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 New York City FC

Keys to the Match: Road Blues

May 8, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
New York City FC News Release

New York City FC take on Toronto FC on Saturday.

The Boys in Blue will travel to Toronto for a 7:30PM ET kickoff at BMO Field.

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

Road Blues

New York City FC certainly had some challenging moments on the road last season with their away form defined by fine margins.

Despite only securing one road win in 2023 the team came agonizingly close to victories in Columbus, Miami, and Atlanta, while also securing some credible draws on the road against Orlando, Portland, and, Salt Lake.

Those fine margins left City frustrated with their points return on the road, but they provided ample learning opportunities for the group heading into 2024. They'll need to draw on that experience when they take on Toronto on Saturday. TFC have a strong home record and have lost just one of their last five games at BMO Field, meaning it will be a challenge for City to take all three points.

If they can, however, it will be an important boost for their confidence and momentum - while also providing early evidence that they can claim points on the road.

Familiar Foe

City's first win of the 2024 season came against Saturday's opponents Toronto FC.

A brilliant result for City was made all the more impressive when you consider they were reduced to ten men midway through the second half. That same quality will be needed again this weekend as they travel across the border into Canada.

TFC are on something of a high after recording three straight wins in MLS culminating in a 3-1 victory against FC Dallas at the weekend. Toronto caused City problems when they visited the Five Boroughs, and took the lead through Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty after seven minutes.

In much the same way that City facing Charlotte twice early in the season afforded the team a chance to review their progress as a group the same is true of the upcoming match with Toronto. They will need to match that same level of character showed in the previous fixture, while also addressing the challenge of a passionate homefield crowd.

Nick Cushing and his players know the value of road points in MLS and if Saturday is the first time they claim victory on the road in 2024 it will be a landmark moment - much like the reverse fixture in New York.

Late Call

Toronto FC Head Coach John Herdman is hoping to welcome back Lorenzo Insigne to the fold this week.

The Italian international has missed six league games for Toronto due to a hamstring issue but is said to be nearing a return. City must watch him closely if he is passed fit to play, along with his compatriot Federico Bernadeschi.

The former Juventus winger is one of Toronto's three Designated Players and is tasked with being both a creator and scorer of goals. So far this season he has managed two goals and three assists in MLS, and regardless of Insigne's availability, it will be important that City nullify Bernadeschi's opportunity to impact the game in the final third.

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