New York City FC was back at home in the BX after back-to-back road games to celebrate Manhattan Borough night and take on Sporting Kansas City.
As City looked to get their second consecutive win, Dome Torrent made three changes to his Starting XI. Maxime Chanot and Alex Ring were back in the starting lineup after serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation.
Along with the two NYC stalwarts, Alexandru Mitriță was also making his comeback to the XI after starting on the bench against Colorado. The Romanian came up big for NYCFC after being subbed in, scoring the game-winning goal and securing the three points in the Mile High City.
Mitriță was lively from the start here on home turf. He had the ball in the net in the 12thminute after latching onto a loose ball, but it was ruled out for offside.
At the other end of the pitch, Sporting Kansas City was threatening the NYCFC box. Gerso took a shot on goal in the 22nd minute but, luckily for the home team, Sean Johnson was in net and able to make the save.
As play went on, the hunt for the lead continued and City almost had it on 34’. Their second shot on goal came courtesy of Maxi Moralez, who headed a Ronald Matarrita cross towards goal, but Tim Melia came up with a brilliant one-handed save to tip it over.
The Boys in Blue remained undeterred, as the opportunities rolled on, they finally found the back of the net for the lead in the 41st minute, thanks to in-form Anton Tinnerholm.
It was a beautiful, sweeping team goal which culminated in a precise cross from Ring for Anton to tap in at the back post for his first goal of the season.
New York City’s Football Club secured the lead before the half-time whistle blew.
The second half of the match was equally as intense as the first, as the Boys in Blue came out of the locker room looking to emphasize their advantage.
The goal which doubled the lead came in the 54th minute courtesy of Héber, the team’s lead-scorer, who broke out his signature celebration after the Ringleader passed the ball through SKC defenders to find him.
Our Brazilian number 9 led the charge beating Melia to double the lead with his ninth goal of the season, also becoming the first NYCFC player to score in five consecutive MLS games.
Johnson maintained his clean sheet until the 73rd minute, when Ilie Sanchez got a goal past the ‘keeper to put themselves on the board, 2-1.
NYCFC didn’t let that concession get them down. In the 77th minute Gary Mackay-Steven, who came in as a sub, set Ring up to strike the ball from outside the box for his third goal of the season.
That’s how it ended, giving NYCFC back-to-back wins and moving the team up to third in the East.
NYCFC HEAD COACH DOMÉNEC TORRENT
On Alex Ring’s performance…
“We changed the shape to play five in the back, and then we played vertical with Keaton [Parks] behind [Alex] Ring. And that is the reason why we were able to create scoring opportunities. I say many times, maybe sometimes its better when he plays number eight or number ten in a 4-3-3. But we played 5-3-2 in the last 30 minutes and I think it’s a good chance for [Alex] Ring because he has this quality. He can play right all the time; he has to control the ball and after that he helps us when we don’t have the ball.”
Discussing Gary Mackay-Steven’s performance tonight…
“He can play on either side of the striker, he can play like a striker, and the last 10 minutes he
played like a number 10. He can play both sides, he’s a good neutral player because he plays with quality when he has the ball, he can play with the ball and I’m very happy with him.”
On Maxi Moralez’s substitution…
“He came up to me in the first half and said he could play maybe nine or ten minutes. But in the first action he said it was impossible to play…Maybe we will miss this player [Moralez] for two or three games, I don’t know because we have to wait and see what exactly will happen to Maxi [Moralez].”
NYCFC FORWARD HÉBER
On being the first NYCFC player to score in five consecutive games…
“Really? I didn’t know that. I hope [I] can make it six. It’s very nice, I am happy when I score, but I am happier because today we win. Very important for us and we need to keep working this way.”
On how the game changed at the end when NYCFC went a man up…
“When they had one player less, we could have more people play and this is our game. When we have possession of the ball and you make a lot of passes, you create chances.”
On the collective attack for NYCFC…
“These players, it is easy to play with them. They have a lot of talent, Mitriță and Maxi Moralez, they are the brain of our team. Of course, you have Keaton, Ring, and everyone, they made it all happen.”
NYCFC DEFENDER ANTON TINNERHOLM
On his goal…
“From the build up and how we scored that goal, it is exactly how we want to play. It’s not about me, it’s about the build up, how we worked our way through the penalty area, it was an amazing goal. I don’t remember every pass, but we started from Sean [Johnson] and we train every single day at the training facility [like this]. That’s a goal that shows how we want to play. But there are eleven opponents on the field, so it’s not that easy to score that kind of goal. Like Dome said, that’s how we want to play.”
On back-to-back victories after a tough week…
“We had a tough week when we had three straight losses, it was a really tough week mentally, but we’re strong and we bounced back. We got a win against Colorado and again today, in the second half we showed that we’re a really good team. We know that we’re gonna lose some games throughout the season, but it’s all about bouncing back as soon as possible. Now we’re back on a winning streak and we’re looking forward to the Saturday game against Salt Lake.”
NYCFC FORWARD GARY MACKAY-STEVEN
On making his home debut…
“It’s nice to play here at Yankee Stadium, obviously I’ve watched the team play here before, but I was dying to step on the pitch myself. It was a great feeling personally and the team got three points, just happy to be apart of it.”
On getting minutes and his assist
“I’m a little bit behind in terms of fitness, I’ve been working hard in training trying to get my levels up. I’m trying to make an impact and I’m thankful the coach gave me some minutes. Obviously, it was a great feeling when Alex scored [the goal] and getting to celebrate with the boys.”
NYCFC GOALKEEPER SEAN JOHNSON
On preparations for todays game…
“Most of our preparations have been focusing on ourselves and coming out and imposing ourselves on whatever opponent we have. We obviously knew their strengths [and] we knew that they are a good team that likes to play. They had one or two opportunities, but at the end of the day we limited opportunities and created a bunch. I thought we did a really good job tonight.”