Jul. 23, 2018
Lineup and Score Predictions for NYCvTOR
Down 2-0 at halftime, must win by three goals. What does Vieira think the best thing to do in this situation is? No one really knows. After seeing his decisions last week, it's really tough to predict what we will see later today. But I still gave it a go. I'm nowhere near 50% sure this is right.
Given Brandt and Gomez are the only players unavailable, assuming Pirlo and Lampard are at 100%, and given what is needed to advance to the Eastern Conference Final, here's what I think:
Vieira might go attacking, which would sacrifice focus on the defensive aspect. I see Mendoza being relegated to the bench after having his worst game in an NYCFC jersey, according to whoscored.com. Unfortunately, I don't see Lopez making the XVIII, although I, personally, think he deserves a look. Statistically, he was the second best player on the pitch, also according to whoscored.com. I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't dress for the game, but I would be happy to see him on the bench at least. I put Johansen in this time since it seems he has finally earned the #1 goalkeeper title. From the XI, Iraola might drop back into the defensive line to make it 5 and the midfield 2. It may play like the 5-2-3/5-4-1 formation, like the last home game against Columbus. Hopefully we get a similar scoreline.
Speaking of, how will this end? Not many people predict 2-0, 2-2 on aggregate. A lot of fans say 4-1, 4-3 on aggregate. Few say 3-0, 3-2 on aggregate. Pundits say a tie on aggregate but with Toronto going through on away goals. I have no idea, so I'm taking a wild guess. I'll go with the 2-0, extra time, NYC gets the winner near the beginning. For this to happen, NYC has to clear their lines at all times during extra time, in my opinion. No holding the ball in the defensive third, like last week. If NYCFC advances, the club will be the first to do so since 2004.
Oh, I hope so...