New York City Football Club Goals:
Portland Timbers Goals: McGraw 72'
New York City Football Club completed our 2023 preseason campaign with a friendly clash against Portland Timbers.
The two sides met at the Coachella Valley Invitational exhibition tournament, locking horns for the first time since the historic 2021 MLS Cup Final.
In a game of few chances, Zac McGraw's second-half header separated the sides in California, while Portland also saw Eryk Williamson sent off for two bookable offenses.
City Head Coach Nick Cushing named another strong starting XI, with new recruit Braian Cufre making his first appearance for the Club.
NYCFC started the game well, carving the first chance of the afternoon inside the opening minutes. Playing out from the back, Alfredo Morales turned defense into attack with a floated ball into Gabriel Pereira’s path, but the Brazilian could not add to his midweek goal against St. Louis City and fired just wide.
A tightly-contested first half saw both sides battle for possession but create little in terms of goalmouth action, and the game headed into the break goalless.
There was drama shortly after the restart when Portland were sent down to ten men with Williamson picking up his second yellow.
Though City dominated the early exchanges of the second period, the Boys in Blue struggled to find a way through a stubborn defense to forge clear-cut chances.
The decisive goal arrived via a set-piece, as McGraw headed in an Evander Ferreira corner.
Cushing's side responded well, stepping up a gear to press for a route back into the game, but could not find a leveler.
NYCFC's six-game preseason schedule comes to an end with the squad having clocked valuable gametime and useful learnings, ahead of next weekend's eagerly-awaited 2023 MLS season opener against Nashville SC.
NYCFC XI: Barraza, Gray, Martins, Chanot, Cufre, Morales, Pellegrini, Parks, Pereira, Thiago, Magno.
NYCFC will kick off the 2023 MLS season on Feb. 25 when we visit Nashville SC at GEODIS Park (4:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).