NYCFC will face Montreal Impact this week fresh off their 4-0 thumping of D.C. United. Montreal drew 2-2 with Seattle last week, conceding two late goals. NYC will look to take advantage of Montreal’s aging midfield in this game. The Impact midfielders, Patrice Bernier, Marco Donadel and Hernan Bernardello, are 37, 33, and 30 respectively. This will be NYCFC’s last game before several key players depart for World Cup Qualifiers so it would be beneficial to get all three points before they depart.
NYCFC vs Montreal Impact: Three Players to Watch
Ethan White filled in for RJ Allen against D.C. United, who was mysteriously absent from the matchday 18. White played very well defensively (five defensive actions) but struggled higher up the pitch. When playing out of the back, it is important that the outside backs are active in the attack. Ronald Matarrita regularly contributes this way, combining with Rodney Wallace to frustrate opposing defenses. If White could have similar link up play with Jack Harrison, while still keeping up with his defensive duties, NYCFC would be more dangerous. Clearly, Patrick Vieira rates White highly, as he was handed a contract extension this off-season. If he starts again, he will need to be more involved in the attack.
Laurent Ciman was just called up to the Belgian National Team. Before heading off, he will have to face one of the most dangerous attacks led by 2016 MVP David Villa. Ciman is a veteran, but David Villa spells trouble for all defenders. Add in two dangerous wingers and Ciman will have to make sure the back line stays intact. Montreal have a strong attack, but their defense has been struggling the most. In order to win the game, Ciman and the rest of the defense will need to play their best.
The NYCFC attack revolves around Maxi Moralez. He struggled against Orlando City S.C., so the attack wasn’t as effective. But he played well a week later, so the attack was able to score four goals. Moralez himself had a goal and an assist. NYCFC need him to play like he did against D.C. United in order for them to create chances against Montreal. Moralez’s ability to move the ball around the field and pick out his teammates is essential when playing the ball out of the back. When he is on, the entire team plays better.