(Andrea Pirlo – Photo by Mike Lawrence)
As the Yankees were being swept at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night, their co-tenants, New York City Football Club. lost a tough one on the road to FC Dallas FC, 2-1.
The game remained scoreless through the first 45 minutes, then Dallas erupted with two goals in extra time of the first half.
Tesho Akindole got the first one in the 45th minute when he got the ball on the right wing, drove at a defender and cut inside before rifling his right-footed attempt into the top far corner of the net.
Michel followed a few minutes later with a beautiful goal, as he curled a corner kick into the net to make it 2-0.
The game remained 2-0 through the first 20 minutes of the second half, and NYC FC Head Coach Jason Kreis made a bold move as he pulled Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo for Kwadwo Poku and Mix Diskerud to give them a lift.
Soon after, in the 69th minute, Ned Grabavoy was fouled in the box, and NYC was awarded a penalty kick. Patrick Mullins took it and buried it for his fifth goal of the season to make it 2-1 Dallas.
New York City FC had chances towards the end, as Angelino’s shot from distance in the 85th, but Dallas goalie Jesse Gonzalez made the big save.
NYC FC’s Jason Hernandez got his head onto a corner kick in stoppage time, but it was deflected away by an FC Dallas defender. Goalie Josh Saunders even came into the penalty area for a chance, but was called for a foul.
NYC FC dropped to 7-14-7, 28 points, with the loss and is now in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. They are four points behind Montreal for the final playoff spot, and Montreal has three games in hand. Philadelphia is in seventh with 30 points, followed by Orlando City with 29.
NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis was surprisingly upbeat in his thoughts on the game, as he said, “I was actually really pleased. I felt this was a really solid effort on our group’s part. I thought that collectively they were willing and able to battle a little bit more than I had seen them over the past several weeks. So really pleased with the effort and commitment level, and obviously just a little disappointed we couldn’t quite get that goal tonight to level things.”
Kreis said of subbing out Lampard and Pirlo in the second half, “I think that we are always going to expect the players that come off the bench to make a difference. One of our biggest disappointments in our last match, we brought two fresh guys in at the end of the game to bring a new, fresh energy to the match, and they actually looked more fatigued than the players who had played 60 or 70 minutes, so we made a point of really getting at those guys and telling everybody they need to be ready and making positive contributions when they come in. So, we’re really pleased with the energy they brought to the game.”
NYCFC goalkeeper Josh Saunders said of the game, “For me, I thought our reaction in the second half was great. I thought we put a lot of fight out there. I thought we did well to press them in their half. We almost executed a good first half. Unfortunate four minutes, and then I made a mistake. On the second goal, I came off on the corner kick that I needed to execute a play on, so I take responsibility for us losing this game. I didn’t make a play that I should have, but the fight was there.”
Saunders said of the changes he saw after the second half subs, “We had good energy. We kept them pinned in the half; they couldn’t get out. We limited their chances and created some chances of our own.
NYCFC forward Patrick Mullins said of the game, “Two things to take from it: one is extremely positive in that I think that we came into a tough place to play and really gave ourselves a chance to win the game. I thought we had some good performances from a lot of guys, and the other part of it would be that it’s the business end of the season and we need three points, or points out of games, so it’s disappointing not to come out with anything. I thought, except for the five-minute span where they got two goals, defensively we were really good. We were dangerous going forward. I always feel that we can score goals. Our effort on both sides of the ball was really good tonight, and that will give you a chance to win anywhere in this league.”