New York City FC have been consistent challengers for MLS glory since they joined the league and they will be aiming to close the gap on the Eastern Conference leaders this weekend.
Head to Head Honours Even
Sporting Kansas are a long-established MLS club, while New York City FC joined in the 2015 season, and although this is their first meeting of 2019, they have played four competitive fixtures over the last four seasons, with honours shared equally. Kansas had the better of their early meetings, winning 1-0 in March 2015 and 3-1 the following July, but New York FC have edged their latter games, beating Kansas 1-0 in September 2017 and 2-0 last March.
New York FC Contenders Again
In recent seasons, teams joining MLS have had a mixed record, but New York FC, along with Atlanta United and LAFC, have been an undoubted success. They’ve finished in the top three in the East for three consecutive campaigns and have made the Conference Semi-Finals in each of those years. They had a slow start in 2019, drawing five out of their opening six, but have been improving steadily since, losing just two of their last thirteen and they recovered from a brace of defeats to Portland and New York Red Bulls last time with a 2-1 win in Colorado.
Sporting Kansas have been one of the stronger teams in the Western Conference, winning the MLS Cup twice, and the US Open Cup four times. But after finishing first in the West last season, they’ve struggled under Peter Vermes, who has been at the club for ten years. They’ve won only six times this regular season, and have failed to build up any consistency, as illustrated by their latest run of form in which wins over lowly Chicago and Vancouver were followed by a home defeat to Dallas.
New York Strong Favourites
With New York FC closing the gap in the Eastern Conference and Kansas languishing in tenth in the West, it is no surprise to see the home side strong favourites here. Bookmakers have them priced up at around 7/10 which could be attractive to MLS punters against the 7/2 for Kansas.