BRONX, NY - While not a full house, many fans braved the elements (namely frigid cold and a fierce wind chill factor) to come support New York City FC in their home opener of the 2017 season against D.C. United. The fans were not disappointed, as NYCFC put on a spectacular display of skill and end product to dominate the match with a 4-0 victory.
While this game will not take away the feels and good vibes of 2015’s inaugural home opener (a 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution), it has to be said that this looks like the most dominating and complete home opener performance in the club’s young history.
- Starting XI - Vieira made only one key change from last week’s Starting XI versus Orlando City: he replaced RJ Allen with Ethan White at Right Back. NYCFC played their standard 4-3-3 formation while DC played in a 4-1-4-1.
- Playing out the back - For the second week in a row, New York City FC dominated possession against their opponent: 61.3% to 32.8%. They also completed total of 593 passes compared to United’s 375.
- The Backline - The defense looked solid and consistent, as the Boys in Blue outworked D.C. United in tackles won, duels won, and clearances on the day.
- The New Guys - Today’s match was full of good vibes, but especially for many of the club’s new signings. Rodney Wallace scored his first goal on the day, while Maxi Moralez scored his first goal and recorded his first two assists for NYCFC. Alexander Ring dominated the DCU midfield on the day running them ragged from box to box and quickly retaking possession whenever City did turn it over (which was not often this day), and Sean Johnson was strong in goal, making great saves and recording his first clean sheet for NYCFC.
- El Guaje - David Villa scored a brace and an assist on the day, earning Man of the Match honors.
While David Villa was the man of the match, Maxi Moralez was the name on everyone’s lips this afternoon. When asked about the diminutive dynamo, Manager Patrick Vieira had this to say:
“Maxi is a player who is great at finding space. His ability to do so in the midfield was important for the team. He’s a great player who works hard for the team.”
Even El Guaje himself was asked to comment on Moralez’s wizardry on the day:
“He’s great. He’s a very good signing for us. For me, it’s amazing to have him behind because he is a great player and gives me more chances and gives me more facility to play well.”
Sean Johnson, when asked about the backline and it’s international background, had this to say in terms of chemistry that is forming:
“It’s a diverse backline. At times I’m speaking Spanish, at times English. Whatever it takes...You have to learn how players are most comfortable. It was great the way we played today and everyone is coming together.”
Next Up for NYCFC: After this stunning home opener, the Boys in Blue look to continue to defend home field with another match in Yankee Stadium this coming Saturday against the Montreal Impact.