2016 Eastern Conference regular season runners-up New York City FC play host to Montreal Impact at the Yankee Stadium in week 3 of MLS action.
New York City FC and Montreal Impact face-off in a crunch fixture for both Eastern Conference clubs as they seek to kick-on their respective seasons. The home team lost their opener to Orlando City and dispatched DC United in the second, while the away side has a solitary point from two games after a narrow defeat to San Jose in their first fixture and the recent 2-2 draw at the Seattle Sounders.
New York City FC seems to have some real swagger about themselves at the moment and this was evident from their 4-0 drubbing of DC United in week 2. David Villa scored two goals and notched an assist in a match which also saw stand-out performances from Jack Harrison, Rodney Wallace, and Maxi Moralez.
The latter, in particular, seems to be the missing piece of the jigsaw for the Blues with his flair, accurate passing, and confidence in possession. Throw in a box to box midfielder in the form of Alexander Ring and the whole equation looks real enticing; there definitely won’t be a shortage of goals for NYCFC.
Despite all these positives, Patrick Viera’s lot are quite suspect defensively. They will need to be really calm with their possession game or risk being exposed to a counter, which happens to be the forte of the visiting team.
Projected Lineup (4-1-4-1)
Mauro Biello’s men are slowly feeling their way into the 2017 season. After a disappointing opener against San Jose where there were no shots on target, the Impact raced to a 2-0 lead against Seattle Sounders before completely collapsing in the last 10 minutes of the game.
Nacho Piatti and Matteo Mancosu were both on the scoresheet but it was the Argentinian who took home the plaudits for his wonderful playmaking performance. He seems well on his way to having another fruitful season in front of goal and is sure to threaten a rocky NYCFC defense who conceded many goals in 2016.
Like their opponents, the Montreal Impact aren’t exactly defensively sound either; Laurent Ciman has been disappointing in the first two matches and will need to step up in a game which will play to Montreal Impact’s strengths. Since most of the possession will be with the home team, Impact will need to be tight at the back and make use of any opportunity to counter with the help of their full-backs and wingers.
Projected Lineup (4-3-3 or 4-5-1)
All Time Record
3 wins for New York City FC, 1 for Montreal Impact, 1 draw.
This will be the sixth game between the two sides and NYCFC currently lead the series 3-1-1. However, their only loss and draw to the Impact came at home, with the most recent fixture in the Bronx ending in a 1-1 draw (April 2016).
A hard-fought affair between two clubs with clashing styles, expect goals in this one. It is NYCFC’s game to lose courtesy of their amazing recent home form (eight wins in nine) and while many might favor them to win this one, Impact will definitely not be ready to lose their second game of 2017 this early on.
18th March 2016, Saturday at 14:00 Eastern Time
Where to Watch
MLS Live (USA), TVA Sports (Canada)