New York City FC completed phase 1 of the MLS regular season restart on Saturday night with a 2-1 win over FC Cincinnati.
Here’s Five Points from a dramatic night at Red Bull Arena…
NYCFC made it five undefeated with this latest victory over FC Cincinnati, continuing their solid recent form to rack up another important three points.
Goals in either half from Alex Ring and Anton Tinnerholm did the damage for the Boys in Blue, who climbed up to fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings with another three points.
That capped a 4-1-1 record through the six-match Phase 1 of the MLS restart, with NYC recovering from that opening game defeat in the Hudson River Derby to accumulate 13 points from the last 15 available.
Get Well Soon, Maxi
Although it was good to get the win, there’s no doubt the injury to Maxi Moralez overshadowed the victory somewhat.
Maxi took a big whack to the back of his knee and looked like he would be able to rejoin the action after treatment, only for the Argentine playmaker to break down again, forcing his exit from the match.
Moralez looked upset as he walked off the field and there will be a nervy wait now for results of the scans and tests which he will now undergo.
In Ronny’s words: “We have shown before and we have shown tonight we can win without Maxi as well but that is strange for the team. We want and need Maxi to be as good as we can be, so hopefully he can come back quickly.”
The Etihad Player of the Month for August continued his explosive form last night, racking up another Heineken Man of the Match award and scoring what turned out to be the match-winning goal.
Anton Tinnerholm announced himself in MLS with two similar strikes back in 2018, but it’s been a while since we got to see the reason why we call him TinnerBOOM… last night he served a thunderous reminder.
Arriving onto a loose ball on the edge of the box, Anton struck his volley with his so-called weaker left foot and it flew into the corner of the net to make it 2-0.
A goal of the highest quality and another near-perfect performance from one of the league’s best defenders.
Gary Mackay-Steven was the player to replace Maxi on the night and it was he who provided the assist for opening goal of the night with a sublime reverse pass which played through his captain.
There was still work for Alex to do as he took the ball out of his feet and coolly dispatched his strike into the back of the net for his third goal in this mini-season.
Playing in a more advanced position than we’ve seen him for the first three seasons of his NYCFC career, Alex is weighing in with his share of goals – in fact, he is now the team’s top scorer for the league season overall.
Speaking of Alex, there was a nice moment before kickoff too, as Alex presented team physician Dr Christopher Ahmad of New York-Presbyterian Hospital with the jersey he wore in the MLS is Back bubble which bore the doctor’s name.
Following Phase 1 of the restart, City now face down another three games in eight days, with a second trip to New England and another couple of games vs. Toronto FC and FC Cincinnati: all teams that NYC have beaten in 2020 in their most recent meetings.
The picture certainly looks much healthier as far as the league standings go, with NYCFC six points clear of the MLS Playoffs line and looking up the table towards Columbus, Philadelphia, Toronto and Orlando above them.
Let’s keep it going.