NYCFC-Philadelphia Preview: Cityzens are healthy at just the right time

For the second time in four days, NYCFC and the Philadelphia Union meet at Yankee Stadium. On Sunday, it was for home-field advantage in the Knockout Round. On Wednesday, it will be for a place in the Eastern Conference semifinals.



Who's got the edge?
No doubt about it, NYCFC has struggled since Dome Torrent replaced Patrick Vieira, but it looked sharp in the 3-1 win on Sunday. A big factor: the return of young Venezuelan midfielder Yangel Herrera, who started his first game since suffering a bad ankle injury in May. He was supposed to go 60-70 minutes but went the distance.

Who to watch:
NYC: After missing much of the summer with a knee injury, David Villa came on strong in the fall, scoring in four of his last five starts, including the third goal in the 3-1 win over the Union on Sunday.
PHI: The Union took a lot of heat early in the season for signing Borek Dockal as a DP, but the Czech playmaker came through, leading all MLS players in assists with 18, the last one coming in the 3-1 loss on Sunday.

2018 Series:
8/18: PHI 2, NYC 0 (Burke 57; Ilsinho 76)
10/28: NYC 3, PHI 1 (Chanot 8, own goal 10, Villa 34; Burke 14)

Last Five Games:

NYC: TWLLW
PHI: WTWLL

NYCFC probable lineup:
GP/GAA PLAYER, AGE (COUNTRY, STATUS)
32/1.28 Sean Johnson, 29 (USA, 2nd season)
GP/G/A PLAYER, AGE (COUNTRY, STATUS)
31/4/6 Anton Tinnerholm, 27 (Sweden, TAM, 1st season)
18/1/0 Maxime Chanot, 28 (Luxembourg, TAM, 3rd season)
31/1/0 Alexander Callens, 26 (Peru, TAM, 2nd season)
28/0/1 Ben Sweat, 27, (USA, 2nd season)
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15/0/4 Yangel Herrera, 20 (Venezuela, 2nd season)
30/2/0 Alexander Ring, 27 (Finland, TAM, 2nd season)
32/8/16 Maxi Moralez, 31 (Argentina, DP, 2nd season)
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28/6/7 Jesus Medina, 21 (Paraguay, DP, 1st season)
23/14/5 David Villa, 36 (Spain, DP, 4th season)
24/2/2 Ronald Matarrita, 24 (Costa Rica, TAM, 3rd season)
SuperDraft picks: Johnson (Chicago), Sweat (Columbus). NASL signing: Sweat.
 
Philadelphia probable lineup:
GP/GAA PLAYER, AGE (COUNTRY, STATUS)
33 1.52 Andre Blake, 27 (Jamaica, TAM, 5th season)
GP/G/A PLAYER, AGE (COUNTRY, STATUS)
31/1/3 Keegan Rosenberry
, 24 (USA, 3rd season)
19/0/0 Mark McKenzie, 19 (USA, HG, 1st season)
34/1/1 Auston Trusty, 20 (USA, HG, 3rd season)
28/0/2 Raymon Gaddis, 28 (USA, 7th season)
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33/3/6 Alejandro Bedoya, 31 (USA, DP, 3rd season)
30/2/7 Haris Medunjanin, 33 (Bosnia & Herzegovina, TAM, 2nd season)
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29/10/5 Fafa Picault, 27 (USA, 2nd season)
31/5/18 Borek Dockal, 29 (Czech Republic, DP, 1st season)
32/4/3 C.J. Sapong, 29 (USA, 4th season)
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29/10/1 Cory Burke, 26 (Jamaica, 1st season)
SuperDraft picks: Blake, Rosenberry, Gaddis, Sapong (Sporting KC). USL signing: Burke.
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