Preview: NYCFC Looks to Continue Momentum Against Impact

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

NYCFC return home to play the Montreal Impact on Saturday afternoon following a dominating performance against DC United. After going scoreless in week one, Patrick Vieira’s side put up four goals in an impressive performance. They hope to duplicate that result while also improving on aspects on the defensive side of the ball.

Montreal enters the game without a win in their first two weeks. Their last game was particularly tough as the Seattle Sounders stole a point with the last kick of the game. However they did get Piatti and Mancosu on the scoreboard which will be a key factor for NYCFC to shut down.

Big questions still surround the NYCFC back line. They effectively stopped DC United but head coach Patrick Vieira did discuss concerns about his team’s focus late in the game. The team did suffer from surrendering late goals in 2016 and could be susceptible again as long as Montreal’s top offensive players are on the field.

STARTING XI:

NYCFC: Johnson; Matarrita, Callens, Chanot, White; Moralez, Pirlo, Ring; Wallace, Villa, Harrison

Montreal Impact: Bush; Oyongo, Ciman, Cabrera, Duvall; Piatti, Bernadello, Donadel, Bernier, Oduro; Mancosu

Player to Watch: Alexander Ring is showing signs of filling in for Frank Lampard quite well. He hasn’t scored yet but he is putting himself in dangerous places and sneaking in behind the defense. He’s also providing the cover Pirlo needs defensively, covering ground in the midfield.

X-Factor: David Villa. The 2016 MLS MVP scored twice against DC United and continues to thrive as the lead striker under Patrick Vieira. Montreal will have a difficult task in shutting down the Spanish DP especially as he appears to have recovered his 2016 form so early in the season.

Where to Watch: March 18th at 2PM on YES Network.