It’s Matchday 7, and New York City FC will face an impressive Atlanta United tonight in the Boogie Down Bronx.
NYCFC are coming off their best performance of the season so far: Last week’s 1-1 draw against New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium coulda, shoulda been a win over the former Eastern Conference leaders. New York City looked sharp.
Atlanta logged a 1-0 home win over the New Jersey Red Bulls, their first-ever victory over our pals across the Hudson. They now have 13 points after six games, just one point behind Eastern Conference leaders FC Cincinnati.
NYCFC vs Atlanta United H2H
The head-to-head between NYCFC and Atlanta favor New York City, but the overall numbers tell only part of the story: The last time NYCFC lost to Atlanta was in August 2019 at Mercedes Benz Stadium. More to the point, Atlanta have posted only one win ever at Yankee Soccer Stadium, and that was in November 2018 during the MLS Cup Playoffs. That’s right, they have never won a regular season game in New York City. Still, Atlanta drew NYCFC in the Bronx last July behind an 86th-minute goal from Dom Dwyer — but we don’t need to get into that late summer swoon again.
- Matchday 7: NYCFC vs Atlanta United
- Date and Time: Saturday, April 8, 7:30 pm ET
- Kickoff Time: 7:39 pm ET
- Venue: Yankee Soccer Stadium
- Bruce Arena Forecast: Chilly and getting colder 45˚F/7˚C
- Watch: Apple TV
- Broadcast Team: Tony Husband (former Nashville SC play-by-play announcer), and Ross Smith (former player and broadcast analyst for Portland Timbers)
- Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
- Officiating Crew: Drew Fischer (referee), Logan Brown and Kevin Klinger (assistant referees), Ryan Graves (fourth official), Kevin Terry Jr (VAR), Tyler Wyrostek (assistant VAR)
NYCFC Injury Report: Tayvon Gray is questionable with a lower-body injury. The rest of the squad should be available.
Will Gabriel Segal get another start at striker? Head coach Nick Cushing’s surprise choice at the No 9 last week allowed Talles Magno to shift back to his natural position on the left wing, and the NYCFC attack looked consistently dangerous for the first time this season.
Will referee Drew Fisher be the X-factor? The Canadian performed well in NYCFC’s win over CF Montréal in last year’s MLS Cup Eastern Conference Semifinal. But earlier in the season he overturned a penalty he awarded to NYCFC in what turned out to be a 2-1 loss to Toronto FC, arguably costing New York City the game. The Professional Referee Organization later acknowledged a “significant officiating error,” and stated that the penalty should have been awarded. Whoopsies!
Atlanta have a formidable attack with new Designated Player Giorgos Giakoumakis at striker (two goals in four games), and 2022 FIFA World Cup-winner Thiago Almada pulling the strings in midfield. Is Almada the best player in MLS right now? He’s certainly the most valuable — Transfermarkt put him at €20 million. The NYCFC defense will have their hands full.
Atlanta’s Brad Guzan is back in the net after missing most of last year. He has played every minute of this season so far, and has two clean sheets to show for it.