Villa, Poku propel NYCFC to surprise win over DC United

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

BRONX, N.Y. – Who saw this one coming?

With enigmatic Designated Player Frank Lampard out of the match, Kwadwo Poku made the most of his start joining David Villa in leading New York City FC towards a surprising 3-1 victory over first place DCUnited in front of 28,262 fans at Yankee Stadium Thursday night.

DC took a 1-0 lead into the half thanks to an Alvaro Saborio finish, but City answered back with three in the second half, with Tommy McNamara opening the scoring, David Villa netting the go-ahead goal and Poku putting the match out of reach.

“I think our team has been doing some really nice things,” NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis said. “I think attacking wise we’ve been quite good for many games now. We’ve let ourselves down defensively a bit, and I think that comes from having new players that have not played a lot together. I think three out of the back four are new players that are brand new to the team. We have Andrea Pirlo who is brand new to the team. We have Frank Lampard now who is brand new to the team. So obviously there are going to be some tactical changes. I am hopeful that we are sticking our flag in the ground right now and will move forward positively.”

The result wasn’t always secure. NYCFC nearly gave up a goal three minutes into the match. An Angelino giveaway at midfield led to a Chris Rolfe breakaway, but the DC striker’s heavy first touch forced a roller that snuck by Josh Saunders and was cleared off the line by Shay Facey.

Some back and forth action at midfield led way to an opportunity from David Villa, splitting DC’s defenders and slamming a shot right into the arms of Hamid.

But where Villa fell short, Alvaro Saborio did not miss. An Andrea Pirlo giveaway at midfield led to a break the other way. Saborio clanged a shot to the far post past Saunders off of a brilliant feed from Chris Rolfe feed, putting the visitors ahead in the 36th minute.

New York City took control in the second half, sending several shots in on Hamid’s net behind the efforts of Villa and Kwadwo Poku. Poku managed the first real danger of the half, turning on a Villa feed and forcing Hamid into a diving save.

Poku continued the onslaught, this time freeing Tommy McNamara on a brilliant run and serving the winger on the far post for the tying goal in the 51st minute. That goal put an end to Hamid’s league best 400 minute shutout streak. Poku later clanged a shot off the far post, nearly beating the steady DC keeper.

Villa put NYCFC up 2-1 in the 80th minute, splitting two defenders and receiving a perfect ball from Pirlo into the box, taking a quick shot with the outside of his foot to beat Hamid. Poku followed that goal with one of his own eight minutes later to put the match out of reach.

The one blemish on the night? A yellow card to stalwart center back Shay Facey, which will force him out of the team’s next encounter.

NYCFC now travel out to Columbus to face the Crew at MAPFRE Stadium on August 19th.

Scoring Summary:

36’ Alvaro Saborio, DC (Assisted by Chris Rolfe)
51’ Thomas McNamara, NYC (Assisted by Kwadwo Poku)
80’ David Villa, NYC (Assisted by Andrea Pirlo)
88’ Kwadwo Poku, NYC (Assisted by Thomas McNamara)

Misconduct Summary:

31’ Shay Facey, NYC (Yellow Card: Foul)
75’ Thomas McNamara, NYC (Yellow Card: Foul)
80’ David Villa, NYC (Yellow Card: Excessive celebration)

Lineups:

New York City FC: Josh Saunders, Jason Hernandez, Angelino, Shay Facey, RJ Allen (Andoni Iraola, 52’), Andrew Jacobson, Andrea Pirlo, Thomas McNamara, Kwadwo Poku (Patrick Mullins, 90’+3’), Mix Diskerud (Sebastian Velasquez, 79’), David Villa

Unused substitutes: Ryan Meara, Jefferson Mena, Jeb Brovsky, Pablo Alvarez

TOTAL SHOTS: 17; SHOTS ON GOAL: 9; FOULS: 9; OFFSIDE: 6; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3.

D.C. United: Bill Hamid, Bobby Boswell, Chris Korb (Miguel Aguilar, 79’), Steve Birnbaum, Taylor Kemp, Sean Franklin, Marcus Halsti (Michael Farfan, 65’), Conor Doyle (Chris Pontius, 76’), Alvaro Saborio, Chris Rolfe

Unused substitutes: Andrew Dykstra, Kofi Opare, Jairo Arrieta, Facundo Coria

TOTAL SHOTS: 5; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 14; OFFSIDE: 5; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 6.

Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee’s Assistants: Adam Wienckowski and Joe Fletcher
4th Official: David Gantar
Attendance: 28,262

  • Ronnie Shershack

    3 things to take away from this win on the tennis court size field…
    1-The Red Bulls swept the season series from man city lite….in case you forgot.
    2-Watching a soccer match on a baseball field is awful. Actually worse than awful.
    3- Pirlo is a candidate for a heart attack.

    • john

      You are a clown.

      • Ronnie Shershack

        And you’re a loser.

        • john

          great comeback your a loser hahaha– Clown!!!!

          • Ronnie Shershack

            Season sweep. No comeback needed.

            • Larry’s A Simpleton

              Red Bull 3. Behind a second division team no less

    • The Realist

      All kidding aside, Pirlo looked gassed. He hasn’t had to run this much in years. He really may have a heart attack.

      That said, he makes lovely passes when he has spece.

      But, yeah, he looked white as a ghost when the final whistle blew.

    • Anonymous

      1 wasn’t a takeaway from this game, red bulls has nothing to do with this match actually, 2 is a well known fact by even the most ardent NYC supporter, and 3 was true for the last game but not so much tonight. He looked tired but give him a break, he’s in his mid 30s

    • NYBOY

      Why waste our time with the kindergarten rhetoric?

  • john

    NYCFC sold out Yankee Stadium again tonight. 28,262 in attendance for the 3-1 win over DC. (On a Thursday)

    • Ronnie Shershack

      …and 28,162 thought MLS is a new league. The other 100? Looking for Frank Lamp art to no avail.

      • Anonymous

        Doesn’t matter why they showed up or how much they know about the sport. Everyone’s money is green

      • Rip

        Thank you. I savor your jealousy like a fine wine.

    • NJ4NYCFC

      And they all actually showed up, unlike Mad Cow Arena’s bloated numbers.

      • Ronnie Shershack

        And they got smoked in 3 games. Smoked.

        • john

          only 2 sellouts for the Jersey boys and thanks to whom? NYCFC NYCFC!!!!

          NYCFC draws more than the Jersey boys on a Thursday night than they do on their best night plus they pad the attendance.

          And the Jersey boys have as many real trophy’s as NYCFC, 20 in New Jersey and no trophies very sad.

          • Red Tube Bar

            Take the sellouts. Cool. I’ll take the 3 dominant wins.
            New kids on the block had sellouts lol

            • john

              Same number of trophy’s and Jersey boys have been at it for 20 years that’s 20 years wow 20 year losers.

          • Anonymous

            I’m an NYC fan but this comment is pathetic. I hope for your sake your <16 years old

            • Anonymous

              *you’re, **** off I’m on my iPad

  • Ricky Bulwicz

    3 for 3
    Sweep
    It hurts I get it
    Try to deal, ok?
    You’re gonna make it I promise.
    If you need a hug let me know.

  • DanGerman

    Honestly why is it that a teams fans that is comfortable sitting in a play off spot AND swept this team is talking smack? Could it be that you guys are jealous? I mean NYCFC IS the only team in the city, your team should switch its colors to green because you guys are pretty envious right now. Over 28K on a THURSDAY!!! Wow man that’s more people then can fit in Harrison on a derby day otherwise known as when the Red Bulls get a sellout.

    P.S Your welcome for the sellout games
    -A NYCFC Fan

  • sal

    Redbull fans have nothing but excuses. Redbull Arena never gets a crowd like they had tonight ever during a midweek game. Aleays,same crap out of them. Mideek game people work or to early for game. I tell you what talk in about 5 years from now when Redbulls don’t exist.Something special is going on in the Bronx and that’s something that pathetic franchise in Harrison never had. They are a joke like there supporters. Oh yeah one team plays in NY,so it’s always be blue it will never be red.

    • Phil de Grave

      Sure there Sal. You know it all. You’re a ‘seasoned’ MLS expert. Rolls eyes. Your team plays in NY ? Wow ! I’m amazed. More amazing is you got waxed,crushed really in 3 games by a ‘ pathetic’ franchise. If we’re pathetic what the hell are you? I’ll answer….trash,garbage,awful,lame,inept,all style and zero substance,that’s what. I deal in facts and those are facts. Sorry.

  • Ignorant Soccer-Hating Hipster Liberal Vegan Artisanal Toast Poser Wannabe-Hooligan Bearded/Clean shaven Long hair/Short hair Evil Plastic Phony New York (actually Jersey) Poser

    Good game. If Lampard stays on the injured list, we might still make the playoffs.

  • David Carlin Goat fucker

    Didn’t look like a sellout on TV. 28k ( announced) .

