Fire-New York City FC Preview
While Dome Torrent still believes he is in danger of losing his job as coach at New York City FC, at least his club is winless no more.
On Wednesday night, New York City looks to build on its first victory of the MLS season and remain unbeaten at home in the series against the Chicago Fire, who are aiming to extend their own undefeated run to five games.
It's been a frustrating start to the campaign for NYCFC (1-1-5), who have been draw-happy out of the gate. Torrent told WNYE 91.5 FM in his Sunday pregame press conference that he felt he was on the hot seat in terms of job security. However, that notion might have provided a spark as New York City went out and won 2-0 at D.C. United.
Goals by Alexandru Mitrita and Heber on either side of halftime were enough for NYCFC to prevail, and perhaps take some of the self-imposed heat off Torrent.
"I said to them (after Sunday), 'Thank you so much.' I'm not long here. I knew that before this game. I will try to improve this team. It's my job," Torrent, who took over as New York City's gaffer in June and is 10-10-9 as coach, told MLS.com.
Though it remains to be seen just how hot the seat in which Torrent is sitting on actually is, his players seem to be on his side.
"Everybody (has) supported Dome since the very start," midfielder Alex Ring said. "And I think (Sunday) we showed the way he wants to play and finally we got the win. If you look at the season, we've got one loss, but the problem is we haven't found a way to win the game, and (Sunday) we did that."
NYCFC has drawn all three of its home matches this season, with two ending without a goal for either side. New York City, meanwhile, is 3-0-2 all time at Yankee Stadium against Chicago. It's also outscored the Fire 8-2 while posting each of those three victories in their last three visits to the Bronx.
Chicago (2-2-3), though, has found itself in some decent form of late, going 2-0-2 after earning just one point through the first three games of the campaign. The Fire are coming off their most dominant effort on the young campaign, a 4-1 thrashing of lowly Colorado at home on Saturday.
Aleksandar Katai had a goal with an assist, Nemanja Nikolic scored in his third straight contest, Nico Gaitan recorded two assists and C.J. Sapong posted his team-leading fourth goal. Though the Rapids are one of the league's worst defensive clubs (23 goals conceded), it was a huge performance for a Fire squad that had not scored more than two goals a game entering that match.
"They're three very important points," Gaitan told the Fire's official website via a translator. "We have to get these points, and it doesn't matter who they're against or what position they are in. We have to focus on ourselves to try to play a game like (Saturday) and get three points."
Updated April 22, 2019