Real Salt Lake – New York City FC: Calculated Press causes New York problems (3-1)
Just how important is a team’s shape in football? The answer is clear to see when an organized team plays an unbalanced one. A high-pressing and structured Real Salt Lake side demonstrated their structural superiority in this fixture.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
Despite the loss of numerous recognizable names like David Villa and Andrea Pirlo in recent times, New York City FC have shown spells during the campaign where they have looked more than capable of pursuing MLS glory. NYCFC’s head coach Domènec Torrent - right-hand man to Pep Guardiola for many years – has deployed the same possession-oriented style in America, but in his own unique fashion. He has often used the 3-4-3 formation, with both wingers tucking in close to the striker.
Installing this style has brought good success so far, in the twenty games played, NYCFC have lost just three times and boast the strongest defense in the Eastern Conference. However, New York City FC have been inconsistent throughout the campaign, with recent defeats to local rivals Red Bulls and Portland Timbers keeping them away from the top spot. After beating Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas, NYCFC have a brilliant chance to build the form they had going into the summer months.
Real Salt Lake’s aims are much different. Sitting just outside of the playoffs in the Western Conference, former New York Red Bulls coach Mike Petke has a big task ahead of him to get his team in the party. Petke prefers a very direct style of play. Using the 4-2-3-1 formation, Real Salt Lake often hit shots from distance and play long balls into . . .