  • David Carlin Goat fucker

    Didn’t look like a sellout on TV.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t doubt that it was a sellout game. But there’s a difference between ticket sales and attendance. I’m a season ticket holder in 117a and I can definitely tell you that there were empty seats here and there. That said, the vast majority of the stadium was filled (in soccer format) so I would wager that the number of actual attendees wasn’t too far off from the announced ticket sales.

  • Kevin

    Just got back from this game. The,atmosphere is pretty impressive. 28000 for Thursday night soccer game. Im impressed,NYCFC fans. What blows,me away is the 3 idiots behind me wearing their blue jerseys in an actual discussion about who ownS NYCFC Really? As if the name on the stadium doesn’t at least give away who owns,part of it..After being up 2-1 and to not be out done by those idiots. The couple in fronT Of us asked the people next to if this was a good time to PULL the goalie..As a non NYCFC fan I couldn’t believe it. Atmosphere–electric. Knowledge of the game-a joke

    • BleedingRed

      “Who owns NYCFC?” is a question all of the club’s fans should be asking themselves.

      • Anonymous

        City Football Group and the Yankees do. Mostly City Football Group, though, of course. Why is this a question that we should be asking ourselves?

        • BleedingRed

          I’ll have to explain this in two posts because I am not allowed two links in one post. NYCFC is owned by this man

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mansour_bin_Zayed_Al_Nahyan

        • BleedingRed

          And that man is responsible for this

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_United_Arab_Emirates

          How do you feel about that New York?

          • Anonymous

            I have absolutely no feeling about that one way or the other. Do you feel particularly bad about the people exploited in sweatshop labor when you buy a pair of Nike’s? Or about all of the environmental and human rights abuses by oil companies and oil-rich nations when you fill up your gas tank? Because I frankly don’t care at all as long as I’m enjoying the product I get.

            • Anonymous

              Then again, I’m not a bleeding heart that cares enough to worry so much about the problems of a bunch of people I’ve never met, will never meet, and whose well-being one way or the other affects me in no way.

              Of course if you do worry about such things, I suppose I can understand how the ownership of CFG could be a problem. If that’s the case, just go cheer for the Red Bulls. Because clearly their ownership are a bunch of saints…

              • BleedingRed

                Confirmed: Plastic doesn’t have a soul.

                • Anonymous

                  If not caring about the plight of people that have nothing to do with you constitutes “not having a soul”, then I think most of the world probably falls under that category. I suppose you can argue that this fact in itself is a problem, but that’s a deeper issue and a separate one altogether.

                  • Anonymous

                    Welcome to reality. I’m sorry that the world isn’t a place full of hugs, kisses, and caring like your childhood stories probably told you. At least I’m willing to admit that I don’t give a damn.

                    I’m sorry that I’m not a hypocrite that gives lip service and pretends to care about human rights while I benefit every day from products created through the exploitation of people all over the world and live a quality of life sustained by other peoples’ blood, sweat, and tears without a thought about it outside of some celebrity occasionally mentioning it at a fundraiser. I’m just a plain old typical, horrible human being instead.

        • BleedingRed

          blood money, slave labor, and bigotry are foundation of New York’s beloved new team.

          • Johnny Feelgood

            But they’re so organic, hip, genuine and ironic! I mean, what’s a little blood money when it comes to such a
            dynamic team? Now…where did I put my red framed glasses and my tough handkerchief?

            • Bushwick Bill

              I agree!

              I am against big corporations!

              Now where did I put my Marlboros and my i-phone?

              • Johnny Feelgood

                Hey Bill are we still on for that indie flick? You know- the one about global warming and its effect on the trans community. It’s called ‘ A rainbow climate (aka confessions of a hip drag queen in Williamsburg)’ Let me know.
                Going to whole foods now for that sushi on sale.

                • Bushwick Bill

                  Yes, we are still on, but afterwards, I gotta bolt because I have rehearsal with my urban country folk band, Hank Williams Junior Mints We are about to make a new video. It’s gonna be great when it goes viral. We’re rehearsing in the basement of the vegan tofu internt jazz cafe on Graham Avenue.

  • NYBOY

    I’m an NYCFC season ticket holder but respect the RedBulls. See that wasn’t so painful…

    Now back to soccer:

    If Kreis doesn’t start Poku next game the fans should riot. He clearly has chemistry on the field and most importantly with Pirlo.

    DO NOT start Lampard, whether he’s injured or not. The karmas bad and they don’t need him. Work on the midfield the way it is. Figure out what to do with Mix. He seems lost. Lampard will only confuse things more.

