NYC FC played their most complete game of the season, as they shut out DC United 2-0 on the road on Sunday night for their second straight win.
David Villa led the way with his seventh goal of the season, tied for most in the MLS. Villa is on quite a run, as he scored twice in their win over Vancouver at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, April 30 that broke a seven-game winless streak.
NYC FC Head coach Patrick Vieira said of the game, “I was really pleased. I think the result was what we are looking for moving forward. The way we played, I think we played a really good game away from home. The way we managed the game and the amount of chances we created, the situations we were able to create, the way we defended, it was a really good game away from home.”
On finding a rhythm after back-to-back wins, Vieira said, “I knew we would be better as a team because of the way the players work in training, the way they are focusing on what they have to do every single day, it was just a question of time. We’ve played a few games but I think after a few months of working together, players start to understand their own responsibility and I was really pleased with the way they played tonight.”
After a scoreless first half, Villa scored just four minutes into the second half.
The play started when Khiry Shelton made a run from the right touchline, cutting inside before serving a ball inside the six-yard box. Tommy McNamara latched onto the ball and flicked it back to Villa, who flew it by D.C. United goalkeeper Travis Worra to make it 1-0 NYC FC in the 49th minute.
Incredibly, four minutes later, Shelton made it 2-0 on his second goal of the season. McNamara kept the possession alive with a terrific save by the end line and Ronald Matarrita kept it in DC territory after they tried to clear it. Matarrita whipped a ball to the edge of the box, where Shelton slipped through a pair of defenders to head it in.
Shelton said of his goal, “[Ronald Matarrita] got a foot on the ball and whipped in a nice ball and I was able to get onto it and it hit my head and it hit my shoulder, so…first shoulder goal.”
Vieira said of Shelton’s play, “I think he’s a young player who needs to develop himself. He’s got a lot of quality and big potential, but the potential is not enough if you want to play at this level. But I was really happy with the way he worked today because he worked hard for the team and he managed to find himself in a really good position and score a goal, but the work he did for the team was fantastic. This is one of the best games I’ve seen him play so far. I believe there is a lot to come from him because of the work and the talent.”
Vieira said of Shelton’s response to adversity this season, “I think he’s done well. I think this is a different challenge; he’s playing on a team where there are a lot of good players and he has to fight every day for his spot. In training he is working hard, he’s working well, but you need to do it on a consistent basis. He will improve as a player, he’s still young, he has a lot to learn, and we have a good staff who will spend time with him and help him together.”
NYC FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo had a nice game, as he played higher up the field, and Vieira said of that, “I think he fared quite well. He used to play that position years ago and I think what he wanted is to be a bit more creative in the last 50 yards. His quality on the ball needs to be a bit more decisive in his last passes.”
Shelton said of Vieira’s direction, “He just tells me to have fun because when I’m having fun, my talent and everything else comes out.”
Shelton said of his experience with New York City this season, “It’s been great and I’ve learned a lot coming from January camp with the Men’s team. Right off the bat, I was on the ball and I think me being on the ball more and more is just going to get me better and even in preseason we were on the ball a lot; a lot of technical and tactical stuff and just getting better.”