New York City Football Club continued their winning run with a 3-1 victory over FC Dallas.
A brace from Santiago Rodríguez and a Talles Magno strike gave Nick Cushing's side the three-goal advtange they required and secured three points for the Boys in Blue.
Here are Five Points from the clash in Queens…
Although much of the chatter on Saturday focused on NYCFC’s attacking output, there should be consideration for some of the rearguard action on show.
Not long after Gabriel Pereira’s goal was disallowed Luis Barraza was called into action. The shot-stopper won’t have known much about the point blank save he made, but it speaks to his great positioning that he was able to be in the right place at the right time.
That was one of several impressive stops by Barraza on the night, and made sure the Boys in Blue took all three points.
NYCFC wasted no time in trying to find the first goal on Saturday. Gabriel Pereira had the ball in the net inside the first 20 minutes, but he was denied by an incredibly tight offside call.
That set the tempo for the rest of the evening. NYCFC’s intensity disrupted FC Dallas’ rhythm and allowed the Boys in Blue to establish a dominance of the ball. When the breakthrough did eventually arrive just before halftime it was a direct consequence of that intensity.
Santiago Rodríguez stayed alert and finished expertly, and from grabbing that first advantage NYCFC didn’t look back.
Back to Front
In studying City’s second goal you witness a crystalized version of the Club’s playing style.
Starting at the back with Luis Barraza, the ball is moved through the lines with short sharp passing. That is blended with the individual skill of Gabriel Pereira as his pass ultimately allows Santi a tap in at the back post.
Nick Cushing said afterwards he loves these games where two teams keen to pass the ball on the ground play each other. It typically makes for an entertaining contest, and that was certainly true on Saturday.
NYCFC ended a three-game home stretch with the visit of FC Dallas.
Whether it's at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field, the fans showed up and made every match special. Nick Cushing highlighted the atmosphere in his post-game press conference, and it wasn't an understatement. For showing up, rain or shine, we simply have to say thank you.
Nick Cushing opted to name Santiago Rodríguez as the team's starting forward in a false 9 role on Saturday.
Rodríguez's positional versatility is something he shares with a number of teammates and it makes NYCFC's approach flexible to the situation they find themselves in. James Sands, another shining light on Saturday, excelled in midfield but has also performed well as a defender when required.
Adding an air of unpredictability to their play, the opportunity to switch systems and positions is proving beneficial for the Boys in Blue, and long may it continue.