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Keys to the Match: Believe

November 28, 2021 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - New York City FC News Release


New York City FC will travel to Foxborough on Tuesday night for their Eastern Conference semifinal meeting with New England Revolution

Here's the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford...

Control The Tempo

One of the many impressive aspects behind NYCFC's win against Atlanta United was how the team managed to control a long portion of the game. A cagey first half presented an opportunity for one team to seize control and it was NYCFC that did so.

The foundation of City's style rests in possession-based soccer, and it is through that approach they can either slow down or speed things up. That was central to unsettling and stretching Atlanta United, particularly after NYCFC found the opener through a set-piece.

While the use of corners and freekicks may prove influential again, what will also likely sway the contest is who can seize control amid the chaos. New England are blessed with a strong set of attackers, including playmaker Carles Gil, and it will be important that NYCFC support Maxi Moralez as he looks to repeat his performance from Round One.

Fast Start

New York City FC have made one previous trip to face New England this season, and things started brightly.

The visitors were the better side for the first 15 minutes, a period that saw Taty Castellanos and Santiago Rodríguez combine for the Uruguayan to score a brilliant goal. Unfortunately, Rodríguez was forced off not long after with a hamstring complaint, but the point remains that NYCFC beginning the game as the aggressor suited their style.

The best recent example of that came against D.C. United. The Boys in Blue raced into a 3-0 lead after 11 minutes, and while a repeat of that may be difficult, it is not impossible. A game against the Revolution will be a testing affair, so establishing a strong foundation would go a long way to emerging victorious.

Believe

In order to achieve, we must first believe.

The 2021 campaign has been an enthralling rollercoaster for NYCFC. We have witnessed both the individuals and the team as a collective grow, building bonds through adversity and achievement.

One of the more memorable stops along that road was a 2-0 win against the Revolution at Yankee Stadium. While the players won't have the backing of a home crowd, they should take encouragement from that performance and the evidence that they can topple the Revolution.

This group saw a glimpse of their potential last time out against Atlanta. Now handed the chance to move onto the next round of the playoffs by beating the 2021 Supporters' Shield winner, this is shaping up to be the defining moment of the team's season.


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