New York City FC were held to a 3-3 tie against FC Dallas on Tuesday night.
Here's Five Points from a night of narrow margins, presented by Etihad Airways...
Talles Magno has had a 2021 full of change. Not only has the youngster joined a new team, but he’s move to a new country, on a new continent, with a new language and culture.
Such a shift can require adjustment and patience, especially in someone so young, but the player’s hard work and diligence has not gone unnoticed.
On Tuesday, he was tasked with replacing Taty Castellanos, one of the deadliest strikers in Major League Soccer. Talles narrowly missed a chance to open his MLS account in the first half, but his persistence paid off when he found the net in the 68th minute.
His acrobatic finish was something to marvel at, and while it didn’t secure NYCFC three points, it was a goal worthy of winning the game.
The teenager is still in the early stages of his NYCFC career, but Tuesday felt like the next step in his emergence as an exciting young player
Much of NYCFC’s success in attack on Tuesday night was down to the combination of Maxi Moralez and Jesús Medina.
The Paraguayan produced a moment of brilliance for NYCFC’s opener, with his cheeky back heel catching out the FC Dallas defence. In the second half, the two switched roles with Moralez’s shot handing Medina a tap in to notch his eight goal of the campaign.
The pair compliment each other well in the final third, with both offering Ronny Deila an offensive threat as well as an ability to press and defend. That dual benefit has been central to the team’s success this season, and seeing them come up big again was a reminder of how fortunate we are to have both players in the team.
Welcome back Héber
He had waited 354 days, over 8000 hours, and now he was ready.
The return to action of Héber was an emotional moment, and his mere presence on the bench brought a lift to the group – as evidenced by Maxi Moralez running to him after netting his equalizer.
The coaching staff have been intentionally patient with Héber, and were able to afford him 15 minutes at the end as he continues to build momentum. The striker had some nice touches as he attempted to regain momentum and give Ronny Deila a major addition in attack.
It would be unfair to place expectations on the player after such a significant period on the sidelines, but seeing that trademark smile and having him around the team will continue to be a bonus for the rest of the season.
“I have nothing but great things to say about Héber,” Talles Magno said afterward. “Extremely professional athlete and person. He’s been a mentor to me and has helped me adapt to the city and the league. I am very happy and everyone on the team is very happy that he is back.”
If Talles Magno deserves credit for his acrobatic finish, so too does the man that supplied him that opportunity.
Gudi Thórarinsson arrived at NYCFC having played predominantly as a left midfielder for IFK Norrkoping, but the 29-year-old has somewhat reinvented himself as a left fullback in the Big Apple.
His defensive contribution has been solid this season, and the fact he can be an offensive outlet is a major plus. Let Gudi cross the ball at your own risk.
Cancel Each Other Out
In the build up to the game Ronny Deila discussed the similarities between the two teams in terms of style, and it’s fair to say we saw that play out in the game.
Dallas are keen to play short-passing soccer, and their emphasis on developing young players means the two sides played out an enthralling encounter, with both creating good chances. While a point might feel frustrating on the surface, it was a fair reflection of the game. As the NYCFC Head Coach explained afterward:
“They're very offensive. We knew that we would get our chances and we would just need to defend very well, but we didn't do that today. We were always half a yard too late in situations, and then they switch on us and they created enough chances to get a point on us. As I said there's nothing to say about the result, it's disappointing, of course, because we know we can better. At the same time, we get something from the game and that's the story.”