Major Keys: Expect Goals vs. San Jose Earthquakes?

Major Keys to SJE

New York City FC hits the road for the third time this season this weekend, travelling to San Jose to take on the Earthquakes.

Managing Editor Mark Booth picks out the Major Keys to the Match, presented by Ford

READ:Academy Director on U-17s’ Real Madrid Win

A Great Start

A battling 2-2 draw kept NYCFC undefeated for the young MLS season last time out as the Boys in Blue demonstrated their grit and resilience vs. New England Revolution.

It was an afternoon for rolling up sleeves and refusing to be beaten as City left one of the toughest arenas in the league with a hard-earned point.

This is already the team’s best-ever start to a campaign but Head Coach Patrick Vieira will not allow his players to rest on their laurels on Saturday night on the West Coast.

It should be an epic encounter between two teams who’ve served up plenty of goals in their early games…

Expect Goals

San Jose have been on either side of 3-2 scorelines in their two MLS games to date.

Following their victory over Minnesota, they went down 3-2 to Sporting KC in their next game, hinting that there could be more goals on deck this weekend, especially when you factor in NYCFC’s record.

Vieira’s men have netted twice in each of their four matches, conceding multiple goals for the first time on that tough trip to New England.

With a primetime TV slot, this one should provide suitably entertaining Saturday night entertainment for viewers back in NYC.

A Proud Record

NYCFC are not only unbeaten in MLS this season, they’re also undefeated through three games vs. Saturday’s opposition.

Last season at Yankee Stadium, Jack Harrison and Tommy McNamara scored the goals to fire City to a stunning 2-1 comeback win.

That was the first of a number of Bronx comeback wins for the home side in 2017 and featured one of the team goals of the season for McNamara to win it.

What happens this time? You’ll have to tune in to find out…

Everywhere We Go

The Earthquakes have won each of their last three Regular Season home matches, scoring multiple goals in each but NYC have one of the league’s best away records.

Something will surely have to give, one way or another – City have lost just once in their last eight games on the road (W3, D4), averaging 1.4 goals per game.

NYCFC travelled to San Jose on Wednesday to allow for adaption time as they look to continue their excellent run, at home and away.

Big Name Returns

While Ronald Matarrita and Alex Ring miss out through injury, Vieira may be able to welcome back two staples on his early teamsheets in 2018.

David Villa and Rodney Wallace both missed the New England tie through injury and international duty respectively but the duo are expected to be back in the picture for Saturday.

Wallace came on as a substitute for Costa Rica vs. Scotland on Friday but was an unused substitute for the Tunisia friendly on Tuesday, so he should be in good shape for the next test of NYCFC’s credentials.

King of Duels

Without his Finnish friend alongside him for the first time this year, Yangel Herrera was a key figure for City last weekend, battling for first and second balls, as well as loading the bullet for Ismael Tajouri-Shradi to net his second equalizer.

The Venezuelan international has been involved in 103 duels for NYCFC since 2017, which is 30 more than any other MLS player.

Just one stat which demonstrates how important the multi-talented midfielder is to his team, plus it’s always good to head out west with a man good in a duel…

WATCH:On the Line – NYCFC at San Jose Earthquakes

Major Keys: Expect Goals vs. San Jose Earthquakes? -
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