New York City FC score nine in preseason debut vs. Jacksonville U.

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by Christian Araos

New York City FC started its preseason with a flourish Thursday night scoring nine in a scrimmage against Jacksonville University.

Both Designated Players started the scrimmage and played the first with Andrea Pirlo recording two assists and David Villa notching a brace, including an acrobatic goal set up by Shannon Gomez. Trialists John Stertzer and Roberto Louima bookended the scoring as NYCFC used two different 11-man squads for each half of the scrimmage. First round draft picks Kwame Awuah and Jonathan Lewis each scored as well.

Head coach Patrick Vieira told that he was pleased with the team’s cohesion and approach.

“I was really pleased with the number of goals we scored and the chances we created because that is the philosophy of the football club,” Vieira said. “But I was most pleased with the attitude the players showed today. The game sometimes looked a little bit easy for us but they respected the game and that means a lot to me and I’m in a really positive mood.”

Academy player James Sands started the scrimmage and played the first half at defensive midfield, center back Maxime Chanot played the second. Vieira said he was happy with each of the young players who played, including Sands, who he said played confidently. Lewis played the first half and scored the sixth goal of the half, he said he enjoyed his first time playing with his professional teammates.

“We played very good soccer in the first half,” Lewis said. “I was able to get in behind a lot and link up with my teammates so I think we really showed what we could do as a team.”

NYCFC will travel to Ecuador early next week for friendly against C.S. Emelec on Wednesday February 8.

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