In a match that saw NYCFC beat Sporting KC 1-0 on a LATE goal by Battlin’ Jack Harrison and earn a much-deserved 3 points, there was plenty of back and forth.
But in the end, the result felt earned.
- We used 2 GK to take up bench space along with two youths who have played all of 4 minutes combined in MLS. Oh, and someone you may remember as JOHN STERTZER. Ladies and gentlemen, we had to dig deep for this one. As a club.
- We noticed an unusual amount of yellow around the stadium for today’s match; yellow goal nets, corner flags, ref shirts. Turns out that was to raise awareness for the Kick Childhood Cancer foundation. They may have mentioned it on the broadcast. Did they?
- The crowd was hungry for Pirlo. (You’ve got to think he felt that energy tonight)
On a night in which Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia and an ever-wetter playing surface did everything they could to steer things to a stalemate, a heavily rotated NYCFC squad showed what it’s made of. Having to make do without most of their first-choice starters due to injuries and international absences, the good guys eventually worked their way into the game through standout performances by Andrea Pirlo, Tommy McNamara, and RJ Allen.
"In the end, I'm not surprised because you have to see how those players work during the week, and they just play the way they've been working this week,” manager Patrick Vieira said after the match.
“That's something that makes me really proud as a coach.”
While Sean Okoli struggled early at the center forward spot in place of star man David Villa — and while Maxi Moralez fought to keep from slip’n’sliding every which way on the slick surface — the Blues were good value on the night, producing the best chances on goal. As Harrison hit the winner in the 84th minute, his ninth goal of the year, you felt like it was coming.
GOAL Jack Harrison! GET IN, KID!!! #NYCFC pic.twitter.com/DG7PIxfZiG— Sam Dunn (@RealFakeSamDunn) September 7, 2017
Whew! In an instant, nobody was talking about this stunning bit of self-sabotage just minutes earlier, which would have dominated the headlines if not for Jack Flash’s strike:
HOW DO YOU NOT SCORE ON THIS, #NYCFC pic.twitter.com/3P8tew4U4U— Sam Dunn (@RealFakeSamDunn) September 7, 2017
"I want to give credit to the whole team tonight, because the players didn't give up. They always tried to play forward and tried to score the goals, and they managed to do it at the end,” Vieira said.
Overall, not a bad way to spend a Wednesday evening: snagging all three points from the stingiest defense in MLS.
And staying alive in the Supporters’ Shield race.
NEXT UP FOR NYCFC: A Saturday date with the Portland Timbers at Yankee Stadium. The match kicks off at 5:30pm and will be televised on YES.