New York City Football Club secured a vital win against Orlando City SC on Wednesday.
Goals from Mounsef Bakrar and Talles Magno handed NYCFC a 2-0 win.
Here are Five Points from the game…
One of the central takeaways from Wednesday’s result was the show of unity among the players – both those that started and those that entered the game.
Regardless of the team’s struggles this season the group has stayed together and always tried to be better than they were the day before.
From back to front the group was harmonious and worked together to earn an important result against a difficult opponent.
When Talles Magno smiles, New York smiles.
The Brazilian forward entered the game unexpectedly on Wednesday night after an injury to teammate Richy Ledezma forced him off the field.
Taking just nine minutes to register on the scoresheet, it was clear from his celebration what it meant to score. His towering header left Pedro Gallese no chance in the Orlando goal, and, as Nick Cushing said afterwards, settled the game down en-route to NYCFC claiming a huge three points.
The former Vasco da Gama player has bundles of ability and quality, and at his best, he is a difference maker in MLS. While all attackers can go through difficult spells in front of goal, they are defined by how they snap out of that form and Talles did it in emphatic fashion against Orlando.
The last time Orlando City failed to score was July 8.
That run of nine games came to a screeching halt against NYCFC on Wednesday, thanks to some strong defending. Orlando are no strangers to scoring goals, but NYCFC reduced them to just two shots on target during the course of the 90 minutes.
As well as helping the team earn three points, it also confirmed a third clean sheet in four games. Developing a habit of clean sheets is a cornerstone of success in soccer, and if the team can maintain that defensive strength they will significantly boost their chances of reaching the playoffs.
Mounsef Bakrar wears the number nine shirt for a reason.
Not only does it signify that he wants to bring goals to the team, but it also means he’s willing to shoulder the responsibility and pressure associated with being the team’s central goal-getter.
Against Orlando, it was the instincts of a striker that earned him his third goal in MLS. The forward not only won the race to follow up Santiago Rodríguez’s penalty attempt but also held off the attention of an opponent to calmly head the ball into the net and give NYCFC the lead.
A vital goal at an important time, Bakrar delivered when it mattered most to NYCFC.
The condensed MLS schedule means that NYCFC could conceivably finish the week in the playoff spots after taking seven points from a possible nine.
The team is now unbeaten in four games, and as is often the case in MLS, it is all about making sure you are above the line at the right time.
Nick Cushing and his players are taking nothing for granted after Wednesday’s victory against Orlando City, but they will take confidence and inspiration from the result, as they look to repeat it against Toronto on Saturday.
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