Toronto travels through Laguardia this weekend and is taking an Uber XL over to Yankee stadium. There’s only one way out of the Bronx (after stopping at Billy’s) and that’s through LOSER boulevard. If you can’t tell, I think TFC is going to lose, and I’m also about to tell you why. Here’s some things NYCFC can do to beat Toronto…other than focusing on David Villa (which having him obviously helps, but let’s be real, that guy should be suspended after samurai kicking some poor soul last week).
Start Frank Lampard
Things Lampard has done that almost no one else has: Won the English Premier League 3 times. Won the FA cup 4 times (England’s version of the US Open Cup. Which I can’t believe I just said that), Won the Champions League once, Won Europa League once. So this guy knows how to win and has done it on way bigger stages. Nerves are the opposite of an issue. They are going to need a strong performance from Lampard and to be an inspiration/rock for the younger guys. Toronto has some vets, but none with the experience Ole’ Franky has.
Adapt your playing style
Ok, so things got a little awkward last game. Lampard was on the bench, Pirlo was pressing a panini in West Village, poor Josh Saunders (#prayforJoshSaunders) was on the bench blankly staring into the distance, Mix Diskerud was tweeting from presumably Norway. And Vieira stuck with the build up style of play. Short passes starting with the goalie, moving the ball up the field and creating opportunities with quick psases. Except that didn’t work AT ALL because our midfield was completely out-played. But guess what, it was just a big French joke. Like how people from Williamsburg like’s to pronounce “baguette” the proper way. Vieira was kidding, you guys! Either that or he learned a valuable life lesson, you can flex your playing style when getting completely out-classed. Even his old pal Wenger at Arsenal knows that you can’t always play a high press. Hopefully Vieira realized that if our depleted midfield can’t move the ball more than 25 yards up the field without getting mugged then he can adapt and use Harrison and Villa’s speed to spread out the field a bit more and force their defense back. Hoof the ball up using RJ Allen and Mattarita to set free those speedy lads from Europe and give Toronto’s midfield something to think about. The only problem with this strategy is that it concedes possession and if Toronto bombs the ball into the box on NYCFC it’s doubtful Brillant and Chanot can hang on and not give up a goal for the whole game.
So if you are going to play the ball out of the back, Pirlo is going to make that dramatically easier. Vieira is “hopeful” that the Baron of Barolo can start, here’s the quote:
“There are some things there,” Patrick revealed. “We just have to keep working on him and see how he progresses day after day.
“I had a conversation with him this morning. He’s doing some work inside and he should do some more work on the field tomorrow.
“Hopefully, if we follow the program well, he should be training by the end of the week.”
Ok that’s it for now. Toronto made it extremely difficult for NYCFC to play their usual game last week, and I can’t imagine they’re going to say “HMMM lets change it up.” So NYCFC needs to adapt and play outside their comfort zone OR they need to be a lot better at keeping the ball in midfield. Unless the lineup goes back to normal I can’t imagine that happening. Good luck to the boys in blue.