Football

Philadelphia Vs New York City, MLS: Preview, Prediction, Head-To-Head, Key Players, Manager Comments

New York City FC endured a poor start to their Major League Soccer season – losing four of their opening five matches – but have tasted defeat just once in their last seven

NYCFC's recent character has delighted head coach Nick Cushing.
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Nick Cushing hailed the togetherness demonstrated by New York City FC as they look to continue their impressive form against a struggling Philadelphia Union. (More Football News)

The Boys in Blue endured a poor start to the MLS season – losing four of their opening five matches – but have tasted defeat just once in their last seven.

Last weekend's 3-2 victory over Toronto FC was New York's fourth in five matches, and Cushing saluted the character shown by his squad in recent times.

"We're training incredibly well," he said. "Our intensity and our culture is excellent at the moment.

"I'm so proud of the team because if you look at the way the bench celebrated the third goal [against Toronto], these are guys there that really want to get on the field.

"The way they celebrate for their team-mates and for the team shows me that [togetherness]."

Despite their impressive form, though, NYCFC face a potential banana skin in Philadelphia, who have prevailed in each of the last five meetings between the Eastern Conference sides.

"They are a really hard team to get results against, especially there [at home]," Cushing added. "There's an opportunity there for us, but we have to prepare well."

The Union are without a win in five matches – losing three – and have been beaten in each of their last three on home soil.

Jim Curtin's side had started the season with a seven-game unbeaten run, and the head coach has urged his players to draw inspiration from that as they bid to turn their fortunes around.

"I'm a big believer that you can make your own luck," he said. 

"We've shot ourselves in the foot quite a bit in recent games, played from behind quite a bit, had to chase games and put a lot into them, and we get punished.

"We have to stick together as a group and find a way to tighten things up. We're on a really bad stretch here, but we know we're capable of going on unbeaten streaks already like we've had this year.

"We have to turn it around, and we can't feel sorry for ourselves."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Philadelphia Union – Daniel Gazdag

Despite Union's recent struggles, Gazdag has been in fine form – scoring in three straight home games, though they have all ended in defeat.

The Hungary international is the first player to score in three successive home matches but appear on the losing side each time since Colorado Rapids' Kei Kamara in 2019.

New York City FC – Hannes Wolf

Wolf set up two of NYCFC's three goals in their victory over Toronto FC last time out.

The midfielder became the first Austrian to claim at least two assists in an MLS game after Daniel Royer (2020), Andreas Ivanschitz (2016) and Andreas Herzog (2004).

MATCH PREDICTION: NEW YORK CITY FC

New York have won four of their last five matches, scoring multiple goals in each of their victories.

They had only scored two or more goals once in their opening seven games of this season.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia are currently on the longest losing home streak in their history, having lost each of their last three at Subaru Park.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Philadelphia Union: 49.7%
New York City FC: 22.8%
Draw: 27.5%

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