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Keys to the Match: Reinforcements

March 28, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
New York City FC News Release

New York City FC travel to Chase Stadium on Saturday to take on Inter Miami CF.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30PM ET.

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


New York City FC were forced to shuffle the deck against FC Cincinnati due to a spate of international call-ups and suspensions.

This week will see those players return to the roster meaning Nick Cushing has a number of options to choose from. Not only will that impact how the team starts the game, but also how they can change the contest depending on the result.

Coach Cushing provided an injury update on Wednesday and with players returning to the roster it affords City the chance to operate with a variety of potential lineups and tactical formations. That could be the difference in what will be a tight contest between New York City and Miami.

Fun Times

City were unlucky to leave Cincinnati with zero points at the weekend after being undone by one moment of quality from Lucho Acosta.

The players can take a number of positives from Saturday into this weekend with Inter Miami CF. The Boys in Blue have a strong record in Miami; winning two, drawing one of their four regular season visits, and were unlucky not to take all three points when the two teams met in late September.

Nick Cushing has been keen to stress the importance of road points this season as the team looks to cement a spot at the top of the Eastern Conference. The fact Miami currently sit second in the conference highlights how challenging this game will be, but if City can take three points it will be further evidence of the team's potential and development.

Win The Middle

Inter Miami have a flexible tactical approach when it comes to the formation they use, and have so far switched between a 4-3-3- system and a 3-5-2 system.

Unsurprisingly, both City and Miami like to control possession so regardless of which system Miami utilizes there should be a heavy emphasis on winning the battle in midfield.

Miami's midfield lynchpin, Sergio Busquets, seeks to control the game from deep by stitching the team's attack and defense together. Against Red Bulls last time out, no player attempted more passes in the game than Busquets (with 93), highlighting his influence on the team.

While Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are typically tasked with influencing Miami's efforts in the final third, it will be vital that City establish a presence in the middle of the pitch. The return of Keaton Parks from suspension could play a vital role in doing that, with James Sands, Justin Haak, and Andrés Perea all options for Cushing in midfield.

Saturday's contest promises to be an exciting one for neutrals but don't be surprised if the winner of the game is the one that takes control of midfield.

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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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