They've played once at home and won. They've played once on the road and won. The New York Red Bulls will once again host New York City FC, looking to sweep the season and finish with a third win over their new crosstown foes.
NYCFC have had some growing pains this season. Not necessarily just because they are an expansion team, but because they haven't performed to their liking, even with big names like David Villa, Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo and Mix Diskerud in
Yankee pinstripes... Man City blue... the XI. Here are some of the names you should expect to lineup on the other side of Red Bull Arena:
Josh Saunders (GK, 90 points; 3 clean sheets): Saunders was left out to dry last game against Montreal. Not only did NYCFC give up three goals, but the Impact forced Saunders into making six saves as well. RBNY look to add to NYCFC's defensive woes. The team has given up 3+ goals in four of their last six games (including their Week 17 matchup).
Jason Hernandez (DEF, 54 points; 3 clean sheets, 6 yellow cards): With Chris Wingert (69 points) injured, NYCFC will turn to Hernandez for defensive leadership. He has missed six games, but is still going to be looked at to lead the team against RBNY
Mehdi Ballouchy (MID, 64 points; 3 goals, 2 assists): The former RBNY midfielder has the more fantasy points than Mix Diskerud (63) and is coming off a yellow card suspension during Montreal. He has only played 76 total minutes in the two games against RBNY, but will look to get one more shot at playing his former team this season.
David Villa (FWD, 126 points; 13 goals, 5 assists): David Villa has been on a tear. He's scored 11 goals in his last 10 games. He's scored at least two goals in four of his last seven. Matt Miazga was able to shut him down during their Week 17 matchup, but look for Villa to get his revenge this time around.
Honorable mention: Frank Lampard (1 point), Andrea Pirlo (3 points) have now joined NYCFC in the midfield. They will look to right the ship a little over halfway through the season the same way Jermaine Jones did for New England last year. Let's hope it takes them a few games to get used to MLS, just like it did for most DPs coming from Europe.