(NYC FC’s David Villa getting off a great chance against Chicago goalie Matt Lampson – Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire)
The New York City Football Club played to a scoreless 0-0 draw with the Chicago Fire on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium.
This completed a stretch of four straight home games for NYC FC, in which they could not get a win. They tied three and lost one, giving them just three out of a possible 12 points. Their lone win came on the road in Chicago in the opening game of the season on March 6.
On the plus side, this was the first shutout, or “clean sheet” of the season, for NYC FC and goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
NYC FC poured in 19 shots, eight on goal, with 57 percent possession, and they held Chicago to just eight shots, and not one on net.
NYC FC forward David Villa was all over the place, but couldn’t get one past Chicago Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson.
In the 29th minute, Villa corraled the ball after a bad clearance by the Chicago defense of a Ronald Matarrita cross and he got a shot on net from 16 yards out, and Lampson made the save with a dive to his left.
Nine minute later, Andrea Pirlo took a corner kick, and sent it to the back post where Lampson somehow saved Villa’s first-time bouncing volley from eight yards. Tommy McNamara followed with a great chance, as he put a bicycle kick rebound attempt over the crossbar.
In the 52nd minute, Patrick Mullins created space for himself by evading a pair of Fire defenders, turned and fired a low shot from 20 yards that was just wide of the far post.
It appeared that Chicago had a goal in the 60th minute, when Jonathan Campbell headed one in from the edge of the box, but assistant referee Corey Parker raised his flag and ruled the play offside.
A minute later Tommy McNamara made a rampaging run and slid a pass to Mix Diskerud, who took two touches into the box before Lampson saved his low shot from 17 yards.
Villa had two more great chances a minute apart late in the second half. In the 82nd, he had a free kick from outside the left edge of the 18-yard box was pushed away by Lampson, and a minute later, he put a shot on net off of a Steven Mendoza free kick.
NYC FC Postgame Reaction:
New York City FC Head Coach Patrick Vieira
On the defensive performance: “Yeah, I mean as a team we are definitely getting better and better…but it is till a frustration because it is our goal to win the game and its frustrating we didn’t get the three points but its all about a matter of time before we win the first home game and I’m not really worried about it and if play the play the way we’ve been playing.. and the support of the fans tonight .. it was fantastic and the win will come.”
On the performance of the front three, David Villa, Patrick Mullins, and Steven Mendoza: “Yeah, it was the first time we had David on the right and it was a great try having Patrick and Steven on the right hand side. I wanted to try it because Patrick was playing really well in practice…but yeah I think the defender from Chicago had a fantastic game but I was please with eh experiment but it was good because it was a good first start.”
On how the team struggled in this one: “In the first half we had a lack of discipline on the field and we didn’t move the game quick enough to hurt them.. the two midfielders worked really hard. They were full of energy.. and we didn’t give them enough time and we didn’t do it well. It was the lack of discipline and in both
On the change on defense, with Jason Hernandez and Ethan White in there: “It’s good, I think as a team we defend better as a team and the defense had a fantastic game and we considered more that what we can convinced. And tonight we considered a lot more then what we can conceive.”
New York City FC F David Villa
On if he feels pressure to get a home win: “The pressure is always on. Even if we had won our first five games the pressure would be on for that sixth game.”
On Chicago’s defense in this one compared to a month ago: “I felt that there was more change from their team today then we saw from them in Chicago.”
On if the size of the field has any relation to the game plan: “No, not really, we don’t notice the size of the field. Yes, there are some parts of the field that may be dryer and that can affect us sometimes, but I always say that whether it is our field or our rivals, we always must be able to adjust to the conditions.”
On the communication between the forwards: “We just didn’t find the goal, we had seven occasions where we had opportunities but we just didn’t get there. It’s not a matter of finishing.”
New York City FC D Ronald Matarrita
On his impressions of the game: “It was a really complicated game from the start, we created a few chances but the only thing that is missing if finishing the final play. Finishing the play is the most important thing and what every team needs. We are missing in the final third and tonight we add points but at the same time is not the same thing we had in mind. We always go out to get the three points but we couldn’t do it tonight. As professionals, we have to pick up our heads and keep moving forward and win the next games.”
On tying another game at home: “That’s right, it’s obvious that it worries us that we are always playing to win and even though the games haven’t turned out how we expected and have been more complicated, but like I said, we have to have the maturity and professionalism to accept we are not doing great and increment our level and show a better level.”
On what he thinks about Vieira’s work: “Excellent, he is an excellent coach, we already know his quality as a coach, and mental quality. He plans the game how it needs to be but we also need to accept that the other team comes over to do their game. We are not playing alone and we have to accept the versatility of the other team.’
New York City FC F Patrick Mullins
On what the next step for the offense is: “Possession with a purpose. For me that’s the name of the game and I think that we can do that more often. We had times where we had chances but at the end of the day we need to keep being more and more dangerous. We need to be constantly making sure that we have purpose in our possession and that we are working it from one side to the other so that we can open up the field more for some chances.”
On what HC Patrick Vieira thinks of the offense: “I think that he was very positive. He feels that we have played well and that we might have deserved some more out of these games. Obviously, we all understand the reality of the points that came out of this and there is some frustration in that but it’s not going to deter us moving forward. We feel that the performances are headed in the right direction and the production will only get better from here.
New York City FC F Tony Taylor
On the team’s overall improvement from the last game: I think we shut them down defensively and we kept the ball better. I think we want to bring the game to them and focus on ourselves.
On the team’s chemistry and inability to finish plays: I honestly thought we created some great chances. Their keeper made some great saves.
On the defense’s first shutout and not allowing a shot on goal: I think we worked really hard the last two weeks, especially with the bye week on our tactics and staying tight. We need to make sure we block any holes and fill the empty space. We really shut down Chicago and did a great job.
On being able to slot several guys in on defense and trust that they’ll do their job: Oh, it’s great. Guys are prepared to come in, contribute, and help the team
As an attacking player, how frustrating it is to see the opposing keeper make 10 saves: Well he made some great saves. But we need to focus on ourselves; make some great touches and getting the ball in the back of the net.
On the team’s mentality: Our mentality is the same. We try to win every game. We need to focus on the positives and build off of that.
On the team’s progress: Yes, we are gelling a lot on both sides of the ball. The points will come as long as we continue to focus on both aspects of our game.