New York City FC continued preparations for the 2018 Major League Soccer season with a 2-1 scrimmage defeat to Real Salt Lake on Thursday afternoon.
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi hit NYCFC's late deficit-reducer on 88' from the penalty spot, replying to RSL's goals on 13' and 61'.
Warming up for Saturday’s Suncoast Invitational showdown with Montreal, this was City’s penultimate engagement before the big kick-off on March 4 and an opportunity to get minutes into legs.
Opportunity knocked for 17-year old Yonkers-native Esad Mackic, who started up top for the Boys in Blue, flanked by Jonathan Lewis and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, with James Sands, Tommy McNamara and Kwame Awuah backing them up in midfield.
There were also chances for trialists Sebastien Ibeagha and Ryan Felix to impress at the back alongside Ben Sweat and Saad Abdul-Salaam.
In Real Salt Lake’s final preseason engagement, they named their strongest XI for the game and they took control of proceedings with their goals on 13’ and 61’, between a host of NYCFC chances, with the most inviting of the opportunities falling for Mackic and Tajouri-Shradi, who were denied by some last ditch defending.
The impressive Brad Stuver made a fine double save from an RSL penalty in the first half to keep City in touch, before Ismael Tajouri-Shradi replied with a late penalty to half the deficit but it finished 2-1 to Mike Petke's men.
For City, it’s a quick turn of the page before Saturday’s game vs. Montreal Impact which will be streamed here on NYCFC.com.
NYCFC XI: Stuver; Abdul-Salaam, Ibeagha, Felix, Sweat; Sands, Awuah, McNamara (C); Tajouri-Shradi, Lewis, Mackic
SUBS: Caldwell, Tinnerholm, Callens, Matarrita, Ring, Herrera, Medina, Wallace, Lansade, Polvara