There truly is no place like home.
In a return to the Etihad Pitch at Yankee Stadium, New York City FC looked to build upon their already impressive 4-0-1 record to start the 2018 season in a match against Real Salt Lake. Despite team leaders David Villa and Alex Ring being relegated to bench duty, NYCFC routed the Claret and Cobalt in a 4-0 contest to maintain their current dominance over MLS.
NYC started strong, controlling the game from the opening kickoff. And it wouldn’t take them long to find the back of the net. After a patient buildup, emerging star Ismael Tajouri-Shradi found the ball at his feet at the top of the box. The Libyan winger then sidefooted the ball home by curling it inside the far post and past a helpless Nick Rimando to give City an early 1-0 advantage in the 12th minute.
The Blues would continue to create chances in the opposing half, the most significant being Ronald Matarrita’s left footed strike which narrowly trickled past the far post after what may have been a touch by Rimando.
Despite the failed conversions, it wouldn’t take long for City to increase their lead. Maxi Moralez would be brought down in the box in the 30th by RSL defender Justen Glad, causing referee Mark Geiger to point to the spot. Moralez would step up to take the shot himself, putting it in and giving NYCFC a 2-0 lead.
The fun wouldn’t stop there, though.
In the 41st minute, Matarrita would send a pass towards Jesus Medina, who brilliantly flicked the ball into the path of a streaking Jo Inge Berget. The Norweigan forward would then take a touch before slipping a beautfiul low shot into the net to give City a 3-0 lead going into the half.
The second half would see the returns of both David Villa and Alex Ring, who both came in shortly before the 60th minute and finished the game to give them some game time to shake off the rust. City would also add on to their already dominant performance after Maxi Moralez centered a ball to the unmarked Ebenezer Ofori in the box, giving the Blues a 4-0 lead and cementing an already impressive victory over RSL.
Next up: It’s a quick turnaround for New York City, who head to the Dirty South to take on a white hot Atlanta United at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on April 15.