New York City FC-CF Montreal Preview
New York City FC are in excellent form, having won three of their last four matches, but Ronny Deila knows they will face a stern test against CF Montreal.
Montreal will welcome NYCFC to their temporary home in Orlando on Wednesday on the back of a four-game unbeaten steak in MLS.
Wilfried Nancy's team sit eighth in the Eastern Conference, but are just one point behind fifth-placed NYCFC, who do have a game in hand.
"They have a very good team, I watched them against Miami in the stadium. Very organised, they have a good structure in everything they do, some really good players and a great team spirit," Deila, whose side have not played since beating D.C. United towards the end of June.
"We know the small differences in MLS, every game is 0-0, we need to perform as we have done lately to get three points but Montreal is a good team."
With the Gold Cup coming up, MLS takes an extended break before resuming later in July.
"It becomes what you make it, we have to make the best of the situation. We can get to train together, develop ourselves," Deila said when asked if the break helped or hindered momentum.
"At the same time we want to play games all the time because we have good shape and confidence in the team. We've been training really good, the boys have a great mentality."
Montreal have been impressive under Nancy, though have not always got the wins their performances perhaps warranted.
"For now, we haven't done it yet," Nancy said. "I sincerely think it will happen. When? I do not know, but we are close."
CF Montreal - Mathieu Choiniere
After failing to make a single appearance in 2020, 22-year-old Mathieu Choiniere scored his first MLS goal in Montreal's 1-0 win over Inter Miami last time out.
NYCFC - Thiago
Thiago has scored twice in his two appearances for NYCFC, with both coming from the bench. The 20-year-old netted the winner against D.C. United in stoppage time.
- NYCFC has lost only one of its 12 meetings with Montreal (W7 D4), a 3-2 defeat in August 2015. NYCFC has not lost any of its last nine matches against Montreal (W5 D4), its longest unbeaten run against any opponent in its MLS history.
- Montreal kept its fifth clean sheet in the last nine matches with a 1-0 win over Inter Miami on Saturday. Montreal had kept just five clean sheets in its previous 47 matches dating back to May 2019.
- New York City FC is one of two teams (Houston) to score in every match its played this MLS season. NYCFC has scored in a club-record 21 straight games (including playoffs) dating back to a 1-0 loss to Toronto last September.
- The last five goals scored against CF Montreal have been headers. Montreal's last non-headed goal conceded was a Cristian Dájome penalty on May 8 while the last open play goal scored against them with a foot was by Hany Mukhtar on April 24.
- New York City FC has had five goals scored by substitutes this season, tied with San Jose for most in MLS. All five of those goals have been scored in the team's last four games, as five of their last six goals have come from reserves.
Updated July 6, 2021