New York City FC will look to keep their playoff hopes alive during a Friday night tilt in the nation's capital against D.C. United. Led by veterans Frank Lampard and David Villa, NYCFC finds itself just five points out of the sixth and final playoff spot, looking to complete a two-game regular season sweep.
Here are three keys to look for during Friday's fixture against one of the Eastern Conference's top teams.
Keep the streak alive
NYCFC will look to extend their season best three game win streak on Friday night at RFK Stadium. The streak comes just in time, with NYCFC just barely clinging on to a chance at the postseason. All three wins have come against opponents with records at .500 or better, including Saturday's 2-1 win over the Western Conference's second-best team, the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Storm the capitalD.C. United has the fourth-most points in the Eastern Conference, and their strong position in the table is in large part due to their dominance at home. D.C. is 9-3-3 at RFK, while
NYCFC is just 4-8-3 away from Yankee Stadium. The team from the Bronx picked up its first win on the road last weekend at BC Place since July 4. Despite their success at RFK, D.C. is just 2-2 in their last four games at home.
Villa vs. Hamid
Two of the leagues best in NYCFC forward David Villa and D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid will be squaring off. Villa is third in the league with 17 goals, while Hamid leads all starting keepers with a save percentage of 78. Villa has been particularly hot, scoring a goal in the each of the last two games. That includes the game-winning penalty in the 95th minute Saturday to give NYCFC the win.