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Scouting Report: Damn Yankees come to town

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It won’t be easy. New York City has shutout their last four opponents but are playing on two days’ rest and had to fly here from the Magic Kingdom.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at New York City FC Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

What You’ll Watch

The Seattle Sounders return home after a short trip down to the Bay Area and will host New York City FC for their only encounter this season. Last year, New York City came back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat the Sounders 2-1 on two David Villa goals at a water logged Yankee Stadium.

New York City is currently sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 13-4-4 (43 points in 21 games played; 2.05 ppg) and the Sounders still remain in tenth place in the Western Conference with a record of 6-9-5 (23 points in 20 games played; 1.15 ppg). Last time out, New York City defeated Orlando City SC 2-0 on Thursday night and the Sounders won 1-0 on the road against the San Jose Earthquakes this past Wednesday.

This will be the fourth all-time meeting between the two clubs. Seattle is 1-2-0 against New York City with four goals scored and five conceded. At home, Seattle has yet to beat New York City. Granted, this is only the second time they have ever come to Seattle, and the Sounders will look to continue the recent form and pick up some much needed points.

A Look at the Enemy

Last Five: L-W-W-W-W with ten goals scored and three goals conceded

Leading Goal Scorer: Maximiliano Moralez, David Villa and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, eight each

Assist Leader: Moralez, eight

Injury Report, Suspensions and International Duty

New York City

Out: Yangel Herrera (ankle), Cedric Hountondji (hamstring) and David Villa (knee)

Questionable: N/A

Suspensions: Alexander Ring (caution accumulation)

International Duty: N/A

Seattle

Out: Jordan Morris (torn ACL) and Handwalla Bwana (right midfoot sprain)

Questionable: Victor Rodríguez (right hamstring strain), Nicolas Lodeiro (right knee pain) and Chad Marshall (right quad contusion)

Suspensions: N/A

International Duty: N/A

Match Officials

REFEREE: Jair Marrufo

AR1: Peter Manikowski

AR2: Apolinar Mariscal

4th: Baldomero Toledo

VAR: Jorge Gonzalez

What to Watch
This is the part Brett normally writes, but Dave is stepping in on short notice.

Domènec Torrent took over the club on June 11. The long-time assistant to Pep Guardiola hasn’t managed a team since the 2005-06 season with Girona. Now with the Yankees/City Football Group team he’s facing the challenge of MLS, and succeeding. NYCFC is 5-1-0 +8 while Torrent is in charge, and David Villa only played the first match.

Still in a 4-2-3-1, NYCFC is sticking with what works, and it’s working. They are the points per game leaders, have a varied offense and a strong defense. How do they do it?

  • Dominate the second half - The Yanks are a stunning +14 in the final half, and +11 in the final 30. This does mean they are a bit open to slow starts. Opposing teams are +3 in the first 30 and NYCFC are 2-3-3 when they give up the first goal.
  • Possession football - He’s a Pep disciple in a global organization that believes in possession as defense, possession as attack, possession as ethos. On the road, they possess at a 56.9% rate, and complete 83.9% of passes. Both of those lead MLS and both are higher on the road than at home.
  • Consistent XI - This one sucks for them, because their best scorer is still out injured and they are playing with little rest. Nine players of theirs have 14 or more starts. Seven of their top eight most used players played at Orlando on Thursday, with the only one that didn’t being Ring, who is still suspended.
  • Lean left - Ben Sweat and Rodney Wallace are key players for New York. Both played in Orlando. With Kelvin Leerdam almost certainly starting, that left lean shouldn’t be an issue for the Sounders.

How to Watch

Date/Time: Sunday, July 29 @ 2:00 PM PT

Location: CenturyLink Field — Seattle, WA

TV: ESPN

Streaming: YouTube TV (Seattle & Spokane markets), Watch ESPN

Radio: 950 KJR AM (English), El Rey 1360AM (Spanish)