Union-NYCFC: Lineups and prematch observations
- The big name missing for the Union is Fernando Aristeguieta, who recovered from a broken finger but suffered a quad injury late in the week. That means the only Union player to score this season won’t take part. That leaves Sebastien Le Toux to lead the line, though with Conor Casey and CJ Sapong waiting on the bench, there are options if the Union can’t get the attack going that they want. This is a game where Jim Curtin has game-changing options (Cristian Maidana, Casey, Sapong) on the bench, and he can't be shy about pulling the trigger.
- Zach Pfeffer’s return to the lineup allows the Union to utilize the 4-2-3-1 again. Vincent Nogueira passes fit, and Michael Lahoud is preferred to Brian Carroll in the holding role, while Eric Ayuk gets another start.
- Sheanon Williams is back from two games out with a hamstring issue, which is good timing since both Fabinho and Raymond Lee are out, leaving Ethan White as the presumed fullback cover. The bigger ripple effect might be that Ray Gaddis and Andrew Wenger get a chance to reestablish chemistry on that left flank. Not having to cover for Fabinho might allow Wenger to get forward more often.
- The focal point for NYCFC is David Villa, and the Spaniard is back after missing time with an adductor injury. He and Adam Nemec give NYCFC a variety of options up top. They can counterattack effectively if the Union pour numbers forward, and Mix Diskerud will be running at the central midfielders when NYCFC is in possession.