    Figure out how to get guys moving up for support instead of sitting back like spectators. Get some action up the wings. And counter attack.

    And…keep the defense playing like they did tonight.

    If you do that they will keep winning!

    Do all that

    • Anonymous

      I think Kreis is in a tough spot. How do you justify not starting a $6 million/year player if he’s healthy? He’s already missed more than half the season. Will the ownership really be ok with paying Lampard that kind of money to sit on a bench? Will the fans be ok with it? Even if he plays like ****, I think there’s way too much pressure on Kreis to put Lampard out there whenever he’s fit enough to play.

      • NYBOY

        Agree with you about the pressure to play him, but…it’s real easy for them to claim he’s injured. That’s how you do it. At this point the fans have gotten used to his not being there. And the fact is that the times he’s played he’s not made the team better. Very arguably he’s detracted. The fans care much more about winning than about seeing Lampard.

        Not that it matters, but look at RedBulls with Veron. I understand he’s not Lampard but he’s an excellent young Argentinian player. Guess what? They’ve been winning without him, and so they’re not starting him.

        I could see if Lampard played a different position and he a different attitude but he doesn’t and he doesn’t. Read his very own comments from the two games he played. He’s just full of excuses.

        Start Poku. Bench Lampard. And figure out what to do with Mix. Finish out the season strong, rehab Lampard and bring him in fresh next season or later on if they happen to qualify for the playoffs.

        Don’t get me wrong. I was very excited to see him play, like everyone else. But like everyone else, I’d rather see them win and I think right now that’s best done with him not playing, or certainly not starting.

        PS if they happen to build a lead on the road, I’d think about bringing him in. And again, read his own comments. That’s how he said he wants to come in.

        • Anonymous

          I most certainly agree with you about benching Lampard at this point. He’s too far away from being useful to the team in terms of fitness and the constant injuries are impeding any progress toward that goal. The problem from CFG and NYCFC’s standpoint is that he’s not getting any younger (the problem with signing a 37-year-old DP) and it’s questionable how much more use you’re going to get out of him. Let’s say you bench him this year and bring him back next year. Is there any real guarantee that we won’t end up right back in the same spot? Then you’ve lost half a season of being able to market him on the field and you’re still paying him that obscene salary.

          I’m talking only about business because it’s becoming increasingly clear that unless things change radically in terms of Lampard’s usefulness on the field, marketing is all he’s good for. Then again, we were selling out our seats before him and likely will sell out our seats after him so I’m wondering how much we actually even need him for that.

          When his contract is up, I hope that NYCFC learns from this saga and hires a younger less-drama (no-drama is just no fun) DP next time.

          • NYBOY

            Agree with you. But, and not to sound too cavalier, but bad contracts happen in all sports. Focus on this season, let him rehab, and maybe bring him in at strategic points in the post season.

  • NYCSPORTSPUNK

    Good lord, i can see the benefits of being affiliated with YES network & i can clearly see the disadvantages. Good luck with that Dave.

  • In the end RB doesn’t win cup and neither does NYC….so do these little pissing matches between you all really matter? It’s about the end result not everything in between, and that’s what is lost here all the time. If making the playoffs in this lame system is good enough for you all then congrats,RB will be there,maybe NYC. If winning it all actually matters,then continue your pointless mental masturbation regarding who is better,who is fatter and who is older. Neither team is going to the promised land and soon you’ll be able to argue about next year you insipid fools.

    • send over the RFP

      using your line of thinking the MLS cup doesn’t matter either since sports as a whole don’t matter. big surprise teams like winning

  • US Soccer Fan

    awesome attendance at Yankee stadium for a mid week game, and good result for NYCFC, the fans just need to read up on the rules of the game a bit, but I guess if they keep on attending games that will come and their interest will grow.

    Good to see new fans joining the broadening MLS and US Soccer fan tent.

    • Ulrich

      There’s no harm in new fans not knowing the rules – I’m constantly explaining nuances of them to my wife (like a player cannot be offside on a throw). I would think that of all times during the week for a game to be played, a mid-week game would be when there are the most novice fans in attendance – season ticket holders coming straight from work bringing coworker(s) to use the extra tickets that family members would normally use.

  • cosmosfan

    It’s interesting that Poku was nothing more than a role player in the NASL. He’s playing well these days.

    • Kevin

      As a Cosmos fan I have the utmost respect for Poku. He was up and down that field last night and I thought when he came to play the Cosmos I feared him the most. Solid player. Anybody who gives everything he’s got and looks like he’s enjoying the game will always get my respect regardless what jersey he’s wearing