Oh, hey! The Red Bulls lost.
On Sunday evening at Yankee Stadium, rampant Toronto FC dumped five more goals on clueless, sheepish New York City FC in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The aggregate score — 7-0 — was as poetic as poesy gets for the hometown Blues, whose 2016 season comes to a sputtering end.
Sebastian Giovinco scored his second career hat trick at Yankee Stadium. The tie never felt within New York City’s reach: after conceding in the sixth minute, the Blues would have needed to win by three goals in order to advance.
“Today, I only can say sorry for the face we gave in the game,” skipper David Villa said afterward.
“But it’s not only today. It’s amazing the supporters this year. We are happy, we are proud. We have one of the best supporters in the league and we are only two years old. It’s amazing and for today, sorry.”
NYCFC kept 64% of possession on the day to no avail. Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo returned to the starting lineup, but neither produced the kind of virtuoso riff that could have jolted the crowd of 28,255 into some manner of belief.
“That’s why I’m so disappointed. We let [the fans] down,” gaffer Patrick Vieira said post-match. “My message is to think about the first game we played and look at how the team improved and this team will be better next season. I want to thank the fans for their support – they’ve been fantastic.”
In other words? Think about how you felt this time last year. You were hopeful, yes. But you might not have known what it was you were hopeful for.
This time around, the blueprint is in place. “The City Way” has evolved from a marketing tagline into a properly coherent vision. And to hear Vieira tell it, we’ve only caught a glimpse of what’s to come.
“My first year has been really good. The year, what was important was to get the best of the players: I think the staff and myself, we managed to do it,” he said.
“We create chances, score goals and are an attractive team. Next year we’ll look to be more consistent and improve some aspects but I think we’re in the right way.”
- Giovinco’s hat trick was third surrendered by NYCFC all-time, but just the first in which the hat trick scorer was on the winning side. (Seba hit three in last year’s 4-4 draw in the Bronx, while Cyle Larin trebled in Orlando City’s 5-3 loss later that year).
- I was wearing this amazing sticker on the outside my jacket. It’s legitimately amazing, the perfect marriage of Frank Lampard and the Wu-Tang Clan:
Unfortunately, a politically-motivated stranger threatened me in no uncertain terms because I was wearing this sticker. A sticker! Stay frosty out there, folks.
- Stiven Mendoza, the Corinthians loanee who enjoyed a run of form late in the regular season, wasn’t on Vieira’s team sheet. His status will be one to watch during the offseason.
- According to our friends at NYCFC Nation, the Boys in Blue are watching Dundalk wide man Daryl Horgan rather closely. Horgan has also caught the fancy of Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United.
- Because Canada only gets one spot in the CONCACAF Champions League and FC Dallas, Colorado, and the Red Bulls have already qualified for the tournament, NYCFC will punch its CONCACAF ticket as long as Seattle doesn't win the MLS Cup. Not bad, lads!
- Thanks to everyone who stopped by and checked us out this year. We exist because of you! #ComeOnNewYork