While this is not an elimination game, their last encounter with NYCFC is sure to be on the minds of the Reds. Back in July, it was the Blues who ended TFC’s run at the MLS is Back tournament in their Round of 16 matchup.
More importantly, the Reds will be looking to pick up all three points to put some distance between themselves and NYCFC while picking up valuable points in the Supporters’ Shield race. Heading into Wednesday’s match-up, TFC sit five points behind league-leaders Columbus Crew.
With a busy schedule for the Reds, injuries and fatigue have played a role in how Greg Vanney has deployed his team. With injuries already in midfield to captain Michael Bradley and Liam Fraser, the Reds added Auro Jr. to the list with an ankle injury. He’ll likely be unavailable for Wednesday’s encounter. Jozy Altidore, meanwhile, was substituted at the half with Vanney citing a heel injury was hampering the Reds striker. The injury, meanwhile, is considered to be minor and Altidore is expected to be involved in some capacity Wednesday evening.
With Altidore being replaced at half-time on the weekend, it was Ayo Akinola who benefited. Akinola came on in the second half and put the Reds ahead in the 60th minute. Speaking after the game, Vanney spoke about the difference in the team structure with Altidore and Akinola on the field.
Vanney was unhappy with his squad’s organization all throughout the first half and Akinola’s introduction changed the way the Reds played in the second half. While we’re uncertain of Altidore’s status for Wednesday night, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Vanney hand another start to the 20 year-old striker who has been in much better form than Altidore.
On the flip side, New York City FC are currently unbeaten in their last six games (4-2-0). The Blues will be looking to bounce back from their 0-0 draw over the weekend against the New England Revolution, but have had a good run of games over the last month.
NYCFC will be without the services of Maxi Moralez on Wednesday night as the Argentinian was ruled out for 4-6 weeks with a knee injury.
Moralez has been a key piece of the Blues offense. He led the league last year in assists with 20 and adding seven goals. This year has seen Moralez struggle with injuries including missing time during the MLS is Back Tournament, but the Blues have been able to play well enough and currently find themselves in a playoff spot and just five points behind TFC.
While the Blues will miss the presence of Moralez in their midfield, they will still be a tricky side for TFC to contend with. The Reds will need to lean on their stars to push them over this hump where they’ve picked up all three points just once in their last four games.
- This will be the third meeting of the season between TFC and NYCFC. Each team has picked up one win.
- Currently on loan at San Antonio, TFC youngster Jordan Perruzza, scored two goals on his debut with San Antonio FC, including this screamer which is up for the USL Goal of the Week: