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New York City v Charlotte FC: Cushing wants more from in-form hosts

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Apr 2024

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Nick Cushing is pushing for more as New York City bid for a third successive victory against Charlotte FC at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.

NYCFC are eighth in the Eastern Conference standings after back-to-back 2-0 home wins over the New England Revolution and D.C. United, having gone four unbeaten (two wins, two draws).

Their consecutive wins have come after a run of just two victories in their previous 10 (three draws, five losses), but Cushing does not want his team to stop there.

“I think the three-game run is something that we have a huge desire to achieve,” Cushing said.

“I said after the game in the locker room, it has been a long time since we’ve gone back-to-back. It’s been too long, really, since we went back-to-back, so it’s good to enjoy that after the game.

“Now we have the opportunity to do a three-game run. We have to make sure we do that before we think about anything else.”

Charlotte have gone the opposite way in recent weeks, losing two of their last three games to leave them behind New York on goal difference.

Former Aston Villa boss Dean Smith acknowledges they need to show more in the forward areas after averaging just one goal per game in 2024.

“That’s certainly an area where we need to be better, I think we all know that. We’ve been working on it for the last three or four weeks,” Smith said.

“I think defensively we’ve been really solid. In terms of our creativity, we’ve had some big chances that we haven’t taken.

“Last week [in a 3-0 loss to Minnesota United] there were some moments we didn’t take as well, technically we just failed on that.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New York City – Santiago Rodriguez

Rodriguez recorded a goal and an assist in NYCFC’s win over D.C. last week and now has four goals and one assist this season, with all of those involvements coming at home.

Since the start of last season, 14 (seven goals, seven assists) of Rodriguez’s 16 goal contributions in regular-season matches have come at home.

Charlotte FC – Ashley Westwood

Charlotte have failed to score in two of their last three games, and a lack of creativity has been a theme of their campaign to date.

Captain Westwood leads all Charlotte players for chances created this season, with 13, and he could be key if they are to hit the goal trail.

MATCH PREDICTION – NEW YORK CITY WIN

Charlotte are unbeaten in five all-time meetings with New York (four wins, one draw), including a 1-0 win over them in the teams’ season opener on February 24.

The Crown are the only team NYCFC have faced more than once in MLS play and never defeated, but that may just change this week.

New York have won back-to-back matches to nil, a major defensive upturn after they managed just one clean sheet in their previous 10. Charlotte, meanwhile, have only earned one point from four road games in MLS this year, losing their last three in a row.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

New York City – 51.8%

Charlotte FC – 21.1%

Draw – 27.1%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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