Portland Timbers Goals: Blanco 14'
New York City FC returned to Yankee Stadium for their third game in nine days against the Portland Timbers.
City were looking to stay hot and stretch the unbeaten run to 15 games, but they were not able to find the back of the net after Sebastian Blanco's goal on 14', going down to a first home loss of Season 5.
Missing eight first-team players, New York City FC played their third match in nine days against the Portland Timbers in the Bronx on Military Appreciation Night.
As the team looked to extend their unbeaten streak to 15 matches, Dome Torrent made two changes to the Starting XI, replacing injured duo Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Alexandru Mitriță with Ebenezer Ofori and Ben Sweat.
Both players, along with Tony Rocha, Héber, James Sands, and Joe Scally were unavailable for the match with injuries, while Sean Johnson and Alex Callens were competing at the Gold Cup and Copa America respectively.
Portland started strong, taking the lead on 14'.
Giovanni Savarese’s side earned a free kick which was curled in by Diego Valeri and finished off by Sebastian Blanco after NYC failed to clear.
As the hunt for the equalizer ensued, Ronald Matarrita, who made his return from international duty on Wednesday night, took a shot at goal from well outside the box on 28'. Unfortunately for City, Steve Clark was there to make the save.
Before the halftime, NYCFC earned a corner kick taken by Maxi Moralez in the 42’ minute, which was nearly converted by Taty Castellanos, but his near-post shot just flew the wrong side of the post.
NYCFC came out in the second half just as hungry for their first goal of the night and, in the 64th minute, they almost had it when Alex Ring took a shot on goal which deflected back to Castellanos on the rebound but - as he seemed to be all night - Clark was there to make the save.
Midweek goalscorer Jesus Medina was introduced from the bench to try and make an impact in the second half and the Paraguayan was lively and knitted together some promising moves - however, Portland had hunkered in deep by this stage and always seemed to have a man over to make a block or last ditch challenge.
NYCFC never gave up but they just couldn't find a way through the Timbers low block. A late flurry of City corners came to nothing and Ted Unkel blew his whistle for a Portland win.
Man of the Match
Although NYCFC were not able to find the back of the net on Military Appreciation Night, Maxime Chanot's presence on the defense was one for the books. He stayed solid throughout the match, keeping the Timbers at bay which earned him his first Man of the Match title for the 2019 season.
How We Lined Up
NYCFC travels to Florida to take on Orlando City SC as the Boys in Blue continue their campaign for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, #ForTheCity. We're back in MLS action across the river at Red Bull Arena next Sunday...