(Patrick Vieira – USA Today Sports)
Patrick Vieira, a winner throughout his playing career in Europe, won his debut as New York City Football Club Head Coach.
NYC FC won a wild one on Sunday afternoon in the season opener in Chicago, 4-3, over the Fire.
it didn’t take long for NYC FC to get on the board, with Thomas McNamara breaking through in the 10th minute to make it 1-0.
Chicago responded a short time later, as Razvan Cocis scored in the 19th minute.
NYC FC got production from unlikely sources, as Tony Taylor scored in the 29th minute and Khiry Shelton in the 36th to make it 3-1, which was the score at the half.
Chicago got one back early in the second half, as Kennedy Igboananike scored in the 49th minute.
Mix Diskerud, who had trouble finding the net last season, buried one in the 72nd minute to make it 4-2 NYC in the 63rd minute.
Chicago would not go away, and David Accam scored on a penalty kick in the 72nd minute to make it 4-3. NYC FC held on despite continued pressure in the final 20 minutes.
Vieira said of the team’s performance, “I think it was a really good team performance. I strongly believe we are not at our best at the moment because it was the first game of the league. We will get better and stronger. But I am proud of the team because when we went to a difficult [formation] especially in the last 15-20 minutes, we stuck together and we worked hard.”
Vieira said of what impressed him most, “That we stuck to our philosophy, the way we want to play football. I think at times we played some really good football. I think our play from the back was good. We created chances and that’s the way we want to play this year. I was really pleased with that.”
Vieira said of the team playing a wide open game, “That was the type of game I was expecting because when I look at Chicago Fire, the games they played in the preseason, we saw a well organized team. Those were the type of game we were expecting – difficult games. Both teams I think worked really hard today and we managed to come out on top. That was good. It wasn’t easy and I am sure that if we keep working hard we will go really well this year.”
New York City FC Midfielder Thomas McNamara said of his first goal and first team goal of the season, “I don’t even remember how I got the ball but I knew that I had enough time and space to take a touch and wrap my foot around it and hit it back post. When it came off my foot, I just knew that it went in.”
On whether it’s one of his best goals scored, McNamara said, “Last year was pretty close. Maybe a little further out but the same type of shot.”
McNamara said of exploiting the space the Fire were giving up in the midfield, “We want to have good spacing on the field. And so as a midfielder, you need to find that space to get the ball to the rest of the guys.”
McNamara said of what he saw from the Fire defense that he was able to attack, “I thought when we were able to switch the ball we were able to expose them a little bit and it gave us a bit of an advantage. I think that was when we were most dangerous.”
NYC FC has their home opener on Sunday, March 13 against Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium. Toronto also won on Sunday, 2-0, over the Red Bulls.