The Eastern Conference-leading New York City FC are on a roll, having won a season-high three in a row. But if the club is going to pick up crucial points to pull away in the standings, it will have to keep momentum going as it kicks off a four-game road trip.
NYCFC (7-5-6, 27 points), which holds the best road record in MLS, will face the New England Revolution (Wednesday), Sporting Kansas City (Sunday), the Montreal Impact (July 17) and the New York Red Bulls (July 24) over the next two weeks, marking the longest road trip of the season. The Impact (three points back) and the Red Bulls (four back), are critical matchups in the conference race.
Starting with New England, NYCFC will look to negate home-field advantage. The Revs, who return after a five-game road trip, own the league’s worst goal differential (minus-8). On the flip side, NYCFC need to keep veteran striker Kei Kamara off the scoresheet. Kamara netted a pair of goals in the Revs most recent game, a 3-2 loss against the Impact on Saturday.
NYCFC will make a quick turnaround against Sporting Kansas City for the first time this season. NYCFC fell 1-0 in their only matchup last season without current MLS goals leader David Villa.
Villa will go head to head with another elite scorer in Montreal’s Ignacio Piatti. Look for this matchup to be full of highlights from the league’s top two scorers.
The trip circles back at the end to the Metropolitan area when NYCFC looks to gain an edge in the New York Derby after their first-ever win over the Red Bulls on Sunday. NYCFC’s defense must be an aggressive and dominant, trapping the Red Bulls in their set pieces in order to duplicate their 2-0 win at Yankee Stadium.