Welcome to Matchday 33, which has New York City FC hoping to keep their playoff dreams alive with a road win against DC United — who also need a win if they are to sneak into the postseason. There’s a lot on the line tonight at Audi Field: Here is your NYCFC vs DC United Game Day Hub.
Game Day Essentials
- Matchday 33: NYCFC vs DC United
- Date and Time: Saturday, October 7, 7:30 pm ET
- Kickoff Time: 7:39 pm ET
- Venue: Audi Field
- Forecast: Pleasant, cooling, 60˚F/16˚C
- Kits: NYCFC in Interboro blue, DC United in Black-and-Red
- Watch: Apple TV
- Apple Broadcast Team: Erik Krakauer and former DC United and Red Bulls player Lloyd Sam
- Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
- Officiating Crew: Fotis Bazakos (referee), Adam Gardner and Felisha Mariscal (assistant referees), Marcos Deoliveira (fourth official), Younes Marrkchi (VAR), Rene Parra (assistant VAR). With Bazakos as ref in 2023, home teams are 12 W-4 D-2 L, while NYCFC are 5 W-1 D-1 L with him overseeing their matches this season.
NYCFC vs DC United preview
New York City are in their best form of the season, and that’s despite letting Inter Miami equalize in stoppage time last Saturday. NYCFC are undefeated in their last six games, and have taken 12 out of a possible 18 points.
Still, NYCFC need to win tonight: A draw might not be enough to get them into the playoffs. A loss could be catastrophic and see them eliminated from the playoff race if Chicago Fire defeat Charlotte FC and CF Montréal defeat Portland Timbers tonight.
For their part, DC United need a win if they are to make the playoffs. They’ll also need NYCFC, Montréal, and the New Jersey Red Bulls all to go winless in their remaining games.
The truth is, DC United’s midweek loss to Austin FC all but ended their hopes of making the postseason
NYCFC vs DC United H2H
The head-to-head between the two clubs is long, rich, and heavily favors NYCFC. The 40 goals NYCFC scored on DC are the most they have against any club in the world.
NYCFC have defeated DC four of the last five times these two teams have met. The most recent NYCFC win was back on March 18 at Yankee Stadium. In that game, Thiago Andrade’s goal in the 88th minute put New York City up 3-1, but United’s Steve Birnbaum scored in the 90th minute and the visitors came oh-so-close to stealing a stoppage-time draw.
- Player Availability: Alfredo Morales, Maxi Moralez, and Cody Mizell remain out with injuries, and we know Maxi’s is a long-term one.
- Santiago Rodríguez and James Sands are both one caution away from being suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
- Talles Magno isn’t on the injury report, but he was removed at halftime for Richy Ledezma in Miami after appearing in discomfort late in the first half. Will he retain his spot in Nick Cushing’s Starting XI after looking freed and effective when making his return to the lineup?
- Andrés Perea has looked so good in New York City’s midfield that there are reasons aplenty to try to sign him permanently after the season. With Keaton Parks now seeming to have recovered from his ankle sprain, will Perea retain his starting place?
- The playoff vibes took a downward turn after the midweek games saw an idle NYCFC tumble from 8th place to 10th place. New York City’s competitors took 10 out of a possible 15 points in those matches.
- Player Availability: Goalkeeper Tyler Miller, forward Martin Rodriguez, and defender Mohanad Jeahze are sidelined with injuries.
- Is this Wayne Rooney’s final match as DC United head coach? Rooney’s contract expires at season’s end, though there is a mutual 2024 option, but Rooney has said there have been no talks with the club about his future. He was noticeably absent from training and pre-match press duties on Friday ahead of DC’s season finale vs. NYCFC.
- How does Ole Gunnar Solskjær, former Manchester United manager and teammate of Rooney’s, fit into the goings-on behind the scenes in DC? He was spotted at DC United’s training ground on Tuesday, though The Athletic reports Solskjær is “not a candidate to replace Rooney, nor is he being considered for the club’s general manager vacancy.”
- The Designated Player duo of Christian Benteke and Mateusz Klich each found joy in the reverse fixture away to NYCFC. Klich assisted on both DC goals, one of which was scored by Benteke. They will be a significant test for an NYCFC defense that has been in great form.
- You can read more about the Boys in Black-and-Red in Oppo Research: 5 Things about DC United.
DC United predicted Starting XI: