After opening the 2019 season with a 2-0 knockout over Atlanta United, the Black-and-Red head to the Bronx this Sunday to take down another Eastern Conference contender in New York City FC at Yankee Stadium.
Last weekend, D.C. kept the momentum alive following the tail end of last season, as Luciano Acosta scored a goal and set one up for Paul Arriola in a clean sheet against the defending MLS Cup champions at a rain-soaked Audi Field.
Meanwhile, in the Sunshine State, NYCFC settled for a 2-2 draw against Orlando City SC after squandering a halftime lead on strikes from Ebenezer Ofori and Alexander Ring. Now returning to New York for their home-opener, NYCFC is hungry for more as new signings Tony Rocha, Keaton Parks and Alexandru Mitriță look to earn a home debut for the Boys-in-Blue.
The Black-and-Red faced NYCFC twice last year, first earning a 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium in September on a goal from Steve Birnbaum with help from Wayne Rooney. D.C. then emerged victorious in their last meeting in October 2018 as part of their late-season playoff push, beating the Boys-in-Blue 3-1 at home on two goals from Rooney and one from Acosta.
During the preseason, NYCFC traveled to Abu Dhabi for the first leg of training camp, falling 0-2 to FC Copenhagen and earning a draw against Swedish champions AIK 1-1. For the second leg, NYC continued training in Florida, where they lost to Orlando City 1-2 and Minnesota United 0-1, and Tennessee, where they defeated USL team Nashville SC 2-0.
The Boys-in-Blue took a major hit this offseason after losing a key striker in Spanish World Cup winner David Villa, who now plays for Vissel Kobe in Japan’s J-League. The four-time MLS All-Star and 2016 MVP scored 80 goals across 124 regular-season games in four seasons at NYCFC, where he also served as the club’s captain and first-ever player.
Out of overall nine matchups, since NYCFC joined the MLS in 2015, the Black-and-Red and NYCFC are tied 4-4-1 in their all-time head-to-head series, with four combined goals from LuchoRoo. D.C. United’s all-time history at Yankee Stadium is 0-3-1 — the last time NYC welcomed D.C. to the Big Apple for a home-opener, the Boys-in-Blue won 4-0.
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