Playing behind reigning MLS MVP David Villa, Sean Okoli knows he has to make the most of the chances given to him.
Wednesday was one of those opportunities and the forward rewarded coach Patrick Vieira’s confidence by scoring his first Major League Soccer goal in a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Okoli, who earned his second start of the season, watched the ball pinball back and forth in the midfield before it fell to his feet. He accelerated through a pair of defenders on took two powerful touches into the box and slid a low shot inside the far post from 11 yards out to give NYCFC a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the match.
“It was a tough one. Obviously we came out here looking for three points and things didn’t go our way tonight. I think the guys are a little disappointed, but we have another game Sunday so we have to bounce back.
"We had a little scrap in the middle of the field and the ball just ended up at my feet. I wanted to score tonight, I wanted to win tonight so I did what I can to get a good touch and get the shot on target and luckily it went in.
"Honestly looking back at this, learning from this, but we have to keep our heads up and we know there’s another game coming up soon. The main focus for us is to respond and get a result so I think that’s what we’re going to focus on going forward.”