NYCFC Goals: Villa 52mins & 77mins
Seattle Goals: Roldan 40mins
A Quick Look...
David Villa scored his 50th and 51st goals in MLS as NYCFC came from behind to win at Yankee Stadium for the second game in a row.
Cristian Roldan had opened the scoring for the visitors before El Guaje brought up a half century with a 51' PK he himself earned, before he volleyed home no.51 to give his team all three points.
NYCFC are now 8-5-3 for the 2017 season and lie in third place in the Eastern Conference.
Pride Day came to Yankee Stadium with the visit of the MLS champions on a soggy Saturday in the Bronx.
With Wednesday’s Hudson River derby defeat at Red Bull Arena still fresh in the mind, NYCFC immediately set about taking out their frustrations an in-form Sounders team who were on a run of four wins in their last five.
Seattle appeared to have brought the weather with them from the West Coast as the rain beat down upon the Etihad Pitch from kickoff right through the 90'.
Initially making for a slick surface, the downpour intensified and took its toll on the field from the 15th minute mark, causing the ball to hold up and drawing a little of the pace from NYCFC’s usual back-to-front buildup play.
The home team looked the more dangerous side in the early exchanges, prying and prodding for gaps in the Sounders’ backline with neat one-touch interplay between Jack Harrison, playing as the no.10 in Maxi Moralez’s absence, David Villa, the returning Rodney Wallace and Tommy McNamara.
On 22’, NYCFC were left feeling hard done by when Joevin Jones appeared to take out Harrison on the slide as the Englishman cut into the penalty box.
Replays appeared to confirm that the boys in blue should have had a chance to take the lead from the spot but, much to Patrick Vieira’s chagrin, the referee turned down the appeals.
At this point, the weather was beginning to take more of an influence than any one player on the field and Sean Johnson was little more than a spectator for the majority of the first period as NYCFC dominated the possession battle without reward.
Just as it looked as though the teams were going to go in at the break deadlocked, the away side at Yankee Stadium scored on their first meaningful attack – not for the first time this season...
Following a midfield turnover on 40’, the ball fell invitingly for Roldan to take the ball out of his feet and push it into the far corner from an acute angle, beyond Johnson’s despairing dive.
It was a bitter blow for Vieira’s men who had undoubtedly been in the ascendancy and that frustration was only compounded when Villa rattled the crossbar with a brilliant strike seconds before the whistle for the interval.
There was no letup from the skies as the second half commenced but when NYCFC won a penalty five minutes in, there was a chance to bring up a very special milestone.
Villa himself won the penalty when it was adjudged he had been taken out by Fisher and he made no mistake, smashing home his 50th goal for NYCFC – yet another record for the Club’s first-ever signing.
That goal certainly lifted the home team as they ran through the gears looking to make it two come-from-behind wins in two home games.
Sean Okoli was sent on for McNamara to help with that but it was Villa who followed up goal no.50 with no.51, making a start on that second half century of goals in no time at all.
It came at the completion of an elongated one-two with Harrison as the pair exchanged crosses, causing Sounders to leave Villa unmarked at the back post where he was able to volley home Jack’s pinpoint cross.
Finally, NYCFC had the lead their play had merited and they weren’t about to give it up.
Next up, it’s a return to Red Bull Arena and a revenge mission…
NYCFC were a little unlucky not to be awarded a penalty on 15’ when Harrison was taken down but perhaps this decision was evened out five minutes into the second half.
The referee's call to point to the spot following a push on Villa could have been seen as a little generous but there was nothing charitable about the way Villa dispatched it, netting his 50th goal for the club in the process, turning the tide in the home side's favor.
Man of the Match...
Who else but David Villa? The brilliant Spanish striker enjoyed a standing ovation when he was withdrawn in stoppage-time after yet another masterful, match-winning performance.
Scoring his 50th and 51st goal for the Club, the day belonged to the league’s MVP once again.
Social Post of the Game...
Stats and Milestones...
- David Villa scored his 50th goal for NYCFC in his 79th appearance.
- That means Villa has scored a goal every 0.63 games since arriving in MLS.
- Villa is the fifth fastest to reach 50 Regular Season goals in MLS history – only Raul Diaz Arce, Carlos Ruiz, Roy Lassiter and Taylor Twellman got there quicker.
- His 50th goal ended a run of four games without one for Villa.
- Until today, Seattle had been one of just four teams Villa had never scored against.
- This was the third meeting between NYCFC and Seattle – it’s now 2-1-0 in the all-time series in our favor.
- Yangel Herrera made his first appearance for NYCFC in more than a month after the U20 World Cup.
- Seattle had won four of their last five games before today’s meeting.
- NYCFC’s Yankee Stadium record for 2017 is 5W-1L-2D
How They Lined Up...
Venezuela U20s captain Yangel Herrera returned to the XI for NYCFC’s meeting with the reigning MLS Cup champions as one of four changes to the team which lost to Red Bulls in the Open Cup.
Elsewhere, Maxime Chanot was back alongside Alexander Callens following his hamstring injury and RJ Allen made his first start since the defeat to Real Salt Lake in place of Ethan White at right-back.
Birthday boy Rodney Wallace also returned to the side after returning from international duty with Costa Rica, forming an attacking quadrant with Tommy McNamara, David Villa and Jack Harrison.
NYCFC return to Red Bull Arena next weekend for the first MLS NY derby of the season. Our next home game is against Minnesota on the following Thursday - get your tickets below...