NYCFC – 0
San Jose Earthquakes – 0
Match recap …
New York City FC remains atop the Eastern Conference after playing the San Jose Earthquakes to a 0-0 draw at Avaya Stadium Friday night.
Josh Saunders made four saves to earn his sixth clean sheet of the season as NYCFC (10-7-7) extended their lead in the East to four points in front of second place Toronto FC. San Jose (6-6-10) remains in eighth place in the West with 28 points.
Jack Harrison had NYCFC’s first quality scoring chance on five minutes with an open attempt from 20 yards out that was wide to the left of Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham.
Saunders came up big twice in the first half, first kicking away a chance by Alberto Quintero and then parrying away a point-blank shot by Anibal Godoy. Saunders also did well to deny Chad Barrett with a quarter hour to go.
Steven Mendoza had a pair of chances in the final nine minutes, but Bingham dived to save his attempt from 17 yards out in the 81st minute. The San Jose goalkeeper did well to come off his line three minutes from full time to cut off Mendoza’s angle as the substitute shot wide.
PHOTOS: New York City FC at San Jose Earthquakes
How they lined up …
David Villa and RJ Allen returned to Patrick Vieira’s starting XI after serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation as two of three changes from the squad that defeated the Colorado Rapids, 5-1, last Saturday.
Villa returned to his spot in the middle of the three-man forward line, while Allen started on the left of the four-man backline. Maxime Chanot, who made his debut off the bench a week ago, earned his first start in favor of an injured Jefferson Mena.
Steven Mendoza came on for Jack Harrison for Vieira’s first change in the 62nd minute, while Federico Bravo replaced Andoni Iraola 10 minutes later. Tony Taylor came on for Tommy McNamara for Vieira’s final change in the 83rd minute.
Man of the Match …
Saunders made sure NYCFC earned the road point with a great performance in goal, making four saves to earn his sixth clean sheet of the season.
Saunders denied Alberto Quintero with a kick save in the 14th minute and then parried away an Anibal Godoy chance from eight yards out in the 25th minute.
With San Jose pressing for a goal late, Saunders did well to make himself big and rob Chad Barrett from eight yards out in the 75th minute.
Key moment …
Making his first start for NYCFC, Maxime Chanot was solid in the back and came up with a spectacular saving tackle six minutes from full time when he slid to deflect an open shot by Chris Wondolowski in the box.
Photo of the Match …
Stats and milestones …
- NYCFC extended their lead atop the Eastern Conference to four points.
- NYCFC is now a league-best 6-4-2 on the road.
- Josh Saunders made four saves to earn his sixth clean sheet of the season.
- Maxime Chanot made his first start for NYCFC.
- NYCFC is 6-2-1 in their last nine games.
What it means …
NYCFC remains atop the Eastern Conference, extending their lead over idle Toronto FC to four points.
Tweet of the Match …
NYCFC returns to action next Saturday when they take on Eastern Conference rival Columbus Crew on the road before returning to Yankee Stadium for a showdown with the LA Galaxy on August 20.