In the two seasons Patrick Vieira has been at the helm for New York City FC, the head coach has yet to defeat Toronto FC. NYCFC almost helped him notch that first win last Wednesday, until Toronto’s Victor Vazquez converted a late penalty to hand the Blues yet another draw between the two clubs.
With a chance to take first place in the East and the Supporters’ Shield races Sunday, and Toronto coming off of a disappointing 1-1 draw against Colorado, Vieira knows that Toronto is even more dangerous going into Sunday’s match (2 p.m. ET, ESPN).
“When you look at all the games that we’ve played since I’ve been at this club, they’ve always been the better team,” Vieira said. “I think the momentum and confidence is more in their camp than it can be now because we suffer every time we play them, and that’s something we need to change around.”
Toronto should be coming in with a stronger squad than the one that forced City to settle for the draw July 19. Both Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore return to Toronto’s attack, and the Reds proved they have the depth to compete. Vieira isn’t concerned about just two guys, though.
“I don’t really worry about who’s going to be on the field,” he said. “I’m more worried about them as a team and about how well they play.”
Vieira’s first win against Toronto could be huge for the Blues going forward. However, goalkeeper Sean Johnson is keeping everything in perspective.
“It’s just another important match for us,” Johnson said. “They’re ahead of us in the standings. We have to do what we can to keep closing that gap. We have to stick to the same principles that we’ve been doing and we’ll be all right.”