NYCFC Goals: Callens 37mins, Harrison 52mins, Villa 62mins
Minnesota Goals: Ramirez 9mins
A Quick Look
New York City FC made it four wins in a row and three straight comebacks at Yankee Stadium, recovering a deficit to defeat Minnesota United 3-1.
Alexander Callens and Jack Harrison came up with the replies to Christian Ramirez’s tenth minute goal on either side of half-time and David Villa put the icing on the cake with a stunning solo strike to help tie NYCFC’s club record for consecutive victories.
That left the boys in blue with a 10-5-3 record through 18 games and on 33 points in third place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind leaders Toronto FC.
Following the derby win over Red Bulls, there was a fear this could be a trap game against a team still chasing a first win on the road in MLS.
Despite a promising start, these fears were amplified in a nightmare couple of minutes for the home team, as Matarrita’s return was cut short after he sustained an off-the-ball injury just before Minnesota took the lead.
On his first start since the MLS Playoffs in 2016, Eirik Johansen was unable to hold Miguel Ibarra’s long range strike on 9’, parrying it into the path of Christian Ramirez who roofed home his tenth goal of the season.
It was the third time NYCFC had been down at home but, on the previous two occasions against Philadelphia and Seattle, Vieira’s men had rallied to turn it around.
Yangel Herrera was inches away from providing an immediate response but The Loons soon bolted the door, putting up the low block to try to maintain their early surprise lead.
The ever-dangerous Jack Harrison forced Bobby Shuttleworth into a good save at his near post when he darted inside from the left on 20’ but the rest of the half was a tale of frustration - until the 37th minute.
Ben Sweat was once again the creator, ghosting in on the overlap in behind the Minnesota backline and pulling back for Callens who had maraudered forward from defense to slot home his second NYCFC goal.
Rodney Wallace brought out the best of Shuttleworth with a goalbound effort which required a fingertip save to keep it out in the final seconds of a dominant half from NYCFC but the teams would go in level at the half.
It wouldn’t stay that way long as Harrison weighed in with yet another important goal on 52’.
Wallace stretched the field down the left to make the space for his perfect cross to Harrison who did the rest with a beautifully steered header into the back of the net.
The points were secured in the 62nd minute when Villa got in on the act, dancing through the Loons defense and finishing emphatically for his 11th of the campaign.
Andrea Pirlo was brought on to a huge ovation with 15 minutes remaining as NYCFC closed out another hugely impressive victory.
Only one defender in MLS has more assists than Ben Sweat’s four after the Floridian came up with the goods yet again on Thursday night.
The defender’s overlapping run was timed to perfection as he sprung the stubborn Loons’ resistance to serve the two in the one-two with Callens who strode on to slot home his second goal for the club.
It was an important goal at an important moment as the boys in blue recovered from Ramirez’s early goal which had been scored against the run of play.
Man of the Match
What more can you say about the boy? The 20-year old seems to get better every single week, weighing in with important assists and goals which are earning his team points.
This time, Jack scored the game-winning second when he met a brilliant cross from Wallace with his head before he set into motion the move which led to Villa’s goal which clinched it at 3-1.
A masterclass of decisive wing play from the Englishman.
Social Post of the Game
Stats and Milestones
- Ronald Matarrita made his first start since April 14
- Ben Sweat completed his fourth assist of the season - the second highest tally for a defender in MLS
- Alexander Callens scored his second goal for NYCFC
- Jack Harrison scored his eighth goal of the season - doubling the tally he netted in his Rookie season
- Rodney Wallace racked up his eighth assist of 2017
- David Villa scored his 11th goal of the season and his 52nd in total for NYCFC
- NYCFC recovered a deficit to win for the third home game in a row
- NYCFC won their fourth straight game, tying the club record set in July 2016
- Vieira's side now have a 10-5-3 record through their first 18 games of the season
How They Lined Up
Vieira made two changes to the lineup which saw off the Red Bulls in Harrison, bringing in Eirik Johansen for Sean Johnson in goal and replacing RJ Allen with the returning Ronald Matarrita.
David Villa spearheaded the attack with Wallace to one side and Jack Harrison on the other, while Yangel Herrera, Alex Ring and Tommy McNamara made up the midfield three ahead of Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot, Matarrita and Sweat.
NYCFC XI: Johansen, Sweat, Chanot, Callens, Matarrita, Ring, Herrera, McNamara, Wallace, Harrison, Villa (C)
NYCFC return to action next Wednesday night when we travel to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps. Our next home game is on July 19th when Toronto are the visitors.