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NYCFC searching for offense, victory vs. CF Montreal

Sportsnaut
Mar 8, 2022; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; New York City FC V. Castellanos (11) kicks the ball against Comunicaciones FC in the second half of the Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinal at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 8, 2022; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; New York City FC V. Castellanos (11) kicks the ball against Comunicaciones FC in the second half of the Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinal at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

While New York City FC are anticipating their first MLS goal of the season, they also are looking forward to appearing in front of their fans as defending MLS Cup champions.

After being shut out through the first two games, NYCFC look to score their first goal Saturday afternoon when they return to Yankee Stadium to host CF Montreal.

Coming off the dramatic title run, NYCFC (0-1-1, 1 point) will be the first team at Yankee Stadium to celebrate a title since the Yankees raised their 2009 World Series banner at their 2010 home opener. This time, NYCFC will play nearly a full schedule in New York after posting a 6-1-2 record there and also playing home games in Harrison, N.J.

“I’m very happy to be back in front of our fans. We’ve been missing them for a long time,” NYCFC coach Ronny Deila said. “We’ve played in many places so to come back to Yankee Stadium is a huge thing for us. It’s a new season so we are fighting for new ones (trophies).”

NYCFC head into the home opener as one of seven MLS teams yet to find the back of the net after following up a 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy with last week’s scoreless draw versus the Vancouver Whitecaps. In those games, the offense attempted 28 shots but only five were on target.

NYCFC is coming off a 3-1 win over Comunicaciones on Tuesday in the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal. Valentin Castellanos scored in the 29th minute before Maxi Moralez and Santiago Rodriguez tallied in the second half.

CF Montreal (0-2-0, 0 points) are among four teams yet to earn a point through the first two weeks. They followed up a 2-0 loss at Orlando City with last week’s 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union in their home opener.

Lassi Lappalainen scored in the 32nd minute but Montreal allowed two goals in a span of three minutes in the second half.

“We have to work harder to gain confidence for the next games,” Montreal defender Zachary Brault-Guillard said. “There’s a lot of quality within the group. We faced off against a good team, but it’s up to us to do things better and be more dangerous offensively.”

Montreal also struggled offensively in Champions League action when it was outshot 19-1 in a 1-0 loss to Cruz Azul Wednesday night in Mexico City.

NYCFC is 8-2-4 all-time against Montreal, including 3-0-3 in the past six home games in the series.

–Field Level Media