasn’t good enough. They conceded 58 goals, giving them the worst defensive record in MLS alongside Toronto and Chicago Fire, so they need to drastically improve at the back. They also need to concentrate for the full 90 minutes, as letting in late goals was definitely their Achilles heel. They conceded 11 goals in the last ten minutes of games, six of which cost them either victory or a draw. In total, those late goals cost them eight points. Another blindingly obvious area for improvement is the amount of losses. They suffered 17 defeats and only Chicago Fire lost more games than them. Of those 17 losses, 11 of them were by just a single goal, so if they can turn tight defeats into draws, they’d certainly be in a better position.

Key changes to squad:

Ins: Ethan White – Defender, Ronald Matarrita – Defender, Diego Martinez – Defender, Frederic Brillant – Defender, Jack Harrison – Midfielder, Mikey Lopez – Midfielder, Federico Bravo – Midfielder

Outs: Chris Wingert – Defender, Kwame Watson-Siriboe – Defender, Jeb Brovsky – Defender, Pablo Alvarez – Midfielder, Shay Facey – Defender, Javier Calle – Midfielder, Sebastian Velasquez – Midfielder, Ned Grabavoy – Midfielder

Key Player:

Embed from Getty Images

David Villa – Forward – The ex-Spain international led by example last season. An impressive return of 18 goals and eight assists from 30 appearances showed that he’s still got what it takes. New York City will need him to be firing on all cylinders once again in 2016 if they’re to make the playoffs. He was the fourth highest goalscorer in MLS last season and he’s sure to have one eye on a Golden Boot award this time around. With the support of world-class midfielders Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo from the beginning of the season, he could be even more lethal.

One to Watch:

Jack Harrison – Midfielder – The young Englishman was once part of Manchester United’s youth academy. He was a number one pick by Chicago Fire in this year’s MLS SuperDraft before being traded to New York City for general allocation money, who were clearly keen to land the promising 19 year old. He was just 14 when he took a leap of faith to join Berkshire School in Massachusetts. He’s impressed during his five years in the USA with spells at Manhattan Soccer Club and Wake Forest University, which eventually led to him being selected as number one pick at the draft. He will be desperate to get a chance to show what he can do in 2016.

Photo: NYCFC.com

Photo: NYCFC.com

Predicted Finish:

Eastern Conference – 6th – New York City will be desperate to make a push for the playoffs this year and there’s more than enough potential in the squad to make a case for why they may just do so. There’s been an overhaul of defensive players as they attempt to put right all that went wrong for them last year. Chris Wingert, Shay Facey, Jeb Brovsky, Javier Calle and Kwame Watson-Siriboe are all defensive players that featured regularly for New York in 2015 and they have all departed. Coming in to help stabilise the back line, they have Ethan White from Philadelphia Union and Frederic Brillant from Oostende, as well as young full back’s Diego Martinez and Ronald Matarrita. If the defensive unit can click, then New York City could be a different animal in 2016.

What are you expecting from New York City in 2016?

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

Competition: Major League Soccer Regular Season – FC Dallas vs. New York City FC

Venue: Toyota Stadium – Saturday, September 12 – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)

Match Odds: FC Dallas 7/10 – Draw 3/1 – New York City FC 7/2

Match Preview

FC Dallas host expansion franchise New York City FC on Saturday night as they look to cut the four point difference at the top of the Western Conference.

Dallas have the potential to top the Supporters’ Shield standings if they win both their games in hand on Vancouver Whitecaps.

They look to have bounced back from a recent dip in form after back-to-back wins they mean business and will feel confident heading into this one.

FC Dallas’ record in MLS: P26 W13 D5 L8

Embed from Getty Images

New York City FC are at the opposite end of the MLS standings, with just one win in their last six, reflecting a difficult month for City.

NYCFC have failed to register an away win since the fifth of july, when they defeated Montreal Impact 2-1. And as such have slipped down the Eastern Conference.

New acquisition Frank Lampard has struggled to make much of an impact for his side and NYCFC look short of the playoffs this term, despite still being in with a shot.

New York City FC’s record in MLS: P27 W7 D7 L13

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

FC Dallas may be without duo Mauro Diaz and Dan Kennedy who are both suffering with minor injuries. Bakary Soumare is also a doubt with a concussion.

New York City FC are missing George John, Tony Taylor and Connor Brandt. Javier Calle, Khiry Shelton and Mehdi Ballouchy are all doubts.

