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[monks data]
New York City
Major League Soccer
May 5, 2024 at 9pm UK
Yankee Stadium
Colorado Rapids

NY City
0 - 2

Rodriguez (37')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Navarro (16'), Bassett (86')
Larraz (20')

Preview: New York City FC vs. Colorado Rapids - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between New York City FC and Colorado Rapids, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Making their first-ever visit to Citi Field, the Colorado Rapids will battle New York City FC on Sunday, for the first time in the MLS regular season since 2022.

A last-ditch goal at home to Charlotte FC lifted the Pigeons to a 2-1 triumph last weekend, moving them up to sixth in the Eastern Conference, the same spot that the Rapids sit out West despite losing their previous encounter, 2-1 to FC Cincinnati.

Match preview

Keaton Park celebrates his goal for New York City FC on April 27© Reuters

At last, the Boys in Blue seem to be coming together with some positive performances, winning a third successive league contest a week ago.

In recent outings, NYCFC have shown tremendous resilience, claiming seven points from their last four MLS contests, in which they had conceded the opening goal.

No one will be more relieved about the recent turnaround than manager Nick Cushing, who was on the hot seat in the early going this season, with his side winning just one of their first seven matches in this competition.

Their five-game homestand concludes on Sunday in Queens, where they are unbeaten domestically this year, accumulating at least a point in four consecutive regular season fixtures at Citi Field, three of which were victories.

If the club can claim three points this weekend, it will match their longest winning run in the Cushing era, when they won four consecutive games in this competition in July 2022.

So far this season, New York City have yet to claim a single point in two meetings against Western Conference opponents, and they are winless in their last six encounters versus the West.

Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Zack Steffen© Reuters

When you think of an MLS side going through a positive transformation this year, the Colorado Rapids should instantly come to mind.

Under Chris Armas, the Burgundy Boys have 15 points after 10 domestic encounters, six more than they had at this stage a season ago, while it is their best start to a campaign since 2021 (17 points).

Armas comes from the Red Bull model of high pressing and catching teams in transition, though his Rapids do not utilise that style all that much, with the coach born in New York City often going with a 4-2-3-1 formation and playing with a lot more of the ball and fluidity in possession.

Throughout the 2024 MLS campaign, they have reacted well when going behind, claiming eight points this season when conceding the opening goal or trailing in the second half.

Colorado have already claimed two victories away from home in 2024, matching their total from the previous campaign, while collecting eight points on the road, just two fewer than a year ago.

They have never come away with three points when visiting NYCFC, losing two of those three contests by a four-goal margin, though they claimed their first point away from home against them the last time out, playing to a 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium in 2022.

New York City FC Major League Soccer form:

Colorado Rapids Major League Soccer form:

Team News

New York City FC goalkeeper Matt Freese© Reuters

Maxi Moralez returned to full training after rupturing his ACL last season, Talles Magno has been training and is fully fit, while Rio Hope-Gund is questionable with a leg issue.

After being an unused substitute throughout most of the MLS campaign to date, Strahinja Tanasijevic saw the field for just the third time in the 2024 regular last weekend, replacing Thiago Martins in the latter stages of that contest.

Keaton Parks netted his first of the campaign last Saturday, while the Pigeons scored in injury-time for the third match running, with the most recent coming courtesy of Alonso Martinez.

The Rapids will be without Connor Ronan for the next few weeks because of a knee injury, Jonathan Lewis missed last week with a hamstring strain, while Sam Vines was back in the fold after previously being under concussion protocol.

Jackson Travis was an unused substitute, having previously missed time with a leg injury, Adam Beaudry is training but did not feature against Cincinnati, while Keegan Rosenberry surpassed Marcelo Balboa for the fourth-most regular-season starts in club history (146) last Saturday.

Moise Bombito surpassed his single-season career high for starts last week (eight), scoring their only goal in a loss to Cincy, his second of the domestic campaign.

New York City FC possible starting lineup:
Freese; Ilenic, Martins, Risa, O'Toole; Sands, Parks; Wolf, Rodriguez, Ojeda; Bakrar

Colorado Rapids possible starting lineup:
Steffen; Rosenberry, Bombito, Maxso, Vines; Larraz, Bassett; O. Fernandez, Mihailovic, Cabral; Navarro

SM words green background

We say: New York City FC 2-1 Colorado Rapids

It may have taken a little longer than Cushing had hoped, but it seems as though the NYCFC youngsters have figured out how to handle these pressure situations and win close games.

Colorado are vastly improved and have some quality attacking pieces to watch out for, but we believe there are still some growing pains that will happen before they can truly turn the corner.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Eastern Conference

1Inter MiamiInter Miami24155454381650
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati24153643301348
3Columbus Crew22127346202643
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2491143930938
5New York City FCNY City2411493529637
6Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2410682825336
7Orlando City249693837133
8CF MontrealMontreal246993448-1427
10Nashville SCNashville2468102636-1026
11DC United2568113550-1526
12Atlanta UnitedAtlanta2467113335-225
13Chicago Fire2467112940-1125
14Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia2459104242024
15New England RevolutionNew England2271142246-2422

Western Conference

1Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy25137547341346
2Real Salt LakeSalt Lake24128449311844
3Los Angeles FCLos Angeles23135545301544
4Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver2311574031938
5Colorado RapidsColorado2511594741638
6Seattle SoundersSeattle2410773426837
7Portland TimbersPortland2410684839936
8Houston DynamoHouston239773127434
9Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd2486103841-330
10Austin FCAustin2486102635-930
12Sporting Kansas CityKansas2565144051-1123
13St Louis City24410103145-1422
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes2442183159-2814

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