It’s been a while since NYCFC has come to town so we caught up with Christian A Smith at Hudson River Blue to help get caught up to speed on what’s happening with City ahead of week 3.
NYCFC currently has one win and one loss. What were they able to use to their advantage for their win, and what hurt them in their loss?
NYCFC definitely looked chipper on the set pieces this past weekend — all five goals came from set plays. They were also energetic all game and pressed Cincinnati with vigor and urgency for a full 90 minutes. The exact opposite happened against D.C. United the week before. City came out with an energy and a passion in their step. But it quickly extinguished past the 25th minute. From there, DC just looked the much busier side.
Andre Blake has been a brick wall to start the season off. Who or what is NYCFC’s chance to get around the Union defense and into the back of the net?
It’s gotta be Taty Castellanos. His work rate and ability to link up with his wingers and Maxi Moralez are what make him dangerous. Even if Philly is able to keep him quiet, they still have to deal with Jesus Medina who seems to have turned a corner and is gaining confidence. And you also have the aforementioned Maxi who is as potent as ever with his playmaking and ability to make things happen from nothing.
Who’s going to be NYCFC’s X factor or underrated player to watch this game?
As mentioned before, Taty is definitely the one with the target on his back. But if you ask me, young HGP Andres Jasson could be a huge wildcard. The kid has an intensity and technique that just fits in seamlessly as the top level and I love watching him work. He hasn’t proven to be a deadly goalscorer yet, but he’s a pest to defenses and is particularly good at drawing fouls. Keep an eye out for the kid — it could save your team’s life!
What’s NYCFC’s weak point and how do you think Philadelphia will look to exploit it
Despite having a good shift last time out, Gudi Thorarinsson at left-back definitely sticks out as one you could exploit. While he’s a technically sound player, he lacks the pace to really keep up from time to time. If there’s any point of attack Philly should use, it should start at the right flank.