NYCFC had some fun on Friday as they overcame Columbus Crew 4-1 at Yankee Stadium.
Here’s Five Points from a memorable night in the Bronx, presented by Etihad Airways…
New York City FC didn’t take long to find a breakthrough against Columbus Crew on Friday.
Taty Castellanos broke the deadlock after 14 minutes thanks to a brilliant corner from Jesús Medina, but the goal was more than just the first step towards three points in the league. NYCFC have now scored nine goals from set-pieces this season – a league record – with Medina benefitting as both a scorer and creator.
The team is proving to be consistently dangerous from a dead ball, and during particularly tight contests it could prove a valuable tool for the team to have.
Ronny Deila has made no secret of the fact the credit for that success should go to assistant coach Rob Vartughian, with the latest success just more evidence of what this team can do when given a chance to whip a ball in.
Thiago Comes Up Big
There was an air of mystery surrounding Thiago Andrade when he joined the club from Bahia this off-season.
The Brazilian forward took little time to introduce himself to NYCFC supporters, and fans saw both sides of his game on Friday night. In the first instance, his goal was all about speed and technical ability, as well as supreme confidence to execute what was a very difficult lobbed finish from a tight angle.
Against Orlando City SC, Thiago was influential instigating the move for Maxi Moralez’s goal with a cute reverse-pass, and we saw that trait again on Friday during the first period. His ability to turn provider allowed Keaton Parks to convert in the second half, and points to a well-rounded forward that can both stretch defences and find gaps to thread passes.
When it comes to playing soccer it’s good to be prepared. That may mean a nice warm-up, some stretches, a chance to find your way into the game.
Unfortunately, Alfredo Morales had no such luxury on Friday after teammate Nicolás Acevedo went down injured midway through the first-half. To his credit, the U.S. international stepped in and notched an assist with his first major contribution. His clipped ball in behind the Columbus’ defence not only helped NYCFC secure a second goal, but also helped settle the game down further.
From there, he used his guile and experience to put out fires and carry the piano that his attack-minded teammates played so well in the second half. To lose a player of Acevedo’s quality so early into a game is a disappointment, but when someone like Morales is ready to come in it’s not a bad trade-off.
Few will argue that Anton Tinnerholm is in the conversation for best right-backs in Major League Soccer.
The Swedish defender is dogged defensively and more than content to venture forward and cause problems for the opposition. The game against Columbus typified that, particularly in the second half, as Tinnerholm almost notched himself an assist.
A veteran presence in the locker room, Tinnerholm is a key part of this side, both on and off the field, and seeing a vintage performance was a joy to behold.
It’s A Girl!
Maxi Moralez has been in fine form of late, and after helping his side to a 4-1 win he had another surprise in store for fans at Yankee Stadium.
The veteran playmaker is expecting his third child with his wife, and they chose to reveal the baby’s gender with their NYCFC family. Felicitaciones La Familia Moralez!