The big news going into this match is that Frank Lampard is out with a calf strain. That doesn't exactly halt the star parade, though. Mix Diskerud is away for Gold Cup duty, but David Villa and Andrea Pirlo - yeah, that guy - are around. Pirlo looks unlikely to start if does dress, but that doesn't mean NYCFC are without talent all over the pitch.
Match Talking Points
TFC are undoubtedly still sour over their 2-1 loss at BMO Field. Kreis's decision to play anti-soccer was disappointing to watch and frustrating for the Reds, who didn't seem to have an answer for how to get past the tactic. Add into that the 4-0 drubbing suffered at the hands of the LA Galaxy, and TFC have to make a statement in this match.
We've proven that we can win without Jozy Altidore. We've won without Michael Bradley. Oddly, against LA Galaxy the most glaring absence was Ashtone Morgan. With Warren Creavalle in the right back position, Robbie Rogers and Sebastian Lletget ran rampant down the Galaxy left flank. Who else loves to operate in that left channel? David Villa. Creavalle needs to have a better game if he plays, and if Mark Bloom is fit he needs to be sharp despite not having played a minute in 2015.
Then, there's the striker situation. Frustratingly, with Findley up top there was very little attacking promise. Luke Moore is available after returning to England to deal with a family matter. Bright Dike has returned from San Antonio and may provide the Hammer to Giovinco's sickle for the Red Army's advance. (That was awful).
Joe Bendik may also get another chance in goal after Konopka and TFC leaked 4 in Los Angeles, his first game action since April 26.
TFC Starting XI
No real surprises. Vanney isn't exactly one to make radical changes to his lineup, even after a hard loss.
Keys to the Game
Composure against a team that has shown they're willing to chop down Giovinco will be important. NYCFC might try to break up the game, and TFC have to find a way to move past that. To make the attack dynamic, Cheyrou must be involved, Jay Chapman needs to have a better game, and Luke Moore will need to connect with Giovinco well in the final third.
Defensively, TFC has to change a few things. Zavaleta managed Robbie Keane quite well at points in the LA match, despite the lopsided scoreline. Perquis had a few shocking moments, Morrow gave away a goal with a sloppy back pass, and Creavalle had a night to forget by all accounts. A better performance is absolutely necessary if the Reds want to get a result.
The game kicks off at 3pm on TSN.