New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - New York City FC will hope to maintain its impressive start to life in MLS when it welcomes a struggling Sporting Kansas City side to Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
New York has opened its inaugural season with a three-match unbeaten run, supplementing a 2-0 home win over the New England Revolution with draws at Orlando City SC and the Colorado Rapids.
While the expansion club made several splashes in the transfer market to add high-profile attacking players like David Villa and Mix Diskerud, it has been the club's defense that has provided the platform to climb to the top of the Eastern Conference with five points through three games.
The lone goal New York has conceded this term came in stoppage time against Orlando when Kaka's free kick found the back of the net following a wicked deflection.
That New York was able to follow its opener with consecutive shutouts against New England and Colorado is a testament to head coach Jason Kreis, especially given that he's deployed Chris Wingert in the center of defense instead of his preferred position on either wing.
"The move has been good," said the 32-year-old defender. "I'm comfortable there. The more time I get there the more comfortable I will be moving forward. I've always been at ease there, but I've played more outside back than center back over the past seven or eight years.
"It's a little bit of an adjustment - the spacing is different, the timing is different, your focus is going to be on different things, but I think I can do well there with a little bit of time."
New York may be in line for another clean sheet on Saturday as the club will face a Sporting side that is off to a slow start this term.
Kansas City has taken just two points from its opening three matches, playing to home draws with Red Bull New York and the Portland Timbers while falling at FC Dallas, 3-1.
"Obviously, a draw at home is not what you want," said SKC midfielder Benny Feilhaber. "You always want to get the wins. But having said that, it's still early in the season. I think it's more important at this point in the season to improve, and I think we did that."
Sporting will specifically aim to improve on the offensive end as the club has found the back of the net just twice so far this term.
New York, meanwhile, has been much stronger going forward but has managed just three goals, indicating that a defensive stalemate may be on the cards for Yankee Stadium's second-ever MLS contest.