NYCFC Goals: Villa 73 mins
Orlando Goals: Larin 31mins & 50mins
A Quick Look…
Sporting Earth Day inspired jerseys on a beautiful spring day in the Bronx, New York City FC were unable to avenge their opening weekend defeat to Orlando, going down 2-1.
NYCFC’s nemesis Cyle Larin scored on either side of the halftime interval to inflict a first home defeat of the season despite Villa’s late reply on 73’.
A well-worked corner routine almost gave NYCFC the perfect start inside 60 seconds as Andrea Pirlo found Alex Ring on the edge of the box but the Finnish midfielder’s sweetly-struck shot was beaten away by Joe Bendik in the Orlando goal.
That was the extent of the goalmouth action in a cagey, incident-free first 20 minutes as the two 2015 Expansion Teams sized one another up in a tactical chess match.
The game caught fire again when Jack Harrison picked up the ball on the right wing on 24’ and swung in an enticing cross towards Maxi Moralez who forced another good save from Bendik with his stooping, diving header.
However, it was The Lions who pounced first through NYCFC’s arch-enemy Cyle Larin who scored his eighth goal in seven appearances against the boys in blue, sweeping one in from close range after an Orlando break.
That was how it stayed until the halftime interval, leaving Head Coach Patrick Vieira with an important halftime address to deliver to his charges but it was the visitors who came out firing in the second period, doubling their lead on 50’.
Of course it was Larin again who made it nine in seven after he outmuscled Rodney Wallace and headed a deep cross back where it came from and beyond Sean Johnson’s outstretched hand.
With a mountain to climb, Vieira brought in Yangel Herrera for Andrea Pirlo and the Venezuelan was involved in the buildup as NYCFC nearly came back to within a goal as McNamara’s deflected effort looped over the ‘keeper and landed on the roof of the net.
Wallace forced Bendik into his first proper save on 67’ with a diving header which had to be parried away but five minutes later, Vieira’s men were finally on the board.
Moralez found Villa with a dinked free-kick over the top and El Guaje swiveled and volleyed from the acutest of angles to ignite hopes of a dramatic comeback.
Moralez and Harrison both went close with stunning efforts in the final 10 minutes but Bendik prevailed with three excellent saves and the visitors held on for all of the points.
Orlando still seem to have NYCFC’s number... we meet again in Florida on May 21 to see if third time's a charm.
Orlando’s opener came against the run of play as NYCFC were ramping up the pressure in the minutes leading up to it, with Harrison growing especially influential.
Their old scourge, Cyle Larin, came up with the goal which clearly took its toll on the confidence the home team had displayed before then.
Man of the Match…
The little Argentine seemed to grow stronger as the game went on and it was no surprise he was heavily involved in the first goal, loading the bullet for Villa’s sixth goal of the campaign.
He nearly equalized himself with an outrageous cushioned volley lob over Bendik and would have if not for a brilliant save.
Social Post of the Game...
Stats and Milestones…
- Tommy McNamara made his first start of the 2017 season.
- NYCFC’s record against Orlando City is now 1-5-2.
- David Villa scored his sixth goal of the 2017 MLS season.
- John Stertzer made his NYCFC debut.
- Cyle Larin has now scored nine goals in seven games against NYCFC.
- This was NYCFC’s first defeat at Yankee Stadium in 11 Regular Season games.
- Former Head Coach Jason Kreis returned to Yankee Stadium for the first time since departing in 2015.
Both teams were wearing jerseys produced using technical yarns containing Parley Ocean Plastic™ to create awareness for Earth Day 2017.
How They Lined Up…
Tommy McNamara came in for the injured Ronald Matarrita as the only change from NYCFC’s victory over Philadelphia Union last week.
Elsewhere, the team remained the same from the one which has started all but one of NYCFC’s games to date, with Ethan White remaining at right-back beside Alexander Callens and Maxime Chanot.
In midfield, Andrea Pirlo and Alex Ring once again anchored the central third of the Etihad Pitch and Maxi Moralez started in between Jack Harrison and McNamara in behind David Villa.
NYCFC travel to the Mapfre Stadium for their next assignment, taking on Columbus Crew SC on Saturday April 29 at 7.30pm.