St. Louis City FC seek first win of season, host NYCFC

League: MLS

Posted on: 02 Mar, 2024 at 03:27 AM

Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into their second straight home match to begin the regular season, St. Louis City SC are searching for their first victory as they face New York City FC on Saturday.

In its second season, St. Louis (0-0-1, 1 point) has gotten off to a busy start, playing the Houston Dynamo in two Concacaf Champions Cup matches before opening its MLS season with a 1-1 draw versus Real Salt Lake at home.

Samuel Adeniran scored St. Louis' first goal of the MLS season, while Roman Burki continued the form he established in the 2023 expansion campaign with one save on RSL's three shots on goal. Despite the draw, St. Louis continued committing to its hard-pressing attacking play, cashing in on opponents' mistakes while keeping a strong defensive structure.

St. Louis entered this season after finishing first in the Western Conference in 2023 while NYCFC (0-1-0, 0 points) were 11th in the Eastern Conference, missing the MLS Cup Playoffs by two points.

It's been a busy start to the season for St. Louis, which is playing its fourth match in 11 days and is dealing with some injury concerns.

"We knew it was going to be tough; we've been dealt some of the hands that we've had to deal with, and we've got to make the best situation out of it," St. Louis head coach Bradley Carnell said, noting the club is evaluating the injuries and availability of Josh Yaro, Tim Parker, and Kyle Hiebert.

"We're optimistic and positive that we'll get over this hurdle. We want to be about looking forward."

St. Louis' tactical identity and ferocious atmosphere at its home stadium make the upcoming weekend anything but an easy task for New York, which lost 1-0 to Charlotte FC on opening weekend. NYCFC held the majority of play and created chances but were unable to score a season-opening goal.

"Those teams are waiting for a mistake, a bad touch, or a bad pass; that's kind of what they live for," NYCFC midfielder James Sands said. "They kind of let you have the ball and then wait for that one moment where they can steal it and transition (into attack). I think we've got to be aware of that and be willing to take our chances -- stretching their backline and putting the ball in behind them and making them face their own goal."

Still awaiting their first goal of the MLS season, NYCFC will hope to avoid the slow start they suffered in 2022 when they failed to score until their home opener in their third match of the season.

--Field Level Media