NYCFC continues perfect preseason with win over Impact

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

New York City FC won its third straight preseason game by a 1-0 scoreline, beating the Montreal Impact as part of the Rowdies Suncoast Invitational at Al Lang Stadium.

Forward Patrick Mullins came off the bench to score the lone goal in the 75th minute, getting a deflected shot passed Impact goalkeeper Eric Kronberg. Mullins was able to get to a rebound after midfielder Mikey Lopez made a surging run into the box but had his shot blocked. Mullins and Lopez had each only been on for about ten minutes before combining to break the deadlock.

Head coach Patrick Vieira kept to his preferred 4-3-3 but made four changes from last Thursday’s team. Mix Diskerud and Andrea Pirlo started in midfield, Khiry Shelton started at right wing and Eirik Johansen started and played the entire match in goal. Tony Taylor moved to left wing and Ronald Matarrita moved to left back.

NYCFC started the match on the front foot and had most of the possession in the first half. With Pirlo staying deep, Diskerud and McNamara drove play forward as NYCFC were able to catch the Impact on the break and create chances from open play and set pieces. Diskerud narrowly missed the near post with an acrobatic scorpion kick from a Shelton cross. Pirlo and forward David Villa combined on a designed free kick that Villa shot off the crossbar.

Vieira did not make any substitutions until the 65th minute when Lopez, Mullins, midfielder Kwadwo Poku and defender Jason Hernandez all came on to replace Villa, McNamara, Diskerud and defender Frédéric Brillant. Midfielders Andrew Jacobson and Mehdi Ballouchy also came on as substitutes as well as trialist defender Ivan Ivanov.

NEW TRIALISTS – AND FEDERICO BRAVO

In other preseason news, NYCFC’s teamsheet revealed Ernest Agyiri, Romain Gall and Shannon Gomez as trialist field players. Wilmington Hammerheads goalkeeper Andre Rawls was also on NYCFC’s teamsheet.

Boca Juniors midfielder Federico Bravo did travel with the team but did not dress for the match. He has yet to finalize his move to NYCFC.

NYCFC will play Danish 1st Division club HB Køge Saturday evening at the IMG Academy.