New York City lists midfielder Cedric Hountondji, Yangel Herrera and David Villa as injured. The Vancouver Whitecaps have reported a healthy squad, but Efrain Juarez is still suspended along with Kendall Waston.
New York City
Injured/unavailable: Yangel Herrera (ankle), Cedric Hountondji (hamstring), David Villa (knee)
Suspended: Efrain Juarez
Injured/unavailable: Jordan Mutch (thigh)
MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN
Considering the way New York City played in their 2-0 win in Orlando last Thursday it wasn’t a surprise they lost 3-1 in Seattle on Sunday. New York were lethargic again as they trailed 2-0 after 51 minutes. Jesus Medina made it interesting with his 68th minute marker, but Harry Shipp put the final nail in the coffin with four minutes to go. New York still has the second best record in the league and the East with 43 points and trail first place Atlanta Utd by four. The loss snapped their four-game winning and clean sheet streak. New York will be happy to return home where they have the best record in the league and are unbeaten with ten wins and a draw.
The Vancouver Whitecaps almost blew it, but hung on to beat Minnesota Utd 4-2 at home last weekend. They can thank man of the match Alphonso Davies as the 17-year-old scored twice and added two assists. Jordy Reyna and Kei Kamara chipped in with a goal each. Vancouver took a 3-0 lead into the 82nd minute, but then conceded goals just 120 seconds apart. Davies then added some insurance two minutes later to make it 4-2. It was a big win and just Vancouver’s fifth in the past 17 league outings to go with eight losses and four draws. The Whitecaps climbed into seventh place with 29 points and are two behind Real Salt Lake and the last playoff spot. Vancouver is ranked 12th on the road with ten points from three wins, a draw and seven losses, but have lost their last three while being outscored 9-1.
New York will regroup at home after a couple of poor showings on the road and Vancouver will likely have to pay for it. I’m expecting the league’s best home side to take the points.
SECOND PREDICTION: FIRST TEAM TO SCORE – NEW YORK CITY
New York City has opened the scoring in 13 of 22 matches, including nine at home, while the Vancouver Whitecaps struck first eight times in 22 games and just twice on the road. New York should be the first to find the back of the net here.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Vancouver Whitecaps won last year’s meeting 3-2 at home. However, New York City has won two of the only three previous encounters between the teams.