In a crucial Eastern Conference matchup, NYCFC will host Nashville SC at Red Bull Arena in Harrison. The two teams have only met twice in their history, both clubs being relatively new to MLS. NYCFC won in 2019, and Nashville took a 3-1 victory over NYCFC last month in Tennessee. Both teams received red cards in the earlier match of this season. NYCFC outshot Nashville by 23 to 13, and shots on goal were equal at seven, but Nashville was able take advantage of their chances and win. Nashville is currently in second place in Eastern Conference, while NYCFC is sixth. NYCFC will be in the playoffs if it’s determined that goal differential was used. With the season coming to an end, Nashville is seven points ahead of NYCFC. Sunday’s game could have huge playoff implications. NYCFC will want to jump into the afternoon tile quickly, while Nashville will be looking to sweep their Eastern Conference counterpart. The Eastern Conference standings could change by Sunday’s game.
Nashville Growing in Confidence
The Eastern Conference is still too early to predict how the standings will turn out with only a handful of games left in fall and the close of the MLS season. Nashville must be confident about their chances of making a splash and getting some home games as MLC Cup approaches. Nashville is currently 19 points behind New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference’s top spot, but they still have a lot to play for. With 46 points from 27 games and a plus-20y goal differential, they are four points ahead Atlanta, who would be the first team to miss the playoffs. Nashville has a three-game streak of unbeaten play, but they have tied in two of them. This is after a tie at home to Orlando this week. Nashville is showing signs of a solid run, despite losing to Toronto on the road on September 18th. However, Nashville appears to have the potential to win the championship. Nashville has the chance to gain points against another possible playoff team, and to make it a little easier as the playoffs approach.
According to the league’s availability reports, Nashville is one of the most healthy teams in Major League Soccer. That has been a huge advantage all season, and especially lately, it should continue into Sunday’s match. Nashville’s ability stay healthy and fresh has contributed to their success, despite the lack of depth that many of their rivals have faced of late. On Sunday, expect that Nashville will have depth and a full team of players.
Hany Mukhtar is still one of the league’s top goal scorers and leads the team with 13 goals, eight assists. C.J. is right behind him though. Sapong has ten goals and four assists. Nashville is still one of the most dangerous attacking teams in league due to their many scoring options. That will continue on Sunday. Nashville has been able to compete with the best in the league so far this season despite not having many household names. That won’t change on Sunday. Nashville fans can expect a huge night on the offensive and they will be thrilled to see their creativity against NYCFC Sunday.
NYCFC Fighting for Playoff Life
NYCFC is still in the thick of the playoffs and, despite losing back-to-back matches, knows that the playoffs will be around the corner. Their rivals have defeated them in their previous two games. The difficulty of their schedule means they cannot take for granted that they will win a match with points. They are currently in a three-way tie in the Eastern Conference points perspective, at the same level as the Philadelphia Union or Atlanta United. They would be sixth in the MLS Cup playoffs if they didn’t have their goal differential. They have 39 points through 27 games and a plus-12 goal difference. However, they know that their recent form isn’t strong enough to guarantee their place in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Sunday’s game will be a huge opportunity for the entire community, given their recent lack of success.
NYCFC is in a similar situation to their opponent, who comes in as one the most healthy teams in the league. They are still one of the best offenses in terms of scoring and can be viewed as a team that no one wants to see. Valentin Castellanos is the team’s most dangerous threat. He has scored 13 goals this season. His ability to play the game and to get along with everyone has been a highlight of his game. Fans of the league should tune in to see if there are any other players who will be contributing in big ways on Saturdays or Sundays.
Pick: Nashville SC (+320)
Zimmerman is missing some key pieces in Nashville, but Zimmerman will be entering with a team full of talent. They have not only the best scorer and most attacking threat in Sunday’s matchup but also a backline that has played an incredible amount of minutes together. Nashville is home to talent in every corner. Given the solid production that has been built week after week, Nashville should be able to win on the road.
The under is the rule, despite the fact that both squads have a lot of experience and a high scoring pace. They will meet again on Sunday with four goals or less in each matchup.
Last Updated on October 4, 2021