New York City FC has another opportunity to test the limits of its depth this weekend.
The David Villa-led squad, coming off a 2-0 shutout win against the struggling LA Galaxy last Saturday, returns to Yankee Stadium on Sunday to host the New England Revolution.
Jonathan Lewis, a 20-year-old rookie, showed he could be one of those pieces in Los Angeles. He scored the game’s first goal with an arching shot from the top of the 18-yard box. It was a sorely needed contribution from someone not named Villa, who has scored 18 of the NYCFC’s 45 goals in MLS play. Sunday’s game is an opportunity for Lewis to cement his standing with the Blues.
Rodney Wallace made his return from injury Saturday, substituting in for 18 minutes. The winger could take his next step this week with a spot in the starting lineup. Anybody who can facilitate to Villa automatically becomes an asset, with an attack that takes pressure off him being a bonus.
The Revs (8-10-5, 29 points) is coming off a 1-0 win over Vancouver, but sits in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. New England features a balanced attack, with Kei Kamara and Juan Agudelo netting eight goals apiece this season. The biggest threat comes from the midfield, where Lee Nguyen has scored eight times and provided 10 assists.
NYCFC (8-1-3, 43 points) sits four points behind Toronto in the Supporters’ Shield race. As important as experimentation can be, each point is valuable in the race for best regular-season record.
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson helped City take a step in that direction, making stellar saves against LA for the club’s first shutout since June 24. If he can that momentum back to the Bronx, NYCFC can hold serve in the battle for the top spot in the East.