Key Points

FC Dallas’ last five in MLS: L/L/L/W/W

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

Key Stat: FC Dallas have won five of their last six at home in MLS.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – The Columbian winger is proving one of the most exciting talents in MLS and his pace and dribbling have drawn in many suitors from Europe, stopping him will be a priority for NYC on Saturday night.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

FC Dallas 3-1 New York City FC – Dallas will be favourites for this one as they are extremely consistent at home. New York may cause problems for the MLS title contenders but we expect Dallas to ease to three points.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Columbus Crew 

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, August 29 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)

Match Odds: New York City 6/5 – Draw 13/5 – Columbus Crew 2/1

Match Preview

Saturday sees a repeat of last week’s midweek fixture as New York City FC play host to Columbus Crew. Last week’s reverse fixture saw honours end even as it finished 2-2 at MAPFRE Stadium.

New York City FC come into this one off the back of a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Supporters’ Shield leaders LA Galaxy last weekend, and will be hoping to grab three points as they try to remain contenders for a playoff place in the Eastern Conference.

That heavy loss was a blow but they were not the first, and won’t be the last team to be thumped by the Galaxy and so an improved showing is expected here.

Embed from Getty Images

NYCFC are still waiting for their team to click and with Frank Lampard still not a regular in the side, it remains difficult to see them making the playoffs at their first attempt.

New York City FC’s 2015 record in MLS: P26 – W7 – D7 – L12

Columbus Crew are one of the strongest sides in the Eastern Conference and have all but cemented their spot in the playoffs with eight games to go.

Sitting in third in the East, the Crew have been a force at home but have had their struggles on the road this term, winning just twice in 12 games.

They do, however, boast the league’s leading goalscorer in Kei Kamara, who has an incredible 18 goals so far this season and he remains a constant threat for opposition defences. As long as he is healthy, the Crew have a chance at MLS Cup glory.

Columbus Crew’s 2015 record in MLS: P26 – W10 – D8 – L8

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

New York City FC will be without George John, Tony Taylor, Connor Brandt, Javier Calle and Mehdi Ballouchy, who all miss out through injury. Frank Lampard and Khiry Shelton remain doubts.

Columbus Crew have Sergio Campbell missing with a calf strain and Emanuel Pogatetz is doubtful with a knee sprain. Jack McInerney is out through suspension.

Key Points

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

Columbus Crew’s last five: D/L/W/D/W

Key Stat: Columbus Crew have only lost two of their last twelve matches.

Key Player: David Villa – The Spaniard has been sensational so far this season and another stellar performance could lead his side closer to the playoffs as points become increasingly vital.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-1 Columbus Crew – New York City now possess the tools to attack anyone in the league. With the likes of David Villa and Andrea Pirlo now providing much needed experience, they will expect to seal another three important points in front of their own fans here.

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

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. New York City FC

Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, August 23 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 1) 

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/9 – Draw 18/5 – New York City 11/2

Match Preview

LA Galaxy host New York City FC on Sunday in a standout MLS fixture. This will be the first time these franchise’s have ever faced each other and the potential reunion of the Frank Lampard vs Steven Gerrard midfield battle makes this game the most highly anticipated of Week 25.

LA Galaxy come into this game top of the Western Conference and in fine form after winning their last three matches, scoring eight goals in the process.

The Galaxy have managed to score 22 times in their last five home games – that is an average of 4.4 goals in each MLS game at StubHub Center, which is incredible. The reigning MLS Cup holders have only lost one of their 13 home matches this season which just goes to show how tough it is going to be for NYCFC to take all three points away from StubHub on Sunday.

Embed from Getty Images

New York City come into this game on a two-game unbeaten streak as they beat Eastern Conference leaders DC United before drawing 2-2 against Columbus on Wednesday night.

With NYCFC currently sat in seventh position in the Eastern Conference, they will be looking to be only the fourth side to take points away from the StubHub Center this season to boost their playoff chances with the end of the regular season just around the corner.

Embed from Getty Images

On average New York City conceed 1.25 goals in every away game and with the attacking dominance that the Galaxy have shown at home this season, NYCFC will most certainly have to shore things up at the back to stand any chance of success in this one.

English fans will be hoping to see Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard face off against each other in midfield once more, but Lampard’s fitness concerns mean that it’s not guaranteed.

