New York City Football Club recorded a brilliant 1-0 win on the road against CF Montréal.
Here are Five Points from a memorable night at Stade Saputo…
Although a moment of brilliance defined the meeting with Montréal, it should not be overlooked how much the team came together.
Nick Cushing has spoken consistently about how hard the team has worked and fought for each other, and that was on full display against Montréal. Cushing introduced five substitutes on the night and each one applied the same level of fight and dedication as the man they replaced.
NYCFC repelled a spirited Montréal attack to keep their clean sheet, and that moment of success is validation for the team’s hard work and effort in the face of adversity.
One week after registering his first assist for NYCFC Matías Pellegrini secured his first NYCFC goal with a moment of magic.
His brilliant scissor-kick finish was instinctive and showed world-class technical quality. The forward’s hard work was rewarded with a truly memorable moment and one his coach had predicted.
“Yes, I had a conversation with Nick yesterday and he along with the coaching staff told me that I was going to score,” Pellegrini said.
“So when I did score today I celebrated with him and the coaching staff because they believe in me, and they've had my back since day one.”
Worthy of winning any game, Pellegrini's reward for weeks and months of hard work is a goal that fans will remember fondly forever.
While oftentimes we judge a defensive unit on their ability to keep clean sheets and deny goalscoring opportunities, it is worth evaluating the complete performance from NYCFC’s backline against CF Montréal.
Typified by Justin Haak, the youngster was able to bring the ball out of the back and break the Montréal press on several occasions and that forced the hosts to reconsider their strategy.
Alongside him, Maxime Chanot produced countless blocks and interceptions while also reading the danger presented in the pacey Montréal forward line.
Tayvon Gray completed the back three and he helped limit Montréal’s progress down the left while also aiding the team’s build-up play from the back.
Sat behind that trio was Luis Barraza. The goalkeeper was called upon to make several important saves, and when the quartet put their collective quality together they produced another strong showing.
Saturday, July 1, 2023, will forever be a special day in the Benalcazar household.
That was the day Nico Benalcazar made his NYCFC debut. The defender’s cameo saw the kind of hard work and determination that has earned him this opportunity. He helped protect NYCFC’s lead and record a vital victory.
Here’s to New York’s newest debutant, Nico Benalcazar.
In soccer, clean sheets equal points.
For NYCFC, the last few weeks have presented a series of tricky road games, and Nick Cushing revealed after Saturday’s game that his focus has been shifted to making the team as defensively sound as possible.
The Head Coach pointed to the shift to a back three as an example of how the team have made themselves more difficult to score against, and the stats back that up. NYCFC have three clean sheets in their last six, and when the game is decided by fine margins, being able to keep things tight is vital.
Countless successful teams have made a habit of securing 1-0 victories and the Boys in Blue were no different on Saturday.
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