New York City FC return to Citi Field for the first time since May 22 in need of a win or draw versus FC Cincinnati on Wednesday to avoid matching their longest regular-season losing streak in franchise history.
Heading into this midweek encounter, the reigning MLS Cup champions have dropped three successive fixtures, losing 3-0 to the New England Revolution on Sunday, while the Orange and Blue have a chance to overtake the Revs for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a point.
The wheels seem to have fallen off the mighty New York City FC, who suffered a sixth defeat in their last seven league matches this past weekend, the worst stretch of results for them since earning just a single point from matchday four to 10 in their inaugural campaign in 2015.
Nick Cushing keeps saying the right things at his press conferences, calling on his side to raise their standards while preaching togetherness, but judging from their performances, it seems like his messages are not being received.
Sunday was their worst defeat in a regular season encounter since 2019, when they were beaten 4-0 by Toronto at BMO Field, as NYCFC have now conceded three goals in four of their last seven domestic encounters.
In an unexpected twist, FC Cincinnati got a contribution from an unexpected source this past weekend as they kicked off the month of September with an impressive 2-0 win over Charlotte FC.
Cincy have tallied a franchise record 47 goals so far this year, 32 of which have come from three players, who have carried this team to new heights in 2022.
While they still have their share of defensive issues to sort out, currently tied for the third-most goals conceded in the Eastern Conference (48), it is a vast improvement from what this club had done in their previous two 34-match regular-season campaigns where they conceded 75 and 74 goals respectively in 2019 and 2021.
Despite going winless in six straight road contests heading into this encounter, Pat Noonan‘s men have picked up a point in four of their last five away games, squandering two successive second-half advantages, drawing the New York Red Bulls (1-1) and Inter Miami (4-4).
New York City FC possible starting lineup:
Johnson; Gray, Chanot, Amundsen, Callens; Parks, Acevedo; Andrade, Moralez, Rodriguez; Heber
FC Cincinnati possible starting lineup:
Celentano; Powell, Hagglund, Cameron, Miazga, Bailey; Cruz, Nwobodo, Moreno; Vazquez, Brenner
New York City FC vs FC Cincinnati: prediction
We say: New York City FC 3-2 FC Cincinnati
As poor as the defending champions have been lately, Cincinnati have not sorted out their defensive issues, and while Cincy are potent in the final third, they still look vulnerable on the back end.
New York City FC vs FC Cincinnati: where to watch?
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