New York City Football Club Goals: Jimenez (p) 65', Haxhari 72'
San Jose Earthquakes Goals: 30', 53'
New York City Football Club's preseason campaign continued with an entertaining friendly clash against San Jose Earthquakes.
The second fixture of our warm-up schedule took place in Santa Barbara, California, as the two MLS sides locked horns in preparation for the 2023 season, with City battling back from 2-0 down to earn a draw with a spirited second-half display.
Head Coach Nick Cushing named a strong starting XI of First Team regulars, plus youngster Maximo Carrizo, and once again rotated the roster throughout, clocking more minutes into the tank and handing valuable gametime to our Academy stars.
Youngsters Jonathan Jimenez and Klevis Haxhari were on the scoresheet to clinch an impressive comeback with two goals in seven minutes.
City controlled the early exchanges with Alfredo Morales and Talles Magno dictating the play, as the Boys in Blue pressed well and were patient in the build-up, probing for an opening.
The first chance of the game fell to Andres Jasson, who saw his effort blocked after collecting Maxime Chanot's floated pass.
San Jose grew into the game, threatening with a series of set-pieces, before Luis Barraza was called into action with a comfortable save from distance, and Chanot did well to thwart another opportunity.
The Quakes would break the deadlock on the half hour, latching onto a pass into the box from the left-hand side and slotting past Barraza.
NYCFC responded brightly to the setback, pressing for a leveler before the break, carving two good chances with some neat build-up play, as both Keaton Parks and Matías Pellegrini both went close with headers.
Eight minutes after the restart, San Jose doubled their lead with a curling free-kick from 20 yards, but again, Cushing's side rallied. Looking to force a route back into the contest, the Boys in Blue continued to create and produced an excellent fightback.
Jonathan Shore had been unlucky to strike the woodwork with the rebound saved, before City were handed the chance to level from the spot shortly after the hour when Jimenez was upended in the box. The forward stepped up himself to convert and made no mistake to halve the deficit, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Seven minutes later, it was 2-2 courtesy of a set-piece, as Bronx native Haxhari nodded home Stephen Turnbull's whipped delivery from a short corner to complete the comeback and salvage a draw.
Both sides pressed for a late winner - forcing Cody Mizell into a good stop from a one-on-one, while NYCFC piled on the pressure with a string of corners - but the encounter would end all square.
Another useful outing for Cushing and co. with plenty of encouraging signs to grind out a positive result. City's next preseason assignment takes place on Saturday against LAFC.
NYCFC XI: Barraza; Gray, Martins, Chanot, O'Toole; Morales, Carrizo, Parks; Magno, Jasson, Pellegrini.
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).