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Keaton Parks nods NYCFC to road win over New England

New York City FC avoid stumbling in "trap game" against the Revolution, win three consecutive road games for the first time since 2019.

Big Bird's header proved to be the game-winner. | Courtesy

It was a sloppy road game for New York City FC, who struggled to create chances and dominate possession against a stumbling New England Revolution side.

Despite the lackluster performance, NYCFC ground out a 0-1 win thanks to a late goal from Keaton Parks. New York City, now in third place in the Eastern Conference behind Inter Miami CF and FC Cincinnati, has won three straight away games for the first time since 2019.


New York City: 14 shots, 4 shots on target, 42.3% possession, 374 passes, 87.2% pass accuracy, 9 fouls, 7 saves

New England: 17 shots, 8 shots on target, 57.7% possession, 505 passes, 90.9% pass accuracy, 19 fouls, 3 saves

• New York City, Keaton Parks, 82'

Attendance: 26,625
New York City FC 0 - 1 New England: Rate the players
NYCFC win a third consecutive road game for the first time since 2019.

Slow first half

NYCFC came close to scoring in the very first minute of the match. Kevin O'Toole was picked out on the left-hand side by Santiago Rodríguez and played a pass into the box that found Agustín Ojeda, but his shot was blocked by center-back Henry Kessler.

From there, New England settled into the game and dominated possession. New York City almost conceded off a corner kick, but Xavier Arreaga's header glanced wide. Revolution striker Giacomo Vrioni came close to putting New England in front right before halftime, but Matt Freese made a diving save to keep the Albanian out.

It wasn't a pretty first half from NYCFC at all. They attempted four shots, with only one on goal. New England placed three of their five shots on target, and were comfortably in control with 54 percent possession. For a team that has been struggling all season, the Revolution had the momentum to prove that this could be a "trap game" for New York City.

Courtesy g+ GameFlow

Keaton Parks leaps for the winner

As the second half moved on, it looked like NYCFC was about to drop points against the worst team in MLS. Hannes Wolf missed a great chance to get his third goal in three consecutive games off a New England turnover. That was before Parks scored the game-winner in the 81st minute off a patient and well-worked New York City attack.

NYCFC passed around New England's box before the ball got to Tayvon Gray, who whipped in a cross to the back post. A leaping Parks met the cross, with his header leaving New England goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic flat-footed. It was Gray's second assist of the season after getting the assist for Mounsef Bakrar's game-winner against the Red Bulls last week.

The second goal of the season for "Big Bird" by many, Parks scored the same way as his first in April — a thumping header. Parks admitted post-match that he liked the nickname from the fans. He also acknowledged that despite playing a sloppy first half, New York City's defense held it down to take all three points.

Nick Cushing frustrated with performance

Despite the win, Nick Cushing wasn't happy with how NYCFC set up against New England. Cushing admitted it was the first time in a while that he did not enjoy watching New York City and said it was the perfect example of how not to play Carles Gil.

Gil created seven chances and completed 92 percent of his passes. The Spanish midfielder showed his attacking threat as New England's No 10, but Thiago Martins and Birk Risa continued their defensive excellence to shut out New England.

Freese had six saves and was once again an immense factor in the win, earning his third clean sheet of the season. Five of his six saves were inside the box, and three of them saw the Iceman dive low.

NYCFC finds beauty in winning ugly
What could have been a frustrating “trap game” vs a New England team with the worst record in MLS instead became another example of how New York City FC has improved their mentality and resiliency since last season.

Up next

NYCFC will return to Yankee Soccer Stadium for a Western Conference clash with San Jose, who are also struggling at the moment. San Jose has 11 points, which is tied for the lowest in the West with Sporting KC.

New York City will be looking to make it five straight wins for the first time since October 2022 and continue to climb up the Eastern Conference.

• New England, Henry Kessler, yellow card, poor sportsmanship 13′
• NYCFC, Mounsef Bakrar, yellow card, poor sportsmanship 33'
• NYCFC, Thiago Martins, yellow card, foul 41'
• New England, Dylan Borrero, yellow card, poor sportsmanship 73'
• New England, Xavier Arreaga, yellow card, poor sportsmanship 86'

• Referee: Ted Unkel
• Assistant referees: Corey Rockwell, Chantal Boudreau
• Fourth official: Alexandra Billeter
• VAR: Younes Marrakchi
• Assistant VAR: Mike Kampmeinert 
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