Empire State Of Mind For New York
New York City face a first home game in the club’s history when the New England Revolution are the visitors to Yankee Stadium on Sunday with hopes of spoiling the celebration.
A first ever game in Major League Soccer for both sides ended all square as New York City were held to a 1-1 draw as the Citrus Bowl in Florida by hosts Orlando City last Sunday in front of a hugely impressive crowd of over 62,000. Former World Player of the Year Kaka salvaged a point for Orlando when the former Milan star scored from a deflected free-kick at the death after USA international Mix Diskerud had etched his name in New York City football club’s history after scoring their first competitive goal with 14 minutes to play.
It was a particularly disappointing result for New York boss Jason Kreis and his team who couldn’t see the game out against ten men after Aurelien Collin was given a straight red card for a reckless studs up challenge on record Spanish international goalscorer David Villa, who was taking his MLS bow for the visitors.
The season opener could hardly have gone any worse for the Revolution, who suffered a 3-0 hammering to Seattle Sounders. Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins inflicted the damage on New England as the cult Fulham hero grabbed a brace either side of the former Newcastle United striker’s header just before the break.
Head coach Jay Heaps and their supporters won’t be unduly concerned however, as they also lost heavily in their opening game last season but still recovered to finish second in the Eastern Conference behind D.C. United and then went all the way to the MLS final before losing to an extra-time Robbie Keane goal in Major League Soccer’s showpiece event.
Defender George John is out for New York City as he continues his recovery from knee surgery he had to undergo last sumer. Goalkeeper Ryan Meara is also a doubt with a knee problem for the hosts and looks likely to miss out on the club’s home opener.
United States international midfielder and World Cup star Jermaine Jones is out for the Revolution after going under the knife with a hernia problem in February that looks set to rule him out for the first month of the new campaign. Heaps could have big problems in midfield as both Teal Bunbury and Lee Nguyen are also doubtful after missing out on training in midweek in New England.
Head to Head
This will the first meeting of what promises to be many between clubs, with the potential for huge attendances in the Big Apple a distinct possibility in the expanding league should the hosts connect with the huge local fanbase.
With a fervent home crowd behind them and the novelty factor of a first home outing for the club since claiming their MLS status New York are worth taking at 23/20, particularly against a side which could be without three likely starters in the engine room. The Revs are one of the league’s more talented outfits though so I’d take the 3/4 on both teams to score, with both scoring in a home victory also worth taking on at 10/3.