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New York City FC vs. Atlanta United FC | 2017 MLS Match Preview

New York City FC vs. Atlanta United FC
2017 MLS Regular Season - Week 10
Yankee Stadium – New York, NY
Sunday, May 7 – 4 pm ET
WATCH: Univision (in English via SAP) and Facebook in USA; MLS LIVE in Canada

Big names on the field, big personalities on the sidelines (Patrick Vieira vs. Gerardo “Tata” Martino) and big numbers under the goals column all point to a wide open affair between two of the highest scoring teams in MLS.

New York City FC will have star forward David Villa back in the starting XI days after the announcement of a one-year contract extension. Whether teammate Andrea Pirlo returns to the lineup sheet has been one of the talking points of the week, given the impact of 19-year-old Venezuelan midfielder Yangel Herrera, who sparkled in his first start for the club last weekend in place of the 37-year-old Pirlo.

“He’s going to get involved in the game,” Vieira told reporters about Herrera, without specifying his role. "He’s a really interesting player. He has the quality and talent to do well in this league. He showed that against Columbus [in Week 9]."

Meanwhile, the early season results seem to suggest that Atlanta’s quick transition playing style might be a better fit on the road than at home, where they’ve lost two of three matches, including last Sunday’s 3-1 setback vs. D.C. United.

“We are definitely not in a crisis,” was the declaration by ATLUTD forward Kenwyne Jones, who will be aiming to score against an Atlanta native, NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson, come Sunday. All eyes will be on Johnson after his hometown club acquired him last Dec. 11, only to turn around and trade him to NYCFC. Weeks later the Five Stripes announced the signing of US national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who is expected to be Atlanta's No. 1 when he arrives from England this summer.

New York City FC

Recovered from the illness which kept him out in Week 9, Villa will surely be eager to make a statement on national TV. But he's hardly alone these days carrying the weight of attacking responsibilities. Second-year player Jack Harrison already has four goals from his right wing position and is coming off a week in which he earned Alcatel MLS Player of the Week honors. His battle against Atlanta left back Greg Garza will be one to watch.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended next yellow card: MF Alexander Ring
  • Injury Report: OUT — DF Ronald Matarrita (high ankle sprain), FW Khiry Shelton (hamstring)

Projected Starting XI (4-3-3, left to right): Sean Johnson — Ben Sweat, Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot, Ethan White — Maxi Moralez, Alex Ring, Yangel Herrera — Rodney Wallace, David Villa, Jack Harrison

Notes: Aside from the Pirlo-Herrera question, the other new lineup tweak has been the addition of left back Ben Sweat to cover for Ronald Matarrita’s absence. Sweat’s inclusion allows left winger Rodney Wallace to operate in an attacking role, where he’s proven especially effective.

Atlanta United FC

Atlanta will surely generate scoring opportunities at Yankee Stadium — they’ve been among the league leaders in chances created so far — but the question will be how they manage the game should they take a lead. It was the big theme coming out of the Week 9 loss to DC, the third match this season in which they’ve taken a lead only to wind up with a loss.

  • Suspended: FW Yamil Asad (MLS Disciplinary Committee)
  • Int'l Duty: FW Andrew Carleton (US U-17s), MF Chris Goslin (US U-17s)
  • Injury Report: OUT – FW Josef Martinez (quadriceps), FW Jacob Peterson (right lower leg injury); QUESTIONABLE: Jeff Larentowicz (concussion)

Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, left to right): Alec Kann – Greg Garza, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst, Tyrone Mears – Carlos Carmona, Chris McCann [or Jeff Larentowicz] – Miguel Almiron, Julian Gressel, Hector Villalba – Kenwyne Jones

Notes: The one-game suspension handed down by the MLS Disciplinary Committee to Argentine winger Yamil Asad and the questionable status of center mid Jeff Larentowicz (concussion) mean there is likely to be some shuffling to the Atlanta lineup ... Josef Martinez and Jacob Peterson both returned to training this week, but it’d be difficult to envision either of them being match fit in time for Sunday.

All-Time Series

First of two meetings (Sun., May 28 in Atlanta at 5 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes)

Referees

Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Joe Fletcher (bench side), Brian Dunn (far)
Fourth Official: Jose Carlos Rivero

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Current Form

NYCFC
D
W
L
W
L
W
Atlanta
W
D
D
L
W
L

Season Stats

New York City FCAtlanta United FC
8Games Played8
4Wins3
3Losses3
1Draws2
14Goals18
9Goals Conceded11
87Shots76
45Shots on Target40
100Fouls committed101
103Fouls suffered78
15Offside21
49Corners36

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
NYC13211141.8
ATL13112182.2
01234+Avg
NYC021012
ATL020012
01234+Avg
NYC111101.5
ATL111112.4

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
NYC2330091.1
ATL22310111.4
01234+Avg
NYC121001
ATL101101.7
01234+Avg
NYC112001.2
ATL122001.2
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