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  • Gavin Rushnell

NYCFC (n) Match Preview

Orlando City face off against bottom of the table NYCFC in their second game of the MLS is Back tournament.

Here we go again. Game two of the MLS is Back tournament for Orlando City kicks off tomorrow at 8:00 PM EST and, for Orlando City fans, it can't come soon enough. After Wednesday's dramatic winner, Orlando City is riding into the match on a high while NYCFC, who lost their opening match of the group stage against Philadelphia, will be looking to improve upon their poor start to the season. Not only did NYCFC lose their first match of the tournament, but they also lost their first two games of the season before the shutdown. In fact, NYCFC hasn't even scored a single goal in any of their 3 games. The Lions will be looking to capitalize on this terrible run of form from last season's first-place team.

Similarly to my last post, I will be starting a new layout for the previews. Again, instead of talking about who will or won't be available, I'll give you my three keys to the match. Here we go!

Three keys

1. Don't underestimate NYCFC

I know I just wrote all those things that point towards an easy win for Orlando City but that's never how soccer works and we all know that. If anything, soccer usually works opposite to how we think it will (i.e. Liverpool losing to bottom of the table Watford). NYCFC is not a bad side in the slightest. Let's look at their schedule thus far. They started the season against a new-look Columbus Crew who had just brought in Nagbe, Zelarayan, and Wormgoor. NYCFC lost 1-0 on the day after going down to 10 men in the 3rd minute of the match. Nothing wrong with that.

NYCFC's second match was against the 2019 MLS Cup finalist's Toronto FC. Toronto basically has the same squad and coach who lead them that final, so there is no shame in losing to that team. Then, the shutdown occurs and their first game back is against the Philadelphia Union, one of the most well-suited teams to this type of tournament. NYCFC hasn't won a game or scored a goal, but in my opinion, they still have every chance of winning this game.

2. Dwyer out, Akindele in

If you read the Inter Miami match recap, then you know just how bad of a game I think Dwyer had. I won't go into it again, but Akindele needs to come in for Dwyer. I've personally had enough of the subpar performances. At the end of the day, you play the players who you believe will give you the best chance to win and both Dwyer and Akindele showed who that player is last Wednesday. I said it on the podcast and I'll say it again. I'm calling for Dom Dwyer to not see the field at all against NYCFC.

3. Eliminate Heber

NYCFC's main issue has been scoring. As I said earlier, they haven't scored once in their opening three games this season. I believe that part of the reason for this drought in front of goal is because teams have found NYCFC out. NYCFC is a team that likes to pass the ball through you to create their chances. The problem is, they are loaded with creative players and not enough finishers. The only true goalscorer on their team is their number nine, Heber.

When Heber gets shutdown, it seems that NYCFC's whole attack gets shutdown. Columbus, Toronto, and Philadelphia identified this and made sure to focus on Heber. It seems to have worked. In 3 matches, Heber only has ONE of NYCFC's 32 total shots. We must make sure that we do the same thing. With Moralez and Mitrita (possibly) being out, NYCFC will lose a lot of creativity and will be thinking that they need to make the most out of every opportunity that they get. Therefore we need to be alert at all times with Heber as he is the most dangerous goal threat on their team.

Time: 8:00 PM EST

Stadium: ESPN Wide World of Sports

Team News (ORL): None

Team News (MIA): Moralez (out), Mitrita (questionable)

Predicted Lineup: (4-2-3-1) Gallese, Ruan, Carlos, Jansson, Moutinho, Urso, Rosell, Mueller, Pereyra, Nani, Akindele

Score Prediction: 2-1 Win


If you liked what you read, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Please don't hesitate to let me know your thoughts on what I said. I really do enjoy having conversations with my fellow Orlando City fans about our team. That's why I started this blog/podcast in the first place.

'Til next time, this has been Gavin Rushnell and #VamosOrlando

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