Team News

LA Galaxy are still without goalkeeper Brian Perk for the remainder of the season. Jose Villarreal, Baggio Husidic and Todd Dunivant all missed the win over FC Dallas and are doubts for the NYCFC game. Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane and Giovani Dos Santos will all start, while Gyasi Zardes is expected to despite transfer rumours linking with a move to Europe.

New York City FC remain without long-term absentees George John, Tony Taylor and Connor Brandt. Javier Calle is out with a hamstring injury. Khiry Shelton is questionable, while Ned Grabavoy and Chris Wingert are doubtful after missing the win over DC United. Frank Lampard is facing a race against time to be ready as he continues to battle a thigh injury.

Key Points

La Galaxy’s form: W/W/W/W/W

New York City’s form: W/L/L/W/D

Key Stat: LA Galaxy have scored an average of 2.3 goals per home game this season. Attack.

Key Player: Robbie Keane – The Irishman has been in fine form this season, scoring 13 goals, 10 of which have come at home. He could prove to be the difference this weekend and it’s tough not to see him continuing his fine scoring form at home this Sunday against a leaky NYCFC defence. With his incredible movement and keen eye for goal, we can see him causing New York City’s defence huge problems.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

La Galaxy 3-2 New York City – This looks like a game that promises plenty of goals due to the creativity that both sides have in their midfield through the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo. These veterans should create chances throughout the game and with both sides boasting clinical strikers in Robbie Keane and David Villa, we can see this game being an end-to-end affair with lots of goals. The Galaxy haven’t managed a clean sheet in their last five encounters, which means this game could be closer than what many may think, though the home side should still edge it.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Real Salt Lake vs New York City FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. New York City FC

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, May 23 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 19/20 – Draw 23/10 – New York City 3/1

Match Preview

Real Salt Lake welcome former manager Jason Kreis back to Rio Tinto stadium this weekend with his New York City FC side.

Salt Lake are in desperate need of a win after an embarrassing 4-1 loss to Montreal Impact last weekend and come into the game with only one win in seven.

Another key aspect of RSL’s poor form in their lack of goals recently, managing just four in their last seven games in MLS. Salt Lake do have reason for optimism however, as star striker Joao Plata has resumed full training.

Real Salt Lake’s 2015 MLS record: P11 – W3 – D5 – L3

Embed from Getty Images

New York City are arguably the worst team in MLS at the moment. They have failed to register a win in their last nine outings and three red cards in their last four MLS matches suggests that they are having a disciplinary crisis.

New York City’s 2015 MLS record: P11 – W1 – D4 – L6

Jason Kreis’ men are lacking motivation and need a win to keep their season afloat, and at the moment, they seem like a club that are waiting for Frank Lampard to save them.

Team News

Real Salt Lake’s Chris Schuler is out. Javier Morales, Sebastien Jaime and Boyd Okwuonu are also doubts. Joao Plata is back in full training following injury, so could start. Jordan Allen is away on international duty.

Embed from Getty Images

New York City are without George John, Tony Taylor and Josh Williams, while Javier Calle and Kwame Watson-Siriboe are doubtful. Ned Grabavoy is a slight doubt but could be fit to play. Patrick Mullins is expected to start ahead of Khiry Shelton up top.

Key Points

Real Salt Lake’s last five: L/D/D/W/L

New York City’s last five: L/L/L/L/D

Key Stat: There has been a red card in seven of New York City’s 11 matches this season.

Key Player: Josh Saunders – The NYC goalkeeper returns to Rio Tinto stadium at the weekend after a brief spell there in 2013. He will need to be at his early season best to keep New York City in this game.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Real Salt Lake 2-0 New York City – New York City have failed to win in nine and it’s tough to see them changing that away from home.

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

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Chicago Fire

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Friday, May 15th – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Saturday, May 16th)

Match Odds: New York City FC 13/10 – Draw 12/5 – Chicago Fire 2/1

Match Preview

New York City FC welcome Chicago Fire to the Yankee Stadium on Friday night in an all Eastern Conference MLS clash.

New York City’s tough start to life in MLS showed no signs of letting up at the Red Bull Arena on Monday as they lost 2-1 to the Red Bulls in the first ever New York derby.

That defeat was their fourth consecutive loss and they are now without a win in eight (D2, L6) – they’ve won just once from their opening ten games.

Embed from Getty Images

Jason Kreis has seen his side score just seven times this season which is one of the main reasons that NYC find themselves 8th in the Eastern Conference and beginning to lose pace in the race for the playoffs already – only Montreal Impact have scored fewer goals (3), although they have only played five games compared to NYC’s 10.

Chicago Fire arrive in New York after a run of three straight wins has been halted by a defeat to Sporting Kansas City followed by a 2-1 loss at home to Real Salt Lake last time out.

The Fire have nine points from their first eight games and are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference but have lost all of their games on the road so far this season.

Embed from Getty Images

Frank Yallop will be telling his players that this is one of the few away games this season that he will demand a positive result given the poor form of their opponents, and Chicago will hope to capitalise on New York City’s lack of confidence.

The two sides met just three weeks ago in a game that saw Chicago Fire run out as 1-0 winners at Toyota Park thanks to a goal from David Accam.

Team News

New York City will be without long term absentees George John and Tony Taylor, while Javier Calle and Adam Nemec are both doubts after missing the New York derby on Monday because of injury.

Chicago Fire’s Mike Magee and Patrick Nyarko both remain out, while Matt Watson has concussion so could miss the game.

Embed from Getty Images

Key Points

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

Chicago Fire’s last five: W/W/W/L/L

Key Stat: These two sides are the lowest scoring teams in MLS, other than Montreal Impact, with just seven goals each.

Key Player: Harry Shipp – The Chicago midfielder has been one of their most impressive players so far this season with one goal and three assists to his name. He will be hoping to shine once again.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

New York City FC 1-1 Chicago Fire – This has all the makings of a very tight and tense game. With both sides struggling for goals this season, combining the fact that Chicago have lost all their away games and New York City aren’t picking up many points, this will probably end all square.

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

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

Venue: PPL Park – Saturday, April 11 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST) – Live on Sky Sports 5

Match Odds: Philadelphia Union 11/10 – Draw 12/5 – New York City FC 12/5

Match Preview

Philadelphia Union welcome New York City FC to PPL Park on Saturday for an Eastern Conference clash with the hosts still looking for their first win of the 2015 MLS season.

The Union have suffered three straight defeats since opening their campaign with two draws and now find themselves at the bottom of both the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings.

Philadelphia head coach Jim Curtin will have a job on his hands to motivate the players after a devastating defeat away at Sporting Kansas City last weekend – the Union were leading 2-1 until the 90th minute before two SKC goals in injury time saw the game slip through their hands in the blinking of an eye.

PHOTO: Philadelphia Union look on helplessly (Picture courtesy of Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

PHOTO: Philadelphia Union look on helplessly (Picture courtesy of Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Despite the loss, there were some definite positives for Philadelphia to take from the game, especially for Fernando Aristeguieta as he notched his third goal of the season and is leading the line well.

New York City suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Sporting Kansas City in their last game but they weren’t in action last weekend so they should be fully refreshed and head coach Jason Kreis has had a significant amount of time to prepare his players for this one.

New York are undefeated in their two games on the road this season and coming up against a side yet to record a victory as yet, they will expect to travel back home with at least a point to show for their efforts.

Embed from Getty Images

The visitors are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference and a win could see them up to as high as second place depending on other results, so it’s an important game and a chance to put themselves in a solid position.

As New York City are new to MLS this season, these two sides have never met before, but they will get to know each other quickly as they will meet again at the Yankee Stadium next weekend and this game presents an opportunity to gain a psychological advantage going into that game.

Team News

Philadelphia Union will be without midfielder Fred as he serves the final game of his suspension. Fellow midfielders Cristian Maidana, Eric Bird and Vincent Nogueira are all doubts for the game due to injury, while striker Conor Casey could return to action following an abdominal strain.

Embed from Getty Images

New York City will be without long-term absentee George John and defender Shay Facey could miss out with a groin injury.

Key Points

Philadelphia Union’s form: D/D/L/L/L

New York City’s form: D/W/D/L

Key Stat: Philadelphia Union have only won one of their last 12 games in MLS when combining the end of the 2014 season with the start of the 2015 campaign (D5, L6).

Key Player: David Villa – The Spaniard hasn’t fully kicked into life for New York City just yet but if he can start to perform to the best of his ability then NYC will be a real force.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 1-1 New York City FC – The Union will be desperate to stop the run of three straight defeats against a New York City side that wouldn’t be massively disappointed to pick up a point on the road.

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?