Eager to return to winning from in their return to the Bronx, New York City FC hosted the cellar-dwelling Colorado Rapids on a rainy Saturday afternoon that saw the Blues experiment with new tactics, as well as celebrate “David Villa Day”. City came out lined up in a 3-4-3 formation, which featured Ronald Matarrita as a wingback and Alex Ring as a center back.
Despite this change, New York City looked as potent as ever, winning in a 4-0 rout that never seemed to be in doubt.
From the opening whistle, NYCFC made their presence known. In a quick buildup, Jo Inge Berget threaded the ball into the box to a charging Ismael Tajouri-Shradi. Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard made a critical save as the Libyan tried to curl it around the American keeper, resulting in no goal. But the seeds had already been planted.
City continued to pressure Colorado in their own half for most of the first half until finally finding the back of the net in the 22nd minute. While attempting to play it from the back, Howard fired the ball directly towards Yangel Herrera, whose deflection of the pass went right into the path of Maxi Moralez. The playmaker then fed David Villa, who fired a sidefooted strike into the net to give NYCFC a well-deserved 1-0 advantage.
The Rapids did a good job of stopping the bleeding for the remainder of the first half. But a recharged NYCFC came out of the locker room with deadly precision to play the final 45 minutes.
Only minutes into the second half, City got some breathing space. Despite Howard denying Berget inside the box, the deflection came out to Matarrita who effortlessly headed the ball over the remaining defenders and into the goal, giving NYCFC a 2-0 lead.
From there, the floodgates would open as Moralez would score from the top of the box in the 56th minute. Villa would punctuate the afternoon with another goal of his own in the 74th, solidifying a 4-0 victory.
Next up: NYCFC return to the road and travel to the Lone Star State to take on the Houston Dynamo on Friday, May 25.