New York City FC Goals: Medina 40', 44'
Hartford Athletic Goals:
New York City FC concluded their preseason campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win against Hartford Athletic at the Etihad City Football Academy on Saturday afternoon.
The Boys in Blue looked sharp from the first whistle and engineered an early opportunity just minutes into the game when an overload down the left-hand side put Ismael Tajouri-Shradi in on goal – his shot narrowly missing the target.
Ronny Deila’s men continued to play with a speed and intensity that troubled Hartford. Some intelligent passing interchanges allowed NYCFC to play through the lines and saw Maxi Moralez prove to be a constant threat.
The Argentine almost opened the scoring with an audacious chip from 40 yards out, but his cheeky effort wasn’t quite good enough to beat his former teammate Jeff Caldwell in the Hartford goal.
NYCFC continued to push their opponents but struggled to find that finishing touch. At the other end, Hartford fostered a good opportunity in the 40th minute when forward Sebastian Elney fired a shot into the side netting.
That miss proved costly for the visitors as NYCFC found a breakthrough moments later when good pressing from Tajouri-Shradi allowed him to square it to Taty Castellanos. He, in turn, played it on to Jesus Medina, who fired it past a helpless Caldwell.
Firmly in control, NYCFC didn’t have to wait long for a second. This time Moralez was the provider, as his delicate cross in the 44th minute found Medina at the back-post. The Paraguayan applied a calm side foot finish into the net from eight yards out to give NYCFC a 2-0 lead at half-time.
The second half saw only one change in personnel for NYCFC as Alfredo Morales replaced Tajouri-Shradi. There was also a change in formation as the Boys in Blue switched to a 3-4-3 system. The hosts started to fashion more chances in the second half, but a pair of blocks from Alex Callens and Maxime Chanot denied Hartford a route back into the game.
The 67th minute saw a quintet of new faces enter the field, as Tayvon Gray, Chris Gloster, Andres Jasson, Nicolas Acevedo, Sebastien Ibeagha replaced Anton Tinnerholm, Keaton Parks, Gudi Thórarinsson, James Sands, and Castellanos.
The 81st minute saw Acevedo granted a chance to score after some more good pressing from NYCFC – his effort going high and wide. The game finished 2-0 to NYCFC and saw the team finish with four victories in five outings during preseason. The team will now begin preparation for the MLS season opener against D.C. United on Saturday, April 17.
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Tinnerholm (Gray), Chanot, Callens, Thórarinsson (Gloster), Sands (Ibeagha), Parks (Acevedo), Medina, Moralez, Tajouri-Shradi (Morales), Castellanos (Jasson)