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New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union | 2018 MLS Match Preview

New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 35

Yankee Stadium — Bronx
October 28 — 4:30 pm ET

Two playoff-bound teams tying to clinch a home game in the Knockout Round meet at Yankee Stadium when struggling New York City FC host the Philadelphia Union on Decision Day presented by AT&T.

A win or draw would seal the No. 3 seed for NYCFC, which is looking to bounce back from a 3-1 loss at D.C. United, while the Union, which fell to the New York Red Bulls, 1-0, at home Sunday, would earn the No. 3 seed with a win, but could also fall to sixth based on other results.

This is the second meeting this season, with the Union holding serve at Talen Energy Stadium, 2-0, on Aug. 18 with Cory Burke and Ilsinho scoring second half goals.

New York City FC

NYCFC (15-10-8) dropped a second straight game, never recovering from a disastrous opening 20 minutes in a 3-1 defeat at D.C. United Sunday.

Luciano Acosta did the NYCFC defense dirty, slicing through five players, before cutting the ball back to Wayne Rooney for a tap-in to give United an early 1-0 lead. Acosta curled in a shot from outside the box to double the hosts lead in the 24th minute and Rooney added his second, and team-leading 11th of the season, from the penalty spot in the 74th minute after Alex Ring handled the ball.

David Villa pulled NYCFC a goal back four minutes later and Yangel Herrera made his return off the bench after missing nearly five months following ankle surgery.

“I can accept [not playing well], but I can’t accept about the attitude,” head coach Dome Torrent said. “And they have attitude because they’ve shown me many, many games. You have to play with confidence, if not it’s impossible to win in MLS and they are much, much better.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Cedric Hountondji (hamstring injury); QUESTIONABLE: F - Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (ankle injury)

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

  • Notes: As a team, NYCFC have scored 31 left-footed goals this season, two more than any other MLS club has in a single season since 2010. … New York City have just one win in their last nine MLS matches (5L-3D), averaging just 0.9 goals per game. They had averaged 2.0 goals in the nine games prior.

Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia (15-13-5) had a four-match unbeaten streak snapped, losing to the New York Red Bulls, 1-0, at home Sunday afternoon.

After outplaying the Red Bulls in the opening 45 minutes, Kaku scored the lone goal from the penalty spot in the 69th minute following Video Review.

“We wanted to see and test ourselves against a top team in our league, a team that's fighting for the Supporters’ Shield,” Jim Curtin said. “I thought we were up for it, I thought we played some good soccer, but it just wasn't our night in the end.

“Things are tight now in the Eastern Conference, but we still control our own destiny in terms of hosting a home game and that'll be our goal the last week going into New York City.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - David Accam (sports hernia surgery); QUESTIONABLE: M - Fabian Herbers (left hip strain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Andre Blake — Keegan Rosenberry, Mark McKenzie, Auston Trusty, Raymon Gaddis — Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin, Borek Dockal — C.J. Sapong, Cory Burke, Fafa Picault

  • Notes: Curtin has lost four of his eight league meetings against New York City FC, tied for his fourth-most losses against any MLS club. … The Union’s 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls last week snapped a four-game unbeaten run (3W-1D). In the five games since a 4-1 loss to Montreal on Sept. 15, they have conceded just two goals.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: New York City FC 4 wins, 13 goals … Philadelphia Union 3 wins, 11 goals …1 draw
  • At New York City: NYCFC 2 wins, 6 goals … Union 0 wins, 4 goals … 1 draw
  • Last meeting at New York: New York City FC 2, Philadelphia Union 1 (June 3, 2017)


Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Corey Parker
4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
VAR: Dave Gantar

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Current Form


Season Goal Leaders

Season Stats

New York City FCPhiladelphia Union
33Games Played33
44Goals Conceded47
169Shots on Target162
445Fouls committed394
353Fouls suffered330

Goals Scored


Goals Conceded

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