The XI: Ibeagha Returns Against LAFC

The XI Ibeagha

It’s time for NYCFC’s first visit to Banc of California Stadium, home of MLS newcomers LAFC, who have made quite a splash in their inaugural season…

WATCH:On the Line: NYCFC at LAFC

Head Coach Patrick Vieira has made just one change to the starting lineup that featured in last week’s Hudson River Derby.

Seb Ibeagha returns to the XI in place of Maxime Chanot, who picked up a knock in training late in the week and is expected to be back in training next week. Ibeagha last started in NYCFC’s 3-1 win over FC Dallas, also in place of Chanot.

Rounding out the rest of the back line tasked with containing a dangerous LAFC attack and protecting Sean Johnson will be Ben Sweat, Alexander Callens, and Anton Tinnerholm. Callens makes his 11th start of the season, the only member of the back four to appear in every match this season.

In front of them, the central midfield triumvirate of Alexander Ring, Yangel Herrera, and Maxi Moralez remains unchanged. Once again, Jesus Medina and Jo Inge Berget will flare out wide, flanking David Villa, who will look to christen his first trip to LAFC’s new home with the 402nd goal of his career.

Brad Stuver, Cedric Houtondji, and Ronald Matarrita constitute Vieira’s defensive options off the bench, while Ebenezer Ofori, Tommy McNamara, Rodney Wallace, and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi give the gaffer some extra options going forward.

Kickoff for this match is slated for 8:30pm, and you can watch the action live on Fox Sports 1.

NYCFC XI: Johnson; Sweat, Callens, Ibeagha, Tinnerholm; Ring, Herrera, Moralez; Medina, Berget, Villa (C)

NYCFC Bench: Stuver, Houtondji, Matarrita, Ofori, McNamara, Wallace, Tajouri-Shradi

Key Stats

  • Through nine games, LAFC rank sixth in MLS in shots on goal, with 56. They are averaging 6.2 SOG per game, good for third in the league.
  • Though they’ve played just two home matches since the opening of Banc of California Stadium, LAFC’s two home clean sheets sees them tied for the third most in MLS.
  • NYCFC has not lost back-to-back MLS regular season matches since 2016.
  • NYCFC is averaging 11.9 fouls suffered per game, and is tied for second in MLS with penalty kick goals with three strikes from the spot.
  • Through 10 matches, NYCFC leads MLS in average overall possession per game with 57.9%, and lead the league in away game possession with an even 58%.
  • NYCFC’s defense ranks third in the league for clearances per game, with 24.6 per game.
  • With a nod to the potential style of tonight’s match, NYCFC lead MLS with 433.8 successful short passes per game through ten matches, while LAFC ranks sixth with 379.3.
  • There is a three-way tie at the top of NYCFC’s scoring chart coming into this match. David Villa, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, and Maxi Moralez each arrive in Los Angeles with four goals under their belt.
  • NYCFC’s Ebenezer Ofori boasts one of the cleanest passing records in MLS, completing 91% of his passes through ten games. Only Atlanta United’s Kevin Kratz completes a higher percentage among central midfielders.
  • NYCFC are an even 2-2-2 on the road this season. Only LAFC has a better away record among MLS teams who have played six road matches, sitting at 4-2-0. 
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