New York City FC will put their recent run of form to the test against an LA Galaxy team which has been perfect at home in 2019. City’s road record has also been impressive, having just taken seven out of nine points from their last three road games against stiff competition. That gets put to the ultimate test against one of the most devastating players in the league in 2019, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“Right now we are much better,” said head coach Dome Torrent in training. “We are competing much better than last year when we play away. I’m very happy with him (Alex Ring) and the rest of the players. Even when the players don’t have the possibility to play because I know how tough it is for them, all of them deserve to play. But right now my feeling is that we are in the right way to try to finish much better than last year.”
The offense is coming together with Heber proving to be the striking option the team desperately needed at the start of the campaign. Two goals and two assists in six games have helped the team go from a draw-machine to winning club and climbing above the red line in the playoff standings. Maxi Moralez and Alexandru Mitrita have also responded well, giving the team the confidence boost it desperately needed after so many dropped points earlier in the year.
Torrent’s new formation (3-4-3) will be put to the test by the quick ball movement of the Galaxy. Under Guillermo Barros Schelotto the team has been far more dynamic on the ball and finding their target men with deadly accuracy. Ibrahimovic has not only become a dangerous striker but also a distributor that has opened the door for lesser options such as Chris Pontius and Uriel Antuna. The wing backs will be put to the test trying to keep the Galaxy from picking their spots on the field.
“When we decide to change, a little bit, the system the results were much better,” said Torrent. “It’s not about the results. It’s about the feeling. Our feeling right now is better. I don’t know what will happen in the next game but our feeling is we are ready to play in LA, Chicago, in every single team away because the feeling, I repeat, is much better than last year.”
The biggest question mark for the team will be Mitrita and whether or not he has fully recovered from injury. Last word was that he is training with the team and will be needed to combat some of the more dynamic midfield players and stretch the faulty Galaxy defense. James Sands is also a question mark with the team needing the youngster’s strong play to keep defensively stout against a player like Ibrahimovic.