Following a historic home victory over the Colorado Rapids, New York City FC heads back on the road for back-to-back games starting Friday night against the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium.
NYCFC has won six of their last eight games, including a 5-1 win over Colorado at Yankee Stadium Saturday afternoon. Midfielder Frank Lampard, who has eight goals since June 18, the most by any MLS player during that stretch, scored the Club’s first ever hat trick.
What made the win especially satisfying for head coach Patrick Vieira is that NYCFC were missing several players to suspension and injury, including Captain David Villa, and still recorded the largest margin of victory ever.
Vieira lauded the play of Diego Martinez, who made his second start at left back, central defender Maxime Chanot, who played the final 45 minutes after just one training session with the squad, and Tony Taylor, who started in place of Villa and scored his first-ever goal at Yankee Stadium in what Vieira called a total team effort.
“This is why I love the game, because it’s all about the team,” Vieira said. “It’s not just about one or two individuals. I always believe in football the group, the roster, is more important than any individual.”
Lampard was named the MLS Player of the Week for his outstanding performance that kept NYCFC (10-7-6) atop the Eastern Conference table with 36 points.
“We are pleased because of course it’s always good to be where we are, but we don’t take anything for granted because we know that we have to concentrate on game at a time and see what’s going to happen,” Vieira said. “But we are happy with where we are.”
Despite a loss to the Red Bulls two weeks ago, NYCFC maintains the best road form in MLS with a 6-4-1 record away from Yankee Stadium, where they are 3-1-1 in their last five.
San Jose (6-6-9) is in eighth place in the Western Conference with 27 points, but the Earthquakes are especially tough at Avaya Stadium, where they are 6-1-3.
The ‘Quakes are coming off a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo Sunday with Chris Wondolowski netting the equalizer in the 59th minute after Alex putting the hosts in front in first-half stoppage time.
This is the second meeting between the teams with NYCFC pulling off a 3-2 win over San Jose Sept. 19 at Yankee Stadium. Villa scored what proved to be the game-winner as NYCFC withstood a furious late rally with Quincy Amarikwa and Wondolowski scoring twice in a four-minute span late in the second half.