Skip to content

NYCFC offense puts on season-best performance, displays potential

The return of Maxi Moralez jump-started a thrilling four-goal bombardment in the game's final 10 minutes plus stoppage time.

Santiago Rodríguez and the NYCFC offense is fired up. | Courtesy of

New York City FC fielded a lineup with some offensive changes against San Jose. Julián Fernández started on the right wing, and Jovan Mijatović took Mounsef Bakrar's spot as the No 10.

New York City had nine shots in the first half, but only placed one on target. The offense came to life in the second half starting with a goal from Hannes Wolf. San Jose instantly responded with a goal from Amahl Pellegrino, which showed NYCFC's defensive weakness from open play.

Cushing went on to make his attacking subs, bringing on Alonso Martínez and Malachi Jones, and bringxing Maxi Moralez for his long-awaited return. It was looking like New York City was en route to dropping points against an MLS bottom-feeder, but Santiago Rodríguez called the game with an excellent finish from the top of the box in the 80th minute.

New York City 5 - 1 San Jose: Rate the players
It was a gorgeous night in the Bronx as New York City FC won their fifth game in a row: NYCFC now have the best run of form in MLS.

From there, NYCFC completely exploited San Jose's defensive struggles, as Martínez scored the fastest hat trick in club history in the final 10 minutes of the game. He was extremely clinical, making the most of all his chances in front of goal: three shots, three goals. Martínez proved that he has what it takes to be the top-choice No 9 going forward, but it remains to be seen if Cushing agrees.

New York City flashed their attacking potential all season long, but there was a feeling that the team was close to earning a dominant, thrashing win very soon. However, it didn't seem like it was going to be against San Jose, at least not after the performance we saw in the first half.

Alonso scored his three goals, but the night couldn't have unfolded like it did without Moralez, who showed exactly what New York City have been missing in the midfield. He created three chances, completed 100% of his 22 of his passes, and earned an assist on Martínez's first goal. It was NYCFC's first five-goal game in an MLS game since the 5-4 win over Toronto on April 24, 2022.

New York City now has a week off before their next game against Columbus. After tonight, it's clear that NYCFC should play Malachi Jones, Rodríguez, Martínez, and Hannes Wolf in offense, bringing Moralez off the bench. This lineup is surely New York City's best possible choice, which was on full display tonight and should continue to succeed going forward.

Ice, Ice Baby: Why Matt Freese is an elite goalkeeper
We look at the numbers behind Matt Freese’s rise to the top of MLS goalkeepers, and break down his biggest saves of the season.