After New York City FC had their unbeaten start snapped last weekend in Portland, coach Patrick Vieira’s side will aim to deliver FC Dallas their first loss of the season at Yankee Stadium on Sunday evening.
Dallas comes to New York having won two straight to run its own unbeaten open to the season to six games. On Sunday, it will attempt to become the 13th team in MLS history to go at least seven games into a new season without a loss.
New York City was the 12th team to accomplish that feat after Alex Ring’s equalizer helped pull out a 2-2 draw at Atlanta two weeks ago.
But they rarely threatened to score in their 3-0 loss at the Portland Timbers the following weekend, despite holding nearly three quarters of the possession.
“We learned that we have to come out with different options, and maybe a different way of attacking the opposition team,” Vieira said of the loss. “I think we had the possession of the ball but we didn’t create much. And we have to come with something different because we may face the same type of game against Dallas.”
Meanwhile, Dallas coach Oscar Pareja is all too aware that it’s important to keep a level ahead over the peaks and valleys of an MLS season.
Last year it took 10 games for his Dallas side to lose its first match. Then came a disastrous second-half collapse that resulted in Dallas missing the playoffs entirely.
This year’s team has yet to rediscover last year’s offensive dynamism, but has made up for it with an improved defense, conceding a league-low three goals so far.
Pareja’s group is coming off back-to-back shutout wins over New England and Philadelphia.
“Trying to just keep our team all the time on our feet on the ground,” Pareja said. “We did not get three points here at home (three games ago) and it was not the end of the world. And now that we won two games in a row, it isn’t either.”
—Field Level Media