New York City FC at Orlando City SC: Player Spotlight on Steven Mendoza

It’s been nearly three months since Steven Mendoza was last in the New York City FC starting XI, even longer since he played the entire 90 minutes.
The speedy forward missed seven games due to injury. But Sunday night at Camping World Stadium, Mendoza found himself back in Patrick Vieira’s starting lineup and rewarded the coach with a goal in a 90-minute performance in a 2-1 loss to Orlando City SC.
“Sadly, we’re not leaving with the three points that we wanted, but we have to keep working,” Mendoza said. “As I said, a difficult game and Orlando is an excellent team. They are a complicated rival. We were not able to take one or three points, so a bit sad about the result.”

New York City FC at Orlando City SC: Player Spotlight on Steven Mendoza -

Mendoza scored his third goal of the season, and first since a 5-1 win over the Colorado Rapids on July 30, in the 55th minute, a goal that leveled the match at one. Mendoza settled the rebound of a saved Frank Lampard shot and slotted it in from 12 yards out. 

“The goal was on a play which I knew [Frank] was going to shoot on goal so I was waiting for the rebound, since normally that happens,” Mendoza said. “In the moment that I stopped the ball, I was thinking that I had to hit it with strength so it goes in even if it hits someone.”
The goal came during the most positive part of the match for NYCFC, which came out of the locker room at halftime much more aggressive in the attacking third.
While NYCFC didn’t achieve the desired result and saw their four-match undefeated streak snapped, Mendoza believes his goal can help him during the stretch drive of the regular season. 
“Thank God I got the goal,” Mendoza said, “It will give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.”
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