New York City FC 2
Orlando City SC 0
Goals: NYCFC: 62’ Ismael Tajouri, 74’ Maxi Moralez (assist Jesus Medina)
Key Points: After taking six points from the new season’s first two matches, New York City FC’s third game of 2018 would provide some new challenges. Missing from the lineup were David Villa and Anton Tinnerholm, both of who were out with what were termed “mild injuries,” and Jo Inge Berget was struck with the flu the night before the Orlando City match. But despite missing three key players, New York City maintained its composure to earn its third win of the season and second consecutive clean sheet for Sean Johnson. New York City’s first goal was the result of some indecision along Orlando’s backline and a poor touch by its keeper Joe Bendik pushed the ball straight to Tajouri who took a touch and slotted a home his shot. The Citizens would double its lead when Moralez teamed with Rodney Wallace and Medina on some neat interplay that finished with Moralez hitting a strike into the bottom corner of the Orlando net.
- New York City FC has started the season 3-0-0 for the first time in club history. This is the longest unbeaten run to begin a campaign since 2015.
- In his first start in City colors, Ismael Tajorui scored his first goal for the club.
- Jesus Medina has either assisted or scored in each of his three NYCFC appearances.
NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira:
On why he wanted Ismael Tajouri on the team… “I think when you identify players that you want to bring to the football club you look at the quality and if they’re a good fit for the system you want to play. I think Ismael is a really good player one against one, and he’s really good in tight, small space. He’s really comfortable with the ball and he’s got pace. He’s really calm and composed and he’s a goal scorer, so this element goes really good with the way we want to play the game and I think today was good. He played a position where he wasn’t used to it, but he worked hard for the team and he managed to score a goal, so it was a really good day for him and for the team.”
On if attacking players expressed themselves more in the second half… “I think Orlando made it difficult for us. I think it was really difficult for us to play between the lines because they were really compact, but I think we kept our organization and of course the mistakes that they made, we finished, but it was really difficult and it was difficult for us to find the space to play and express themselves. That’s why I think this game made me happier than the other games we’ve played so far because in this one we kept our organization, we kept our discipline on the field and we waited for the right time. When they made their mistakes we took our chances and I don’t think it was our fault, I thought it was Orlando making it really difficult for us.”
On a new rotation and different players earning chances… “When we talk about last season, part of the game that really needed to improve was the goals that we conceded. I think last year we conceded too many goals and we changed some way that we defend against. So far it’s good, but it’s still only three games and there are so many games in front of us, but I think having Salaam play today, it just showed how much good work goes into training where everybody understands their role and responsibilities. This is good.”
New York City head to Gillette Stadium to face the New England Revolution on Saturday, March 24. Game time is 1:30 p.m.