Patrick Vieira: “We have to play well. we will have to be focused and concentrated from the start to the end – we have to challenge them. If not, it’ll be an easy game for them.” (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
Patrick Vieira doesn’t expect a letdown from his troops after securing a 3-2 victory over the Red Bulls in the Hudson River Derby last week.
New York City FC, which rallied from a 2-1 second-half deficit at Yankee Stadium Sunday, will take on the LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center Saturday night. David Villa recorded his first Major League Soccer hat-trick in that match.
“I expect the team to work as hard as they did against the Red Bulls,” Vieira said. “I’m looking for the team to be sharp in their minds and to give everything they have on the field.
“We have to play well. we will have to be focused and concentrated from the start to the end – we have to challenge them. If not, it’ll be an easy game for them.”
NYCFC (12-7-4, 40 points) enters the match in third place in the Eastern Conference, four points behind first-place Toronto FC (12-3-8, 44) and a point behind Chicago Fire (12-5-5, 41). The struggling and ninth-place Galaxy (6-11-5, 23) hopes to earn its first home win in eight matches. LA is an incredible 1-6-4 at home. Two weeks ago, the Galaxy fired head coach Curt Onalfo and brought back Sigi Schmid as boss.
Still, Vieira isn’t taking anything for granted.
“It’s always a difficult team to play against,” he said. “They had some up and downs in the season but if you look at their team individually there is a lot of talent and, like always, it’s going to be really tough and difficult.”
Vieira wasn’t finished.
“These players are part of a collective and that collective will help them to express their talent, so we have to stop them developing their game,” he said.
“We will have to defend really well, we’ll have to be compact and we’ll have to be smart. Overall, we will have to work as a team. We’ve shown that we can do it, like against the Red Bulls – it will be important for us to keep the momentum going and to repeat the same game.”