Minnesota United visits surging New York City FC on Thursday in a midweek Major League Soccer battle at Yankee Stadium.
NYCFC (9-5-3) is riding a four-game unbeaten streak, highlighted by the club's road win over the rival New York Red Bulls. NYCFC had never won at Red Bull Arena. They have now. Jack Harrison and Ben Sweat scored, and the NYCFC defense pitched a shutout in a 2-0 win over the Red Bulls on Saturday.
"The challenge is to see if we can play two games with the same intensity in a row," NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira said this week. "If we don't have the same concentration and focus that we had against Red Bulls, we will not have any chance of winning against Minnesota."
Minnesota (5-9-3) rallied from a two-goal deficit to salvage a draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Loons' most recent outing. Despite the rally, coach Adrian Heath was frustrated with his side's overall performance.
"I don't want to be this guy who moans all the time," Heath told the team's website. "I've not moaned when we've lost games, and I've moaned when we've won. I look at the level of performance and what this group is capable of. And I just thought we were capable of more."
Heath will be working with a short-handed roster on Thursday. The Minnesota injury report lists seven players who have already been ruled out.
"We have to make sure that we don't use anything as an excuse," Heath said. "We all know that we're going to have injury and suspensions during the year. Have they come at not a particularly good time for us? I think that's fair to say. But it is what it is. Hopefully, we'll get one or two people back. If we don't, it's an opportunity for somebody else." >> Read more
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