FT: DC United 3, New York City 1. An absolutely abysmal performance from the Pigeons. The only player who played like his job and season depended on it was David Villa, who’ll likely be retired next season. This is a team that is lost tactically — you can see players literally making it up as they go along on the field, and dismissing whatever game plan Torrent constructs (assuming there is one?).
Even worse, this is a team that gets played off the field effort-wise every single match. That’s unacceptable at this level. Blame the players if you’d like, but these players were laying out earlier in the season. What changed? Not the players.
The loss sets up a massive clash at home next week against Philadelphia to close out the season. Let’s be clear: this is not where NYCFC thought they’d be as late as midseason, when they were contending for the Supporters’ Shield. Now, they’re scrabbling to guarantee a home game in the knockout round.
That’s a devastating indictment of Domènec Torrent’s tenure.
87’: NYCFC aren’t showing any particular urgency as the game winds down. You’d think they were up 3-1 instead of losing by that margin.
78’: Final sub - Rodney Wallace in for Valentin Castellanos.
77’: Goal, David Villa! DC 3, NYC 1! Herrera makes an immediate impact, slotting the ball to Villa, who bangs it in off the post to notch his 13th of the season.
72’: Second sub — Yangel Herrera in for Eloi Amagat. It’s good to see Herrera playing after suffering that nasty injury back in May.
72’: Goal, Wayne Rooney. DC 3, NYC 0. Rooney scores his second of the game, 12th of the season. The handball decision on Ring might’ve been a tad harsh, but I’ve seen them given for less, plus his arm was away from the body.
68’: Yangel Herrera is warming up, so there’s something good happening, I guess.
62’: First sub — Ebenezer Ofori off for Ismael Tajouri-Shradi. This is...interesting. I’ll leave it at that.
54’: Free kick coming up for NYC. Kick goes into the wall, nothing comes of it.
46’: We’re off in the second half. Can New York City get back in this? The opening 15 minutes of the second half have been the most productive for the team this season; DCU’s given up 9 goals in the opening 15 of the second half this year.
HT: It’s all DC at the half. Can’t imagine what kind of talk or adjustments Torrent will make, and frankly, I don’t particularly care. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
37’: New York City are trying to get back in this game, but it’s nothing doing. It’s like watching a bad facsimile of the Pigeons from earlier this season.
30’: It’s hard to believe this is the same New York City team that began the MLS season on a tear. Losing Herrera to injury hurt, no doubt, but it’s Domè Torrent’s incompetence that’s really killed off this team. The players aren’t the problem; the manager is. Torrent may be a good coach, but he’s an abysmal manager.
23’: Goal, Lucho Acosta. DC 2, NYC 0. That was an absolute rocket by Acosta. Ibeagha tried to dispossess Rooney, failed, and resulted in Rooney teeing up Acosta beautifully. Nothing Johnson could do about that. DC is tearing up this game.
21’: Alex Callens just misses the header. That was a solid corner delivery by David Villa. New York City slowly trying to claw back into this match.
17’: DC United is in total control here. New York City are lucky to be down just one.
10’: DC United is 10-4-4 this season when taking the lead first. Meanwhile, the Pigeons have won just twice when surrendering the first goal, but have battled back six times to draw — including the last time they played DCU.
7’: Goal, Wayne Rooney. DC 1, NYC 0. Lucho Acosta absolutely torches Tinnerholm, then shreds Ibeagha, before feeding Rooney for his 11th goal. That goal was just a matter of time.
5’: DC United’s Yamil Asad thinks he’s got a goal, but he’s correctly ruled offside. It’s just five minutes in, and the Pigeons could be two goals down.
2’: So close from Wayne Rooney! Just 40 seconds in, DC United shred New York City’s defense, and Rooney has an open header that flashes just wide. NYCFC then move forward, Castellanos has a touch and — stop me if you’ve heard this before — loses the ball.
1’: We are underway at Audi Field. New York City can clinch home field with a win today.
Rosters are here. As you’d expect, Eloi Amagat is starting because of course he is. Also starting: Valentin Castellanos over a healthy Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, because when you can start someone who consistently loses the ball over the team’s leading scorer — on the road — that is absolutely what you should do. Jonathan Lewis is nowhere to be found.
On a good note: Yangel Herrera is on the bench. Whether he can contribute is an open question, but it’s good to see him there. Losing him was one of the two biggest reasons the season’s gone sideways.
New York City Starting XI: Johnson; Tinnerholm, Ibeagha, Callens, Matarrita; Ring, Amagat, Ofori; Medina, Castellanos, Villa.
Bench: Stuver, Herrera, McNamara, Sands, Sweat, Tajouri-Shradi, Wallace.
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: M - Tommy McNamara, M - Yangel Herrera
- International Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Cedric Hountondji (hamstring injury), M - Maxi Moralez (lower leg injury), M - Jo Inge Berget (left adductor injury)
D.C. United Starting XI: Hamid; Mora, Birnbaum, Brillant, Arriola; Moreno, Canouse; Asad, Acosta, Segura; Rooney.
Bench: DeLeon, Durkin, Ellis, Mattocks, Robinson, Stieber, Worra.
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: M - Russell Canouse
- International duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Taylor Kemp (labrum surgery), GK - David Ousted (elbow surgery), D - Chris Odoi-Atsem (Hodgkin’s lymphoma), D - Vytas (hip injury), D - Oniel Fisher (knee surgery), Kofi Opare (hip injury)
Referees: Chico Grajeda (referee); Kyle Atkins, Eric Weisbrod (assistant referees); Chris Penso (4th official); Younes Marrakchi (VAR)
How To Watch
Match date & time: October 21, 2018, 3 pm.
Venue: Audi Field, Washington, DC
Online streaming: Fox Sports GO
Local radio: WNYE 91.5 FM — English; WADO 1280 AM — Spanish.
All-time series: Historically speaking, New York City FC and D.C. United have had a tug-and-pull history. NYCFC currently leads the all-time series with 4 wins in 8 games, while the Black-and-Reds have 3 wins with the outlier being a draw.
Currently, however, DCU probably has the advantage on paper, taking points in their last seven games. Meanwhile, City has struggled in the backstretch of the season, winning only one of their last eight games and currently in danger of falling all the way from the third seed to the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference should their last two games of the season not go well.
Last time these two met, it ended in a 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium where NYCFC were very much the aggressors. However, without the talents of Maxi Moralez or Jo Inge Berget at their disposal, can New York City manage to steal points in the nation’s capital?
This post will update with highlights and information as we receive it.