New York City FC made it three out of three at Yankee Stadium *THIS WEEK* thanks to a 2-0 win over Columbus Crew SC.
Here’s Mark Booth with Five Things We Learned from another night of celebration in the BX…
24/7 Party City
Where to begin… has there ever been a better week to be NYCFC?
With nine points from nine (including a Hudson River Derby victory) and the U19s becoming National Champions, it feels like we’ve been in non-stop party mode for this past week.
Despite the understandably tired limbs, there was a sense of inevitability about City finding a way past Columbus on Saturday, although the 21k inside Yankee Stadium had to be patient this time around.
Similar to the win over Montreal, it was Dome’s subtle in-game tweaks which proved the difference, with the Catalan adjusting throughout the 90’ to find the perfect combination for victory over Gregg Berhalter’s talented side.
When the goal came, it was thanks to a heavy contribution from second half substitute Jonathan Lewis, who has helped make the difference in each of our three wins this week.
This time, Jonathan had the presence of mind to take the two extra touches which gave him the time and space to pick out Jesus Medina, after his initial shot had come back off the post.
It was his longest run-out under Torrent, who will really feel like he has an ace up his sleeve with the dynamic young American who is reliably contributing assists and goals in his cameos
This win is made all the more impressive when you factor in those who Dome could not call upon.
Any squad in MLS would miss the talents of top-scorers Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and David Villa (eight goals apiece), while Jo Inge Berget has also missed all three of these games following his run of three goals in two games.
When you’re missing quality goalscorers, you need others to step up, and step up they have, with Jesus Medina scoring the go-ahead goals vs. Montreal and Columbus and Maxi Moralez weighing in with seven for the season already.
Anton Tinnerholm had already shown he can come up with something special when needed and he did it again, scoring the party goal in stoppage-time and karate-kicking the corner flag to send the BX wild.
This team dug deep for the late show and, when you consider those who were not on the field and the lack of rotation options up top, it’s really a credit to the character of this talented group of players.
As exciting as it’s been at the sharp end of the field of late, you also have to doff caps to those who helped preserve a third-successive clean sheet.
It’s the first time NYCFC have had three consecutive shutouts since July 2016 and this is down to the work of the whole team from back to front, but especially goalkeeper Sean Johnson and defenders Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot, Sebastien Ibeagha, Ben Sweat and Tinnerholm.
Torrent described Johnson as the best player on the field in the first half and it’s easy to see why, as he defied the visitors on a number of occasions with a string of excellent saves.
Per Dome: “Sean was the best player in the first half for us, absolutely. He was able to save our team. Columbus deserved more. Especially in the first half. We have a good goalkeeper. The first one is he is an amazing person. And the last two games, he played really, really well."
Admittedly, this has been one of the five things on more than one occasion, but when your home form is this good, you can hardly leave it out!
This latest BX 3 made it 10 wins and one draw from our 11 encounters at Yankee Stadium, with 25 goals scored and just 4 conceded in 2018 – a ludicrously good return for any side in any league.
It was another late show, like the win over Red Bulls last weekend, and was a testament to the supporters who never let any frustration at 0-0 show with their non-stop singing and the thumping of drums which beat the march to another 3.
That means we've already equaled the club record for most home wins in a Regular Season (10 in 2017), with six more 90 minute slices of pretty pineapple still to be served.
We’re a young club but we’re making our own history, 90 minutes at a time, together #ForTheCity.
The boys will enjoy a well deserved few days off now before beginning preparations for back-to-back road games at Orlando and Seattle.
It’s been a relentless run of games in the past couple of weeks but now is the time to rest tired limbs before we begin our assault on the final 14 games of the Regular Season, knowing we’re looking in great shape for a third-successive MLS Playoffs campaign.
Exciting times ahead.