New York City FC at Philadelphia Union: Match Preview

NYCFC vs. Philly 6-6

If the Philadelphia Union can do it, why can’t New York City FC?

That’s what head coach Jason Kreis believes about Saturday’s opponent and his own club. The Union have won three of their last four matches and Kreis feels New York City FC can look toward Philadelphia as an example of a team that has turn the tide.

“I think they’re a team that’s on the rise,” Kreis said. “They went through a really bad stretch at the beginning of the season. I look at that and say, ‘Why not us?’ We’ve been on a really disappointing stretch for a while now even though we’ve managed to pick up a couple of draws along the way. There’s no reason why we can’t go after one result then there will be other results quickly behind it.

“Things in this league can turn around like the switch of a light.”

New York City FC aim to begin that process on Saturday night against the Union. Kickoff is 7 p.m. ET from PPL Park in Chester, Pa. The match will be broadcast on YES Network, 970 AM and WQBU.

Philadelphia come into the contest on the heels of a 3-0 home victory over the Columbus Crew on Wednesday. It was the third win in the last four matches for the Union, who began the season 1-7-3.

New York City FC defender Jason Hernandez knows it can be done.

He was part of the San Jose Earthquakes that began the 2008 campaign 3-9-3, but went on a two-month unbeaten stretch (4-0-5) from July 12 and September 13.

“We had a tough time finding our feet the first couple of months, but in the summertime we hit our stride,” Hernandez said. “We had a nine-game unbeaten streak and were close to knocking on the door for the playoffs. It can be done. I have a lot of belief in the guys now and hopefully we can start getting the results we deserve.

“Everyone wants to hit the ground running but the reality is you have to trust the process and the process doesn’t happen overnight. We understand we have the guys here to get the job done, we have the trust in one another and the confidence to get the points week in and week out.”

Saturday’s match is the third of the season between New York City FC (1-7-5; 8 points) and Philadelphia (4-8-3; 15 points). The Union won 2-1 on April 11 at PPL Park – their first victory of the season – and the sides drew 1-1 at Yankee Stadium five days later.

Forward Patrick Mullins said while the Club is considering the prior meetings with Philadelphia, New York City FC isn’t putting too much stock in them; simply using them as reference.

“Each game is a little different,” Mullins said. “They’ll have certain tendencies they’re going to continue to use, but I think we’re approaching it as a new slate and a new game with a new approach.”

“Their personnel is the same, the shape is the same,” Kreis said. “I think they’re just clicking a little better than they were. We look to our team and we say, No. 1: this can be a good sign for us; this is something we can also do if we can go there and get a positive result. No. 2: we’re very familiar with this team and think this can be an opportunity.”

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