Timbers Hand NYCFC First Defeat Of Season

NYCFC, MLS, Major League Soccer
New York City midfielder Alexander Ring (8) defends Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco (10). PHOTO: Troy Wayrynen-USA Today Sports

Portland Timbers FC 3
New York City FC 0

Goals: PTFC: 26’ Sebastian Blanco (assists Andres Flores and Alvas Powell), 38’ Fanendo Adi, 66’ Larrys Mabiala (assist Diego Valeri)

Key Points: And just like that, New York City FC’s seven-game unbeaten streak came to a screeching halt. On the road for the second straight week following its hard-fought 2-2 draw in Georgia against Atlanta United, New York City was never in its match against the Timbers, who have had a less than spectacular start to their 2018 campaign under new head coach Giovanni Savarese. Portland, seemingly buoyed by its first win of the season in its last match, came out strong with Sebastian Blanco getting two high-quality changes within the first five minutes. While New York City’s defense was bending, it would eventually break in the 27th minute. Blanco would finally break through with a looping header to the far post that NYCFC keeper Sean Johnson and teammate Alexander Callens could only watch dip just beneath the crossbar for a 1-0 Timbers lead. Ten minutes later, Fanendo Adi tapped in a rebound to double Portland’s advantage. Larrys Mabiala would close out the score for the Timbers in the 66th minute.

Notable:

  • NYCFC suffered its first defeat of 2018 (P8 W5 L1 D2)
  • This was the first time City have failed to score this season
  • This was NYCFC’s heaviest defeat since the 4-0 loss in Toronto in July 2017

Quotable:
NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira:
On conceding so many goals in the last two games…
“I think the first reason is the quality of the teams that we’ve played against. You have to give credit to the opposition team, how well they’ve been playing. I think today, we played against a team that prepared for the game well, who were well organized. We had the possession, but it was difficult for us to find space and they made it difficult for us. They scored goals in the period that it was difficult for us. All the credit to Portland.”

On the difficulty of playing in Portland…
“Really tough. The atmosphere was really good. Today I think, when you have the home fans making that noise, it always gives that extra to the home team. The support that they had was really good today. I understand why they are really good at home.”

On dealing with Portland’s counter-attack and making adjustments in the second half…
“I think it was really difficult for us. They were defending quite well. They executed their game plan well. We were really vulnerable in the counter-attack. With the quality of players they have, they scored three goals, but overall it was a really difficult game for us to find space. When they went into counter-attack, they made it really difficult for us. I think our defensive transition wasn’t good enough. It was a day where we didn’t find the way to perform. I still believe that we have a good team and we’ve been doing some really good stuff since the start of the season, but of course, we think the game today shows that we still have a lot of work to be done.”

What’s next:
New York City returns home on Sunday, April 29, for a matchup against FC Dallas. Kickoff at Yankee Stadium is 6:30 p.m.