NYCFC Opens 2018 With Clean Sheet Win Over KC

NYCFC, Jesus Medina, MLS
Jesus Medina celebrates his first NYCFC goal. Photo: Amy Kontras-USA Today Sports

Sporting KC 0
New York City FC 2

Goals: NYCFC: 32’ Maxi Moralez (assist David Villa), 53’ Jesus Medina (assist Ben Sweat)

Key Points: New York City FC opened the 2018 season on the road in front of 20,831 at Children’s Mercy Park with as strong a performance as head coach Patrick Vieira could have wanted. The defense and midfield combined to keep Sporting KC’s offense at bay for much of the game, and the offense led by captain David Villa created numerous chances while also working to maintain possession when needed. But the final 10-minutes of the match saw VAR come into play twice. In the 80th minute, an initial call for a penalty against New York City by referee Mark Geiger was overturned by Geiger following video review. A second use of VAR seven minutes later led Geiger to call a foul just outside the box against Maxime Chanot, which resulted in a red card for the New York City defender. But despite being down a man, NYCFC held strong to gain the clean sheet and three points.

Play Of The Game: With New York City up a goal in the second half, Ben Sweat was instrumental in the Citizens doubling its lead. In the 53rd minute Sweat in full sprint intercepted a KC pass and bolted down the left side. Across the pitch, Jesus Medina mirrored Sweat’s run, and a wonderfully place left-footed cross from Sweat found Medina who two-touched a shot past Sporting keeper Tim Melia.

Notable:

  • Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Anton Tinnerholm and Jesus Medina made their NYCFC debuts
  • NYCFC now has a W2-L2-D0 record vs. Sporting KC
  • Maxi Moralez scored NYCFC’s first goal of 2018
  • It was the Argentine’s sixth goal for NYCFC
  • Jesus Medina scored on his MLS and NYCFC debut
  • This was NYCFC’s first-ever clean sheet in a season opener

What’s next:

New York City will be home at Yankee Stadium for its 2018 home opener Sunday, March 11, against the LA Galaxy. Game time is 5 p.m.