Minnesota Goals: Ibarra 26'
New York City FC played out their penultimate preseason encounter vs. Minnesota United at the Orlando City Invitational on Wednesday afternoon.
Warming up for Friday’s preseason finale vs. Nashville SC, Domènec Torrent made eight changes to the team which started vs. tournament hosts Orlando City on Saturday, retaining only Jonathan Lewis, Ben Sweat and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi in the XI.
Elsewhere, Brad Stuver started in goal behind a Ben Sweat, Sebastien Ibeagha, Tony Rocha and Anton Tinnerholm back four.
Keaton Parks, James Sands and Juan Pablo Torres made up the midfield three, with Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Valentin Castellanos and Lewis leading the line.
City made a strong start to the match, with James Sands creating the first opportunity for Castellanos who forced a save from Dayne St. Clair on 2’.
St. Clair was required again on 15’ to turn away a powerful effort from Lewis after a turnover up the pitch but despite the early pressure, City fell behind on 26’ when Miguel Ibarra’s shot caught a deflection off Sweat and flew into the corner of the net.
NYCFC didn’t let that goal against the run of play knock them off their stride, finishing the half in dominant fashion with Castellanos and Tajouri-Shradi both threatening with shots before the interval.
However, the Loons managed to block or save everything that came their way, meaning City were chasing a one-goal deficit going in at halftime.
Torrent made three changes at the break, bringing in Alexander Callens, Jesus Medina and Maxi Moralez but it was Castellanos who once again went close on 51’, drawing yet another save from St. Clair after some neat interplay from Sweat and Tinnerholm down the NYC right.
Second half substitute Medina was next to find the Minnesota ‘keeper’s gloves on 64’ and two minutes later Torres found the sidenetting with a back post header as City kept the pressure for an equalizer on.
NYCFC finally beat St. Clair on 72’ when an excellent cross from Castellanos found Medina who turned the ball into the back of the net but the officials ruled that the Paraguayan was offside and awarded a free-kick to the opposition.
Three more changes followed as Torrent gave minutes to Danny Bedoya, Justin Haak and Jonathan Jiminez but there was no further goalmouth action and the score remained 1-0 to Minnesota.
City’s final game of preseason is next on Friday night when Nashville are the hosts for a game you can watch on the YES Network at 8pm.
NYCFC XI: Stuver; Sweat, Ibeagha, Rocha, Tinnerholm; Sands, Parks, Torres; Tajouri-Shradi, Lewis, Castellanos