NYCFC predicted lineup vs New York Red Bulls – MLS

NYCFC take the pitch this weekend to play host to rivals New York Red Bulls in the latest edition of the Hudson River Derby.

The Boys in Blue have managed to turn what appeared to be a train wreck of season around with five wins out of their last six MLS matches played. Head coach Nick Cushing has been under pressure to deliver results since the start of the campaign, and we just might be seeing his ideas come to fruition as NYCFC sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, just three points behind Red Bulls.

Cushing has primarily stuck his with 4-2-3-1 system that’s helped propel NYCFC to inside the top four of the East. With the likes of Santiago Rodriguez, Julian Fernandez and Agustin Ojeda, NYCFC will look to cause problems for the RBNY backline.

Here’s how NYCFC could lineup against their in-state foes at Citi Field.

New York City FC coach Nick Cushing, watches the action...New York City FC coach Nick Cushing, watches the action...

Cushing hopes to secure three points at home / SOPA Images/GettyImages

GK: Matt Freese – Freese is coming off yet another brilliant showing in between the sticks for NYC. Despite conceding one goal against Philadelphia Union, his four saves were vital as the team went on to win 2-1 win at Subaru Park.

RB: Tayvon Gray – With Mitja Ilenic playing the full 90 Wednesday night, Gray returns to the XI after seeing out the closing stages vs Philadelphia.

CB: Thiago Martins – NYCFC’s club captain anchors the backline once more and won’t get the chance to catch his breath after starting vs the Union.

CB: Birk Risa – The 26-year-old Norwegian partners Martins in the heart of defense, looking to build off his decent performance in the middle of the week.

LB: Kevin O’Toole – Cushing doesn’t really have any other left-back options to rotate and could give O’Toole his 13th start of the campaign.

DM: James Sands – The young midfielder returns to the mix after not featuring against the Union. Cushing looks to have chose to rest Sands in preparations for the rivalry match.

DM: Keaton Sands – Parks is set to keep his place in the lineup and could have his work cut out for him with the talented NYC attacking department.

RM: Julian Fernandez – As Hannes Wolf managed the full 90 on Wednesday, Fernandez slots back into Cushing’s XI and will face off against John Tolkin in a key individual battle.

AM: Santiago Rodriguez – NYCFC’s No. 10 hopes to continue his excellent run of form this term to give his side a chance of victory.

LM: Agustin Ojeda – One of the newest Blues takes up shop on the left-wing, looking to build off his one goal scored in 2024.

ST: Monsef Bakrar – After coming off the bench for the last two matches, the Algeria international gets the starting nod up front and center.

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