New York City FC vs. Atlanta United FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview
New York City FC vs. Atlanta United FC
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 15
Yankee Stadium – Bronx
June 9 – 12:30 pm ET
WATCH: ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN (Canada)
After a scintillating 2-2 draw in the first meeting between the Eastern Conference powerhouses in April at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the scene shifts to the Bronx, where New York City FC host Atlanta United in a Saturday matinee.
Through three matches between the two clubs, the series is dead even. Both Atlanta and New York City have won one and drawn one against one another while scoring six goals. NYCFC won the lone match in Yankee Stadium, 3-1, in May 2017.
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New York City FC
NYCFC (8-3-3) continued to dominate at home, defeating Orlando City SC for a second time in the Bronx this year, 3-0 on Saturday. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored a goal in each half and Maxi Moralez tacked on his sixth goal of the season three minutes from full time as NYCFC improved to 6-0-0 at home.
On Wednesday night, the Cityzens suffered a second 4-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls in a little more than a month and were knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup by their rivals in the Fourth Round for a second straight year. The Red Bulls scored early in each half and added a pair of goals late to cruise.
“It is a frustration, it is a frustration,” Patrick Vieira said after the defeat. “We make it really difficult for ourselves. We know it's a tough place to come and when you give them the early goal, we become more vulnerable. We concede the goal too early and then it was difficult for us to get into the game. We created a few situations, we had a few chances, but conceding the first goal was really difficult for us. We didn’t find the resources to get back into the game.”
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: M - Yangel Herrera
- International duty: D - Ronald Matarrita, M - Rodney Wallace
- Injury Report: OUT: M - Yangel Herrera (ankle), D - Cedric Hountondji (hamstring)
Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Sean Johnson — Anton Tinnerholm, Maxime Chanot, Alex Callens, Ben Sweat — Alex Ring, Ebenezer Ofori — Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Maxi Moralez, Jo-Inge Berget — David Villa
- Notes: Moralez now has four games this season with one goal and one assist. He had one such game in 2017. … NYCFC have set a franchise record by winning six straight league home matches, outscoring opponents 18-2 in that time. They have allowed multiple goals just once over their last 11 league home games.
Atlanta United (9-3-2) maintained their spot atop the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of NYCFC, with a 3-1 win over the nine-man Philadelphia Union at home Saturday night. Josef Martinez sparked the win with his fifth career MLS hat trick in just 34 games, becoming the fastest player in league history to do. The Five Stripes played the final 70 minutes up two men after both Haris Medunjanin and Alejandro Bedoya were sent off for their second bookable offense leading up to the first of two Martinez penalty kicks.
Atlanta then rolled over the Charleston Battery, 3-0, in USOC play Wednesday with Andrew Carleton, Ezequiel Barco (PK) and Romario Williams scoring for Tata Martino’s side. It made for a stark contrast to a difficult 3-2 win over Charleston in the same round a year ago, when Atlanta had to rally from a 2-1 deficit.
“I think this team has improved a lot from last season,” Martino told reporters after the match. “Last year, we had to have Miguel [Almiron] and Josef play a lot of minutes in that game to win that game. Tonight, it was important without those guys and with players like Romario, Brandon [Vazquez] and Andrew — the young guys — [Chris] Goslin and [Andrew] Wheeler[-Omiunu], getting the young guys a lot of minutes.”
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: M - Miguel Almiron, M - Chris McCann, M - Jeff Larentowicz
- International duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Greg Garza (shoulder surgery), M - Chris McCann (lower left extremity); QUESTIONABLE: F - Hector Villalba (right knee injury)
Projected Starting XI
(3-4-1-2, right to left)
GK: Brad Guzan — Franco Escobar, Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez — Julian Gressel, Darlington Nagbe, Jeff Larentowicz, Mikey Ambrose — Miguel Almiron — Ezequiel Barco, Josef Martinez
- Notes: Martínez has scored 31 goals since joining MLS prior to last season. Only two other players have scored more than 28 goals in league play in that time. … Since opening the 2018 campaign with a 4-0 loss at Houston, Atlanta United are 4W-1D on the road, having allowed just three goals.
- Overall: New York City FC 1 win, 6 goals … Atlanta United 1 win, 6 goals … 1 draw
- At New York City: NYCFC 1 win, 3 goals … Atlanta United 0 wins, 1 goal … 0 draws
- Last meeting at New York City: New York City FC 3, Atlanta United 1 (May 7, 2017)
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Eric Weisbrod, CJ Morgante
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic