New York City FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes | 2017 MLS Match Preview
New York City FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes
2017 MLS Regular Season
Yankee Stadium – Bronx, N.Y.
Saturday, April 1 – 2:00 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE, YES, CSN-Bay Area
For NYCFC, this weekend will be all about taking advantage of opportunities. The club thoroughly dominated their last match, but were wasteful in front of net, missing several solid opportunities that came back to haunt them in a 1-1 home draw against Montreal on March 18 that moved them to 1-1-1 on the season.
After winning their first two games of the year, San Jose dropped their last outing, losing 2-1 at Sporting Kansas City two weekends ago. It was a frustrating result for the Quakes, who could’ve very easily entered the international break with a result if it weren’t for a Benny Feilhaber wonder goal, a David Bingham howler and a huge stop in the dying moments by Tim Melia.
While the loss was no doubt painful, the rebuilt Quakes got a bit of validation from it, taking it as a sign that they’re capable of hanging with a talented club in a hostile environment.
“We are strong enough,” forward Marcos Urena said in the aftermath of the loss at SKC. “We came in here with two wins and we’re on the road. It’s not easy to come to Kansas City. They’re a good team with good players. The way they play, the know how to play together, they have a group of players that have been playing for a long time together.
“So it’s difficult to handle teams like this, but I think we did great and almost got the draw and now this gives us more motivation for the next game.”
New York City FC
Unlike many of their high-profile MLS counterparts, New York City FC’s biggest players aren’t facing a quick turnaround and daunting travel coming out of the international break and into this weekend.
David Villa, Maxi Moralez, Andrea Pirlo and Jack Harrison should all be rested and ready for Saturday’s contest, while two of the three NYCFC starters that did go out on international duty – Ronald Matarrita and Rodney Wallace – didn’t play a minute for their country over the break. Midfielder Alex Ring went 90 minutes for Luxembourg in their 3-1 World Cup qualifying loss to France last week, but didn’t suit up for the country in their friendly on Tuesday against Cape Verde and shouldn’t have any issues lining up against San Jose.
The play has been solid so far this year for NYCFC, even if the results have been somewhat lacking. With his full squad likely to be available, Patrick Vieira will no doubt expect that to change in the Bronx on Saturday.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: QUESTIONABLE – M Mikey Lopez (ankle)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Sean Johnson – Ethan White, Maxim Chanot, Alexander Callens, Ronald Matarrita – Alexander Ring, Andrea Pirlo – Jack Harrison, Maxi Moralez, Rodney Wallace – David Villa
Notes: Dating back to last year, NYCFC are 8-0-2 in their last 10 regular season home matches, outscoring their opponents 29-10 and keeping three clean sheets in that stretch … Midfielder Alex Ring has 15 tackles this season, six more than any other NYCFC player and good for third in the league.
San Jose Earthquakes
We know San Jose are a tough out at home – now, can they pick up a result on the road?
The Quakes opened the season with a pair of wins at Avaya Stadium, downing Montreal 1-0 in the season opener before dispatching Vancouver in the Bay Area in Week 2. The frustrating defeat at SKC put a blemish on their otherwise perfect season, however, and they’ll be looking to rebound with a road result at one of the East’s top contenders this weekend.
If San Jose are to pick up any points on Saturday, they might have to do so a bit shorthanded. Key players Urena and Anibal Godoy, who has two goals and one assist already this year, both logged heavy minutes during the international break, each going the full 90 in World Cup qualifiers in Central America on Tuesday. Traveling back to the States and flying cross-country before playing again on Saturday would be a big ask, potentially opening up starting spots for offseason signing forward Danny Hoesen and central midfielder Darwin Ceren.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT – F Quincy Amarikwa (knee surgery), D Marvell Wynne (heart abnormality), M Marc Pelosi (left knee injury), D - Harold Cummings (leg surgery)
Projected Starting XI (4-4-2): David Bingham – Nick Lima, Victor Bernardez, Florian Jungwirth, Shaun Francis – Jahmir Hyka, Fatai Alashe, Darwin Ceren, Simon Dawkins – Chris Wondolowski, Danny Hoesen
Notes: San Jose have won just once in their last 20 road games (1-12-7), conceding an average of 1.8 goals per game in those matches … Anibal Godoy leads MLS with 11 completed dribbles and ranks second in the league with 221 successful passes this year.
This is just the third all-time meeting between these two clubs. NYCFC lead the series 1-0-1, beating San Jose 3-2 at Yankee Stadium and earning a scoreless draw at the Quakes in the first two matches between the sides.
- Overall: NYCFC 1 win (3 goals) … San Jose 0 wins (2 goals) … Ties 1
- At NYCFC: NYCFC 1 win (3 goals) … San Jose 0 wins (2 goals) … Ties 0
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Assistant Referees: Jeff Hosking, Andrew Bigelow
Fourth Official: Alex Chilowicz