New York City FC

Keys to the Match: Let the Games Begin

February 22, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
New York City FC News Release

New York City Football Club's 2024 MLS season kicks-off with a trip to Charlotte FC on Saturday.

The Boys in Blue travel to North Carolina, looking to start the new campaign on a positive note, in a 7:30pm ET kick-off at Bank of America Stadium.

Here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Ford...

Let The Games Begin

It's been almost 130 days since NYCFC last played a competitive match and the sense of anticipation for the team's first kick is building.

Nick Cushing has a bevy of new faces at his disposal, with City receiving an injection of exciting young talent. All in all, there are seven recruits: Tomas Romero, Strahinja Tanasijević, Agustin Ojeda, Malachi Jones, Hannes Wolf, Andrés Perea, and Jovan Mijatović

Those arrivals offer Cushing strength and depth and the chance to change the game from the bench when required. It also adds a sense of unpredictability when trying to predict Cushing's starting XI.

Historically, City's previous eight seasons have yielded mixed results on opening day. The Boys in Blue were unbeaten in four of our first five season openers, with the last win arriving in 2018 against Sporting Kansas City.

NYCFC start on the road this season with back-to-back away games against Charlotte and St Louis City SC. If they can navigate that tricky path by picking up some points it will set them up well for home opener early next month.

Three points and a bright start to the season are at stake for NYCFC, but regardless of the result, it is exciting to welcome soccer back to the Five Boroughs.

New Hires

NYCFC is not the only team that has made changes heading into the new season.

For Charlotte FC, those tweaks don't stop on the field. Our hosts have also decided to make a change in the dugout, with Christian Lattanzio departing the club in mid-November.

In his place is English coach Dean Smith. The former Aston Villa and Leicester City manager brings a wealth of experience to Charlotte and will be keen to start his own MLS career with a win.

The clash sees two British coaches go head-to-head in Cushing and Smith, but can either man secure the three points on Saturday? Only time will tell.

Form Guide

Charlotte joined MLS in 2022 and Saturday's game will be our fifth meeting with them.

During their debut campaign, Charlotte managed to win home and away against City. Last season, a win in North Carolina for the hosts was followed by a draw at Citi Field in July.

Cushing and his players won't be short of motivation to try and take all three points on Saturday, and the chance to record a first win, and a first road win, against Charlotte will only reinforce that.

This weekend promises to be a big one regardless, with the chance to make a small piece of history only an extra incentive.

Sign-up for MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app and don't miss a kick of New York City FC's 2024 season.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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