If at first you don’t succeed, do like Rodney Wallace.
Wallace had three splendid scoring chances in quick succession just seconds into the second half Sunday. First, his sliding attempt was headed off the line.
A looping header was then parried away with the rebound falling right to Wallace and his left-footed attempt was also cleared off the line.
But Wallace, who set up David Villa’s opening goal, wouldn’t be denied and he was rewarded for his hard work on the hour mark when he tapped in an Ethan White cross at the edge of the box for his third goal of the season.
“There’s a reason behind why we bring him to our football club,” NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira said. “His work ethic is fantastic, he’s putting the team before himself, he’s doing the dirty work for team and at the end he gets rewarded with the goal. He’s worked really hard.”
Considering the road Wallace took to get to NYCFC, Vieira isn’t surprised Wallace was undeterred in scoring his goal Sunday.
“He showed how tough he is and how strong he is in his mind,” Vieira said. “He covers a lot of ground and he’s always at the right place to score the goals or to help the team defensively. His work ethic is fantastic.
“When you look at his career, he won the title in this country, he went abroad, he had a had a tough time. The majority of the people would give up or do something else, but he believed in himself, he kept working hard in training and there is the reason why he is in the starting XI.”
“I think it was a great ball by Jack [Harrison]. I was able to get on the end of it. I was trying to make a play, trying to score a goal. They did a great job of clearing the first one off the line.
“The rebound came to Maxi [Moralez] and I was able to follow up on a header. They cleared that off. I had a volley and they cleared that off again.
“Credit to them. That set the tone for us to go out there and try to get the three points.
“Obviously you always wanted it to go in. It was positive because it gave the whole team energy and I think from that moment on we pressed and we were able to to pretty quickly get the second goal.
“Another great build-up. A great cross by Ethan White. I was in the box. My first homework assignment is to get in the box and make something happen out of it. David tried to get a touch on it. Luckily it fell to me and went into the back of the net.”