NYC FC Upsets DC United
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK (SPORTS)- The first match between DC United and NYC FC appeared to be a contest between two clubs moving in different directions. United had won its last three matches and sits atop the standings of the Eastern Conference of the MLS with 44 points. NYC had lost three of its last four contests and is in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
The result of the match, a 3‐1 victory for NYC was a happy surprise for the 28,262 fans in attendance at Yankee Stadium.
The first goal was scored in the 36th minute by Álvaro Saborio, a Costa Rican international, who had been traded to United by real salt Lake less than one month prior to the match.
NYC coach Jason Kreis was not disappointed by the play of his club during the first half despite not scoring a goal, “In the first half, I thought we played real well, but not well enough to get a goal.”
Tommy McNamara scored the first NYC goal in the 51st minute. After the contest, McNamara assessed his team’s play during the second half, “I think we made very good decisions.”
Late in the match, 80th minute, NYC captain David Villa ran between two defenders, almost fell, but kicked the ball into the net for his 14th goal of the season, his ninth at Yankee Stadium. It proved to be the deciding goal of the match. An additional NYC goal was scored by Kwadwo Poku in the waning minutes of the match. It was Poku’s first goal of the year, but he had previously assisted in seven. He was pleased by the starting assignment and happy to contribute, “When I’m in there, I’m trying to do the best I can to get us the win. I’m ready as always.”
Although the three points gained by NYC did not move them above eighth place in the East, its coach and players hoped and believed it would be the impetus to eventually qualify for the playoff.
Kreis commented, “I hope this starts a new season for us. This could be really, really special for us, a season changer for us, a momentum changer for us.”
Several players expressed similar beliefs about their play on Thursday night. McNamara remarked, “It’s a good kicking point for us. I think the new guys are more settled now. We have a good shot at the playoffs.” The veteran goalie Josh Saunders agreed, “It was huge. We can build on this.”
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