It was the Caps’ first-ever win over the Bronx Blues, who entered the match on a four-match MLS win streak.
Here’s how NYCFC lined up:
GK Eirik Johansen
LB Ben Sweat CB Alexander Callens CB Maxime Chanot RB RJ Allen
CDM Alex Ring CM Yangel Herrera CM Andrea Pirlo
LW Tommy McNamara CF David Villa RW Jack Harrison
Early returns suggested disaster for the visitors, as Fredy Montero needed just three minutes to notch his sixth goal of the year off a glaring defensive mistake that Maxime Chanot will prefer to forget.
But the universe would sigh its magical sigh a half hour later, as a New York City corner kick found RJ Allen knocking the ball toward Tommy McNamara in front of goal, who clashed with goalkeeper David Ousted just long enough for the ball to trickle to Chanot for a cool finish right in front of the net.
It was dreamland for NYCFC barely five minutes later. Caps captain Kendall Waston saw a yellow card for making contact with Tommy McNamara’s pretty little head on the break— and since the contact came in the penalty area, the visitors were awarded a penalty.
Up stepped came David Villa, seeking his twelfth goal of the year.
The Blues entered the break in the drivers’ seat, having battled back after conceding first yet again. But a 54th minute back-post equalizer by a totally unmarked Jordan Harvey put the result in real danger, and cast New York City’s defense in a damnable light once again.
The late addition of Maxi Moralez, making his return from a calf injury, looked to be the final spark plug NYCFC needed to preserve one point at the very least, but the Whitecaps would prove to be the more aggressive side down the stretch. Substitute Yordy Reyna essentially repeated Harvey’s heroics, freeing himself up at the far post to nod home a keen cross from rookie Jakob Nerwinski.
At the final whistle, New York City’s win streak was suddenly over at four.
Once again, they conceded first. Once again, they fought back to take the lead. But this time, in the parlance of Brian Wilson, they just weren’t fit with the stuff to ride in the rough.
NEXT UP FOR NYCFC: A two-week break for CONCACAF’s Gold Cup. The good guys return to action July 19th — another Wednesday night — for a home date against current East leaders Toronto FC. The match kicks off at 7:30pm and will be televised on YES.