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New York City FC vs. Real Salt Lake | 2018 MLS Match Preview

New York City FC vs. Real Salt Lake
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 7
Yankee Stadium - Bronx
7:00 pm ET – April 11, 2018

Rested and healthy, New York City FC look to continue the best start in their young history when they face a Real Salt Lake team coming off a gritty, emotional victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC at home.

If NYCFC remain undefeated, they will have to do something they’ve never done before — beat RSL. The Claret-and-Cobalt has won all three of the previous meetings, including 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium last May.

New York City FC  

A week off for NYCFC (4-0-1) meant a chance to get a clean bill of health, at least as close to it as they’ve come this year. David Villa, Alex Ring and Ronald Matarrita are all off the injury report and available for selection for the first time since Week 2. The only player out is Kwame Awuah, who suffered a knee injury at training last week.

“The good thing not playing on the weekend allowed us to have some players getting back and do more training,” NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira said. “It’s good to have everyone available.”

Vieira also said there’s plenty of time between Wednesday’s match against Real Salt Lake and Sunday’s clash in Atlanta, so don’t expect a roster rotation in the Bronx.

One player who has been healthy and thriving for NYCFC is Maxi Moralez. In his second year in the league, the influential playmaker has three goals and one assist and has started all five matches.

“He had the one year experience I would say with the team, the way we want to play and the league as well. Maybe this year he’s feeling a little bit more comfortable,” Vieira said. “I think he has the trust of the players and he understands better his role on the team. When Maxi is playing well, the team is playing well.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Kwame Awuah (knee); QUESTIONABLE: F - David Villa (lower body), M - Alex Ring (knee)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Sean Johnson — Anton Tinnerholm, Alex Callens, Maxime Chanot, Ben Sweat — Alex Ring, Yangel Herrera — Jesus Medina, Maxi Moralez, Rodney Wallace — David Villa

  • Notes: NYCFC has lost just one league home match since last May (10W-4D), tied for the fewest by any MLS side in that time. They’ve scored multiple goals in all but three matches in that time. … NYCFC keeper Sean Johnson leads the league or is tied for the league lead in saves (22, tied with Nick Rimando), save percentage (84%) and clean sheets (two, tied with seven other keepers).

Real Salt Lake      

Their mentality was first questioned by coach Mike Petke during the week and then the test came in the first half Saturday night when half of the backline — Demar Phillips and Marcelo Silva — were forced off due to injury.

But RSL answered the bell in a big way, beating the Whitecaps, 2-1, in Sandy for the first true character win of the young season.

“Our mentality was very good tonight,” Petke said after the game. “With two guys going out and two guys coming in, they had mental fortitude. And for the rest of the team to continue to work with a switch like that, I thought was very good.”

Petke made one change to his starting XI from a 3-1 loss to Toronto FC in Week 5, bringing on Corey Baird for Joao Plata. The Homegrown forward assisted on what proved to be Jefferson Savarino’s winner in the 88th minute.

“Before tonight I think he had 23 minutes as a pro,” Petke said. “We got him on against New York, and then against Toronto he scored a goal. Every day in work, Corey possesses the characteristics of the type of player and person that I gravitate towards.”

Brooks Lennon was named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi for Week 6

  • Suspended: None 
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Tony Beltran (right knee surgery), M - Jordan Allen (knee), D - Taylor Peay (knee); QUESTIONABLE: D - Shawn Barry (hamstring), M - Luke Mulholland (hamstring), D - Demar Phillips (undisclosed), D - Marcelo Silva (undisclosed); PROBABLE: D - Aaron Herrera (groin)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Nick Rimando — Brooks Lennon, David Horst, Justen Glad, Adam Henley — Kyle Beckerman, Damir Kreilach — Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata — Luis Silva

  • Notes: In Justen Glad’s previous 50 appearances for Real Salt Lake, the team has earned results in 33 of them (20W-13D). They allow 1.2 goals per game when Glad plays, as opposed to 2.3 when he does not. … Real Salt Lake is winless in their last six away matches (4L-2D), failing to keep a clean sheet and allowing 3+ goals three times in that stretch.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: New York City FC 0 wins, 3 goals … Real Salt Lake 3 wins, 7 goals … Ties 0
  • At New York City: NYCFC 0 wins, 2 goals … RSL 1 wins, 3 goals … Ties 0
  • Last meeting at New York City: NYCFC 2, RSL 3 (June 2, 2016)


Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referees: CJ Morgante, Logan Brown
4th Official: Robert Sibiga
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez

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Current Form

Real Salt Lake

Season Stats

New York City FCReal Salt Lake
5Games Played5
4Goals Conceded10
21Shots on Target19
68Fouls committed51
64Fouls suffered61

Goals Scored


Goals Conceded

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