Local soccer MLS New England Revolution Soccer Weekend

Soccer Weekend: NYCFC hasn’t changed much

Following three weeks of rest thanks to the FIFA break, the Revolution get back to league play on Saturday night when they travel to Harrison, NJ — no, that is not a typo — to take on the Bronx Blues, New York City FC, at Red Bull Arena for what will be the first of three meetings between the two sides in 2021.

Kick-off on WSBK is at 7:30 p.m.

Following film review this week, we can safely report that not much has changed with NYCFC. This is a side that is organized in the back; against Columbus on May 22, the Pigeons remained resolute and flustered the Crew, preventing them from getting through until the second half, when Columbus put two past Sean Johnson.

Against Columbus, NYC came out pressing right from the off. As we’ve written about most MLS sides, NYCFC will start out of the back.

But unlike some teams, the Pigeons’ attack has a knack for perfect one-touch pass that can have teams perplexed. New York City will switch the point of attack smoothly, almost effortlessly.

Keaton Parks in the middle is the fulcrum of it all for the Bronx Blues. He is incredibly solid on the ball, and NYC, nine times out of ten, will get him on the ball and he’ll distribute from there.

One thing about this side to watch out for: the cheeky pass inside the attacking third. We observed a number of training ground moves, such an an ankle-breaking back heel, as NYC looked to make space and create chances.

And this is a team that can punish you if you turn it over. Against Columbus, Parks easily passed into space on a turnover, sending NYCFC off on one of its vicious counterattacks.

Not only that, expect NYC to take advantage if the defending takes a moment off. Ismael Tajouri-Schradi’s goal against the Crew came as a result of Columbus falling asleep, letting him make a great off-the-ball run, and picking him up far too late to prevent the goal.

In short, this is a fourth-place side, six points off the pace that New England has already set through the first two months of the 26th season of MLS. They are dangerous, can be lethal, and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Elsewhere in the league as we resume play

Two matches on the sked tonight as the Red Bulls host Nashville (8 p.m. ET) and Real Salt Lake host Vancouver (10 p.m. ET).

Cincinnati hosts Colorado to kick off Saturday’s action at 7:30 p.m., with Chicago going to Columbus in what is the final game at MAPFRE Stadium. Toronto hosts Orlando City, while DC United hosts Inter Miami, Dallas hosts Minnesota United, Austin FC opens its new stadium when San Jose visits the Lone Star State (9 p.m. ET, TUDN), the Galaxy host Seattle, Portland hosts Sporting Kansas City, and LAFC hosts Houston.

On Sunday, Atlanta United hosts Philadelphiain a matinee (2 p.m. ET, ESPN).

USL Championship

Hartford Athletic is home Saturday as it hosts Loudon United beginning at 7 p.m.

USL League One

Revs II will be in action at Forward Madison beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday.

In other League One action, Richmond hosts Union Omaha, Toronto FC II hosts Fort Lauderdale, South Georgia hosts Greenville, and North Texas hosts FC Tucson.

In the NPSL

Boston City FC will be at Kingston Stockade on Saturday at 6 p.m., while Greater Lowell will host Valeo at the Tyngsboro Sports Center at 7 p.m. Hartford City FC is at New York Shockers, also at 7 p.m.

Bay State Soccer League

We’re into the third round of the 2021 McKenzie Cup. Eight matches are on tap on Saturday:

Kendall Wanderers A host Boston Siege at 9 a.m. at Waltham’s Falzone Field, while Merrimack Valley United hosts FC Bebbanburg at the tyngsboro Innovation Academy at 8 a.m. At the Lexington Town Fields, FC Eladhari hosts the SR Young Boys at 1 p.m., while North Shore FC hosts Broadway Gunners at Harry Della Russo Stadium in Revere at 8 a.m.

In addition, St. Michael takes on Providence City at 9 a.m. at the Andrea McCoy Athletic Field in xxx, while Inter Boston takes on Oneida at West Roxbury High at 2 pm.

At 10 a.m., the Eagles take on Brockton FC at Bedford’s Edge Sports Center (Field 1), while Alleghany FC takes on Al Zawraa FC of Worcester at Everett’s Rivergreen Field at 8:30 a.m.

Ocean State Soccer League

All of this weekend’s games — the final ones of the spring season — are at Wakefield, RI’s Tuckertown Park on Sunday.

Providence City B will take on Newport FC at 8:30, before the Fall River Marksmen Academy take on St. Mendez at 10:30 a.m. At 12:30 p.m., LPA takes on the Providence Armada.

The OSSL resumes August 22.