The worst match on the fixture list every year is away to New York City FC.
It has nothing to do with the opposing players, or the fact that the Fire have never won this match. Or the Nazis in the stands. (Okay maybe a little to do with the Nazis.) It does, however, has almost everything to do with the field they play on.
I’ve never been to the new Yankee Stadium. I went to the old one in it’s last year, but never the new one. I have no judgement on the concourses, the comfort of the seats, or quality of the concessions. But the field that they do play on is a joke.
The pitch detentions as spelled out by there laws of the game are 110–120 yards long by 70–80 yards wide. The official stated length is the minimum requirements, However that’s bull-pucky. Just looking at the way the stadium is set up for football games, which run fairly but not completely perpendicular to it’s soccer layout, it’s fairly obvious that there’s now way the field hits the 70 yard threshold for legality.
It’s a joke that MLS still allows NYCFC to play there as it forces other teams to have better stadium situations before even entering the league. As Far as I’m concerned, this is a farce, and so is the club until this gets resolved.
Okay, yes, the Fire never having won there doesn’t help.
Chicago Fire all-time MLS record vs NYCFC: 2W-3D-4L, 12 GF / 17 GA, 9 pts out of 27
Chicago Fire away MLS record vs NYCFC: 0W-2D-3L, 4 GF / 10 GA, 2 pts out of 15
NYCFC have three draws, a loss, and a win in their last five games and are coming off a 2-0 win at DC United.
Mo Adams should be back in the lineup. Frankowski is still injured.
Keys To The Match
Keep Them Contained: The postage stamp of a field will make it slightly easier, but controlling Alexander Ring and Ebenezer Ofori will be really important to victory. It’s also going to be the toughest test for Kappelhof and Gutjahr- they have to take on Maximiliano Moralez and Alexandru Mitrita. They need to close out quickly and not give them any space.
Keep It Up: The Fire’s danger men like shooting the ball. They need to keep doing it. On that small field, shooting when you get even have half a chance can create spaces and get rebounds that can be used to score goals.
Counter-Attack: It’s so incredibly east to turn defense into attack in that stadium. The way to beat NYCFC is to be better than them at taking advantage of those opportunities.
How To Watch
The non-regulation pitch size has been a bit of a bugaboo for the Fire from the beginning. A draw will be a good result after it’s all over.
How do you think this will shake out? Let us know in the comments!