New York City FC brought the curtain down on the first stage of Preseason 2018 with a 5-2 win over Jacksonville University on Wednesday night.
Here’s Five Things we learned from the scrimmage…
At this early stage of preseason, results are always a fair way down the priorities list for Patrick Vieira but he’ll have been encouraged by what he saw from his charges in this first run-out.
With a whole host of new faces and different XIs fielded in each half, this was very much a case of getting minutes into legs, building chemistry and putting into practice routines enacted on the training field over the last nine days.
As we’ll get into later, there were positives signs on all of these fronts as the Boys in Blue controlled possession and switched play to good effect, stretching the Jacksonville defense throughout the evening with clever combinations and intelligent movement off the ball.
The pressing demanded by Patrick and his coaching staff was in effect as City departed Jacksonville for LA on solid footing.
To the Left
Anyone who’s been following our preseason coverage will know that there could be a new bromance brewing in the NYCFC ranks…
Ronald Matarrita and Jesus Medina seem to have hit it off right away and, on this first evidence, this burgeoning connection looks to have extended onto the field.
The pair combined on a number of occasions in the second 45 and it was Costa Rica x Paraguay for one of the goals of the night – a sweeping move down the left wing which led to a simple tap-in for Jonathan Lewis.
Pura Vida! (and, whatever the Paraguayan equivalent is… anyone?)
For the Academy players sprinkled through the first and second half XIs, this was an important opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in a live game situation.
NYCFC’s first-ever Homegrown Player James Sands was typically reliable in possession in the second 45’, while Justin Haak came on and broke up play well on a number of occasions and Gio Reyna pressed relentlessly from the front.
All in all, a proud night for all of the youngest members of NYCFC's travelling party involved in the game, as they slotted in alongside more experienced heads and gained invaluable experience.
Another new NYCFC man who wasted no time in impressing his new Head Coach was Anton Tinnerholm.
The Swedish Defender of the Year was just as good as Malmo fans on social media said he was…
Most eye-catchingly, he scored another contender for goal of the night as he pelted down the right flank, played a one-two with a teammate, and thrashed the ball home.
The defender wasn’t signed for his goals but he showed up well on both sides of the ball, winning it back with firm but fair challenges and also getting up and down the pitch to great effect to combine, to create and to overload.
A very promising first outing.
Villa Misses Out
A final team news related note…
David Villa missed this one as a precautionary measure, meaning Alex Ring wore the captain’s armband in the first half and Matarrita for the second.
It’s thought to be nothing serious and it’s hoped that El Guaje will be fit for the next round of games on 9/10 February vs. LAFC/LA Galaxy, but we’ll keep you posted here on NYCFC.com.
First Half: Johnson; Tinnerholm, Felix, Callens, Sweat; Ring, Awuah, Moralez; Fortune, Wallace, Reyna
Second Half: Stuver; Abdul-Salaam, Paterson, Ibeagha, Matarrita; Sands, Polvara, Herrera; Lewis, Medina, Fortune
Join the Club and become a City Member today to secure your seats for all 17 home matches by calling 855-77-NYCFC or go to www.nycfc.com/tickets.