New York City FC ran rampant with a 5-2 on Pride Night vs. FC Cincinnati.
Here’s Five Points from an unforgettable return to the BX, presented by Etihad Airways…
Five Star City
The unbeaten streak hit double figures as the Boys in Blue turned in a dominant performance from start to finish to close the gap on Conference leaders Philadelphia to five points (with two games in hand).
3-0 up inside 30 minutes, the two own goals the home side conceded did little to take the shine off a night of celebration in the Boogie Down, especially because of the quality of the fourth and fifth goals from Héber and Maxi Moralez.
The final fifth goal was probably the most indicative of the performance, with NYCFC’s intricate passing move inside the penalty area leading to Maxi’s third goal of the season.
While tougher tests will present themselves in this Summer of Soccer, City passed this one with flying rainbow colors on Pride Night at Yankee Stadium.
Next Man Up
It was a night where the depth available to both Head Coaches was tested.
NYCFC were without six first-team players for this one due to a combination of major international tournaments and injuries, but you wouldn’t have known it…
From the first minute to the last, City attacked with poise and precision, carving up Cincinnati seemingly at will.
Those who stepped in for missing friends all took their opportunity to impress, meaning City can go into their next assignment in the U.S. Open Cup with confidence and a next man up mentality.
It was a decent night for NYCFC’s still-new no.9 too, with Héber having himself a time in front of goal. Both goals!
Héber walked the Man of the Match vote, despite scoring the first of two NYCFC own goals, showing what a great performance he had.
The first goal was a test of his predatory instincts as he arrived into the box at the perfect time to tap home NYC’s second goal of the night, while his second goal, City's fourth, was a feat of stunning technique, as he cushioned the cross and volleyed into the bottom corner.
That’s six goals now for the Brazilian striker who is proving to be one of the league’s most clinical marksmen.
Spreading the Love
One of the major talking points going into Season 5 was how NYCFC would cope with the goals we relied upon from David Villa.
While replacing a player of David’s quality was a near-impossible feat, the Boys in Blue are being served by spreading the goals around the team, with an even distribution between our attacking talents.
Castellanos and Moralez have three each, Mitriță has four, Tajouri-Shradi has four and Héber has six – all from fewer games than any other Eastern Conference team (joint with Toronto).
This was the kind of win that suggested that Dome’s boys are only just getting started.
Perhaps the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for the 85th minute when NYCFC Homegrown Justin Haak made his NYCFC debut.
The Bushwick native entered as a late substitute and he received a big Bronx welcome on his pro debut.
Haak has risen from the very first NYCFC Academy team, winning titles at youth level before signing as the Club’s third Homegrown player at the start of this year.
For Haak, it was a night he’ll never forget: “Everybody was telling me to enjoy it and that’s exactly what I tried to do, get on the field have fun and help the team… for me, it was just great to get on the field and make my debut. It’s just so difficult to explain, I’ve been with this club for four or five years now, so it felt amazing to get out there.”