New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - New York City FC will attempt to put an end to a lengthy winless streak on Friday when the expansion side welcomes the Chicago Fire to Yankee Stadium.
It's been a difficult stretch for Jason Kreis' side as the expansion club enters Friday's clash in the midst of an eight-game winless streak which has dropped the team to eighth place in the Eastern Conference with just one win through 10 games.
NYCFC went into their first-ever New York derby against the Red Bulls last week, hoping to snap their slide, but fell by a 2-1 score at Red Bull Arena.
Bradley Wright-Phillips, the reigning Golden Boot winner, opened the scoring for the Red Bulls after just four minutes as Lloyd Sam held up play on the end line and managed to chip the ball into the box while being blanketed by a defender. Wright-Phillips easily one-timed it right the side of his foot into the net.
NYC went 2-0 behind in the 52nd minute after Wright-Phillips bagged his second of the match with an easy tap-in to finish off a devastating counter-attack.
Patrick Mullins pulled one back for NYCFC with 14 minutes to play, but it wasn't enough as the NYC winless run continued.
"I continue to see a lot of quality," Kreis said. "I continue to think that we're close. I really do feel like every opponent we've played, we've been very close. We're not quite there yet and I think we need some improvement and some more time together. I continue to believe. "I came into this season expecting my guys would fight hard all the time and expecting that we would look to improve week over week. Those two things have happened."
Chicago, meanwhile, will aim to stop a brief two-game losing streak following a 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake at Toyota Park last Saturday.
Alvaro Saborio opened the scoring for RSL in the 13th minute and Luke Mulholland doubled the lead in the 56th minute.
Jordan Allen had a hand in both goals for RSL, and he set up the first for Saborio, who took a pass at the top of the box from Allen and drove a low shot past goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
Devon Sandoval played provider on the second goal as he was played into the penalty area by Allen before laying a ball off for Mulholland, who scored on a sliding effort.
Shaun Maloney was brought down by Elias Vasquez inside the box, allowing Jeff Larentowicz to score from the spot. However, the goal came too late and Salt Lake managed to hold on for all three points.
"I thought we had chances, and limited them to not much, but I thought our energy wasn't there like we've had the last three home games. I told them at halftime that we have to pick it up, and felt like the effort was there in the end but it was kind of too late. I think we didn't really make that final pass again, and not just the final pass, but the calmness to finish too," said Fire head coach Frank Yallop.
"They maybe had three chances, we probably had similar, four or five chances, but they had two goals and we don't get any. Kennedy looked dangerous and had a couple of sniffs, and had one good chance when JJ (Joevin Jones) clipped him in. Quincy (Amarikwa) and Guly didn't get many looks, in general it was a disappointing afternoon but I'm not going to fault the group, we didn't cave in and maybe could've gotten something at the end, but our first half performance was quite poor."
Friday's clash will be the second meeting of the season between the sides, which last played at Toyota Park on April 24 as Chicago took a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from David Accam.