Villa v Atletico

Match Recap: Atletico San Luis 3-0 NYCFC

NYCFC Goals:

Atletico San Luis Goals: Catalan 4', Barraza 55', Dos Santos 60'


New York City FC signed off on the second stage of their preseason with a tough 3-0 defeat to a clinical Atletico Club de San Luis side on Tuesday night.

Matias Catalan opened the scoring for the hosts at the Estadio Alfonso Lastras on 4' and Jahir Barraza made it 2-0 ten minutes after the interval before Jonathan Dos Santos completed the scoring on the hour.

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Head Coach Patrick Vieira named a strong XI for this test against the Mexican second division outfit, which included a front three of David Villa, Tommy McNamara and Rodney Wallace.

Anchoring midfield, as he did on one fateful night in Ecuador, was 17-year old James Sands, who lined up alongside Maxi Moralez, returning to the country he once plied his trade in, as well as Venezuelan international midfielder, Yangel Herrera.

Lining up on the opposite side was one familiar face to Premier League and Serie A fans in the shape of Momo Sissoko, the ex-Liverpool and Juventus midfielder.

Following the 3-0 defeat to LA Galaxy last time out, Vieira would have wanted to see a strong, confident start from the Boys in Blue but he did not get it, as City found themselves trailing with just four minutes on the clock.

Matias Catalan was the goalscorer, reacting first after NYCFC failed to clear a corner, thrashing the ball in at the near post, leaving Sean Johnson with no chance.

Undeterred, NYCFC settled into their flow and began dictating the tempo of the game, with Sands and Herrera spraying some neat passes out wide, creating crossing opportunities for Wallace and Villa.

It was from one of these centered balls that City created their first meaningful opportunity of the game on 27', when Villa crossed for McNamara but Tommy was unable to bring his header under the bar, despite backpedaling smartly to meet it.

At the other end, Alexander Callens came to his side's rescue with an excellent block to deflect a goalbound shot over the bar and a header at the end of a counter-attack came back off the frame with Johnson stranded.

That seemed to be the flow of the first half: NYCFC dominating the cadence of the game, while the hosts broke to sometimes-devastating effect but, when the sides went in at the break, City were well in the argument but in need of more cutting edge in the final third.

Herrera almost provided it with a spectacular volley a few minutes after the restart but his bicycle kick was a yard wide of the target, just before Atletico doubled their advantage.

Johnson met a corner kick with his fists but Barraza was there on the corner of the box on 55', delivering an unstoppable half-volley to the upper 90 to make it 2-0.

A raft of changes followed, with Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Ronald Matarrita and Jonathan Lewis among those introduced from the bench but it got worse for City on 67' when San Luis netted once again through Dos Santos, who mopped up the loose ball and clinically converted.

Justin Haak was the final introduction from the bench, drawing rapturous chants of "Cavani, Cavani, Cavani" from the home crowd who rose to their feet and lauded his every touch, providing at least some feel-good factor on a difficult night, especially seeing as the 16-year old Brooklynite impressed once again in his latest cameo.

All in all, a tough night for City vs. strong opposition in the middle of their season and plenty to work on when the team flies to Florida for the final stage of preseason this weekend.

NYCFC XI: Johnson; Tinnerholm (Scally 64'), Chanot (Ibeghea 64'), Callens (Felix 56'), Sweat (Matarrita 56'); Sands, Herrera (Haak 77'), Moralez (Lewis 64'); Wallace (Tajouri-Shradi 64'), McNamara (Fortune 56'), Villa (C) (Medina 46')

Subs: Stuver, Rawls

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