New York City FC full-back, Anton Tinnerholm in Vancouver, on Friday, August 30, 2019. Photo: Har Journalist.

VANCOUVER, B.C – A well rested New York City FC side arrived in Vancouver on Wednesday afternoon ahead of Saturday’s crucial match against Whitecaps FC at B.C. Place. The ‘Boys in Blue’ have been enjoying several sights in and around Vancouver, including a trip to the Capitano Suspension Bridge.

While it’s exciting to be a tourist, it’s not all fun and games for New York City FC. This is a business trip after all, three points are on the line, and New York City FC wants to pickup momentum heading into the MLS stretch drive.

“I think we’re doing great,” New York City FC’s Anton Tinnerholm, explained to Har Journalist in an exclusive sit down interview. “We have a couple of games in hand. The last couple of games this season, it’s going to be pretty tight. We’ve played really well, and we have to keep on going. We want to be top of the east for sure. There’s one way to do it, just win, and we have to start tomorrow.”

Much has been made of New York City FC’s decision to travel to Vancouver three days before Saturday’s match. Vancouver had some challenges following Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo. Whitecaps FC’s original flight home from Montreal on Thursday was cancelled.

The road weary Whitecaps didn’t arrive back in Vancouver until 4pm PT.

New York City FC has had two full days to acclimate themselves to the west coast.

The Swedish international weighed in on all the travel talk surrounding both teams.

“I can just speak for myself, I think it’s better to arrive early to adjust to the time difference. Sometimes it’s different weather as well. I like to come here early. Then we can have the time to discover the city. I like to get adjusted to the time difference.”

New York City FC take on a Whitecaps FC side that’s earned just one victory at home in the preview three months. The visitors are riding a three match winning streak. While Vancouver continues to slump at the bottom of the western conference with a 6-14-9 record, New York City FC holds a 13-5-8 record, and third spot in the east.

Despite the difference, Tinnerholm knows it’s going to be quite the battle on the pitch.

“All the games in this league are tough, especially the away games,” Tinnerholm explained. “We were at the stadium, and we train today. It’s a fantastic stadium. We expect a tough game, we’ve been looking at them in some clips. They seem to have decent team. They don’t have that much points, if you look at the standings, but they’re a dangerous team. We have to be focused one hundred percent, and put the pressure high on them from the very start.

We have to keep the tempo high, they’ve traveled a lot this week, and we have to take advantage of that. Start the game in a high tempo, and take possession of the ball. Make them run, and we can rest with the ball. It’s important for us to start in the right way.”

In his second MLS season with New York City FC, Tinnerholm has contributed one goal, and added six assists. His versatility at the right-back position has brought another explosive option on the flank.

The 28-year-old had previously spent his entire career playing in Sweden’s, Allevenskan league.

“There’s a lot of things that are different compared to back home,” Tinnerholm said. “You can see it in two ways. Either you see that everything here is wrong, but I want to see that you can make a difference.

I think the teams here are really good, the away games are especially tough because of the travel of course. Most of the teams go one hundred percent in every home game. It’s never an easy game in this league, I enjoy it. I’ve felt good from the very start, since I joined NYCFC, and now we keep on going.”

The Linkoping, native, and his teammates will look to keep on going against Whitecaps FC. New York City FC are the clear favourites, but football isn’t played on paper. Anything can happen in the beautiful game.

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