Reasons to Watch: Union vs. NYCFC

New Roles

International call-ups can make a coach's life a little more difficult when it comes to game day, and both the Union and NYCFC will have to have players play larger roles in the final match before the international break. For the Union, one of those players could be Warren Creavalle, who is projected to make his first start of the season. In his weekly press conference, Curtin said Josh Yaro is also cleared to play, and could be selected for the Union's game day 18 for the first time in 2017. Marcus Epps also made his MLS debut last match and could see minutes again against NYCFC. There are a lot of choices Curtin can make on Saturday, and the Union's next man up mentality will shine through. 

A Field for Ants

The trip up to Yankee Stadium is always an interesting one, mostly because of the pitch being significantly smaller than every other pitch around MLS. To gear up for the match, the Union trained on a pitch set to NYCFC's dimensions so the team could be prepared for the smaller playing field. A smaller field means there's less room to maneuver, which in turn means more contact between players and a greater difficulty to play with the ball at your feet. Passing will be key for both teams, and the smaller field could lead to more offense. But all together, it's not often you watch a game on a mini pitch. 

Villa vs. Sapong

Saturday's match also features a clash of two of the best goal scorers in MLS this season. Both David Villa and CJ Sapong sit at eight goals on the season, tied with each other for third in MLS. Sapong is just one goal away from tying his career-high in the mark, and has been playing the best soccer of his career. Both are on pace to score 20 goals this season, which would more than double Sapong's career-high and be the second most of Villa's MLS career. Sapong has three goals against NYCFC, the most of any Union player on the roster, and should have a good chance to find the back of the net once again. There are sure to be offensive fireworks during the match, and these two will most likely be at the center of it all. 


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