It’s Matchday 6, and New York City FC will head up I-95 to Exit 13B (expect heavy traffic as far as New Haven) to face Eastern Conference-leading New England Revolution.
NYCFC are coming off a turgid 1-0 road loss to the Houston Dynamo in which New York City managed only one shot on target — and that was taken by right-back Tayvon Gray. Head coach often says that good teams need to get points on the road, and so far NYCFC just have one after three games.
For their part, New England sit on top of the Eastern Conference after a 1-2 road win over DC United, and now have 12 points after 5 games played. Only white-hot St Louis City have a better record in MLS.
NYCFC vs New England Revolution H2H
The head-to-head between NYCFC and New England favor the Revolution by the slightest of margins. Last year, NYCFC posted wins in their first two meetings (there was the 4-2 win at Yankee Stadium in July that saw tempers flare, and the 1-0 extra-time win at Belson Stadium in the US Open Cup), but then New England retained their edge when they added to New York City’s late-summer swoon with a 3-0 drubbing at Gillette Stadium.
- Matchday 6: NYCFC at New England Revolution
- Date and Time: Saturday, April 1, 7:30 pm ET
- Kickoff Time: 7:39 pm ET
- Venue: Gillette Stadium
- Bruce Arena Forecast: Pleasant, cool, 56˚F/13˚C
- Watch: Apple TV (free)
- Broadcast Team: Callum Williams (former play-by-play announcer for the BBC and Sky Sports), and Jamie Watson (former MLS player, former analyst for Nashville SC and Minnesota United)
- Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
- Officiating Crew: Ismail Elfath (referee), Corey Parker and Brian Dunn (assistant referees), Sergii Boiko (fourth official), Edvin Jurisevic (VAR), Joshua Patlak (assistant VAR)
NYCFC Injury Report: Head coach Nick Cushing announced no major injuries in Thursday’s pregame press conference, but he implied that some players are dealing with knocks and tweaks. UPDATE: Tayvon Gray is out with a lower body injury.
How will NYCFC put last week’s dispiriting loss behind them? Nobody on the team was happy with the performances last Saturday night in Houston, but it’s one thing to acknowledge it and another find a way to change the squad’s collective momentum.
Will Cushing stick with his core starters tonight? Talles Magno, Gabriel Pereira, Matí Pellegrini, Keaton Parks, Thiago Martins, Braian Cufré, and Luis Barraza have been in every Starting XI so far this season, while James Sands and Maxime Chanot both started in four out of five games played. Will we see new signing Richy Ledezma start in the midfield? Thiago as striker? Matt Freese in goal? With Gray out injured, expect to see Mitja Ilenic start after putting in three strong performances for the Slovenian U19 team.
Will Thiago be on the lineup tonight? Earlier today, Brazilian news outlet ge reported that the 22-year-old winger is going to Club Athletico Paranaense on loan with an option to buy, and is expected to join his new club next week.
We spoke with Jake Catanese of the Blazing Musket to get some intel on the Revs.
Hudson River Blue: Who should NYCFC fans watch out for in this game? Who is the Rev’s dangerman? (Dangermen?)
Jake Catanese: I mean, Carles Gil, Gustavo Bou, and Dylan Borrero are the big names to watch as always, but we’re going to give a shoutout to the kids who started last week. Noel Buck has started every game in midfield usually partnering with Matt Polster and Latif Blessing (who has been a great signing for the Revs so far in 2023). But Buck was joined by fellow homegrowns Jack Panayotou and Esmir Bajraktarevic, and came out blazing against DC in the opening fifteen minutes on the road. Jack P and Esmir each bring their own style, but were asked to play wide box-to-box midfield roles and did not look out of place at any point and combined really well going forward as each had a couple of key passes. All three homegrowns had above 80% completion passing, and obviously Buck had the winner after it caromed through the trees.
HRB: What are New England’s vulnerabilities?
JC: Set pieces for sure. For all the improvements the Revs have made on the backline spearheaded by the presence of Dave Romney at center-back, this is a team that is still not great in the air. On top of that issue, the Revs tend to give away a lot of dangerous set piece chances and corners and in their last two games against Nashville and DC United, easily could have given away goals to Walker Zimmerman (thank you crossbar) and Christian Benteke (thank you Petrovic). Otherwise, the Revs diamond has been holding up defensively much better than it was this time last year when the New England defense was a mess between injuries and just downright basic mistakes. If they can improve on set piece defense or just allow less of them all together it would be a big boon for their chances in the East I think.
HRB: What’s the X factor that could decide this game?
JC: Gustavo Bou is just on one right now and that’s really bad news for the league. He had a couple of brilliant near-post take-ons against Nashville in which one ended up being the winner, and his take in the box against DC after a beautiful ball from Carles Gil is why he is one of the most dangerous finishers in MLS. Is he streaky? Absolutely. Does he get lost in games sometimes? Sure. But at the end of the day he can make a goal out of genuinely not much and do so pretty consistently. If he’s going to put up numbers close to what he did in 2021 (15G, 9A in 25 starts/30 games) then the Revs should be playing deep into November.
Also Djordje Petrovic is amazing, and I hope the Revs can keep him all season because I don’t know if I can handle losing him and Turner in back-to-back summers.
Segal not seems up to the expected standard. often lost & hidden makin Santi Magno also waste the touches. Pelli not precision enough…
The *first post* on the new, independent HRB!