This is a big battle for both teams, who look sure to be at the top of their respective conferences by the end of the season. What should we expect?
Big names on both sides
NYCFC and FC Dallas have several players on their rosters who can change the shape of a game single-handedly. Jack Harrison and David Villa are going to be a threat all night for NYCFC. Villa is having an incredible season, and now Harrison has joined him in the danger zone as well. The two of them have created or scored more goals than all of Dallas combined, and if given half a chance, will make Dallas rue any mistakes.
Meanwhile, Dallas is enjoying Maxi Urruti’s and Kellyn Acosta’s best ever seasons. Urruti is finally scoring goals at a rate that matches up with the best strikers in the league and has at numerous points this season, snatched something from nothing for FCD. Acosta on the other hand has sparked this season. He is a danger on free-kicks, his passing has become cutting and refined, and his instincts have improved dramatically, not to mention he is a great defender too.
The Best D-Mid?
Alex Ring has grabbed some spotlight in recent weeks with his solid performances in midfield for NYCFC. The 26 year old Finnish midfielder has helped make NYCFC a little more stout defensively, though their is still work to be done if NYCFC is to become a defensive power house.
FC Dallas is a defensive power house. 5 goals against is the joint lowest in the league and while the heart of Dallas defense is a higher caliber than NYCFC, a big part of that is the defensive work of Carlos Gruezo. Gruezo is one of the best D-Mids in the league, and is an excellent tackler, passer and in general tends to recycle possession brilliantly for Dallas.
D-Mid isn’t a flashy position, but these two players will be instrumental to their teams successes or failures on Sunday evening.
Offense vs Defense
NYCFC has one of the more impressive offenses in the league, and they go face to face with the best defense in the league this weekend. When Portland (a similarly good offense) made its’ way to Frisco a few weeks back, the game ended in a 2-2 draw. Should we expect the same here? Or will one of these teams find a way to overcome the strengths of their opponent.
This game could really go either way, and will be a massive test for FC Dallas’ unbeaten streak.