NYC FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson: “We’ve got to deal with it and it’s an advantage for us to come out here every day and train in this weather..” (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis

Front Row Soccer Editor

On Wednesday, New York City FC players had some fun prior to training at their SUNY Purchase practice facility with a snowball fight while frolicking in the snow.

As it turns out, handling the snow could be just as important as taking on the Montreal Impact at Yankee Stadium Saturday at 2 p.m.

Weather forecasts call for a 65 percent of chance of precipitation at the 2 p.m. kickoff in the Bronx. Whether it rains or snows, it remains to be seen.

But it appears City (1-1-0, 3 points) has been well prepared.

“It should be good for us, the conditions, getting used to it,” goalkeeper Sean Johnson said. “It’s what the weather is right now. We’ve got to deal with it and it’s an advantage for us to come out here every day and train in this weather. The boys have been enthusiastic about training every day. Everybody’s in good spirts.

“It’s put a zing to training, if you will. Everyone’s been up for it.”

The Blues might not be feeling blue coming off their impressive 4-0 home trouncing of D.C. United Sunday.

“The way we played against D.C, made me happy but it’s going to be a really tough game,” City head coach Patrick Vieira said. “Montreal [has] some really talented individuals on the team.

“Piatti is one of them but we’re going to concentrate on all of the team.”

Piatti is striker Ignacio Piatti, who found the net 17 times last season. He has registered a goal and an assist as Montreal (0-1-1, 1) hopes to secure its first win of the season.

“Piatti is a talented player,” Johnson said. “We really want to focus on what we want to do. I think that’s been an important message for us. its’ been an important for us throughout the entire preseason season, the beginning of the season, really focusing on what we have to do. If we stick to that and stick to our principles, both on the offensive side and defensively I think we’ll be all right.”

Vieira said that he doesn’t plan on changing the team’s game plan, which is ball possession. NYC FC had more than two-thirds possession in its 1-0 season-opening defeat at Orlando City SC and had more than 61 percent in its triumph over United.

“The way we’re going to approach the game, when you look at the way we played against Orlando and DC United, we played some really good football,” Vieira said. “So, it’s going to be important for us to maintain that quality.”

While the four-goal victory was a nice achievement, Johnson doesn’t want to live in the past.

“It’s all about building up our performance as much as we can,” he said. “We can’t dwell too much on a 4-0 win. You can’t get too high, too low during the season. It’s a good result. We’ve got to keep going. It’s about being consistent through the season. As long as we can produce game in and game out, we’ll be OK.”

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at