Goals By Parks, Mitriță Help NYCFC Shake San Jose

NYCFC, Keaton Parks
Keaton Parks. Photo: Brad Penner, USA Today Sports

New York City FC (NYCFC) extended its lead in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

The NYCFC win combined with the Philadelphia Union playing to a 1-1 draw with LAFC puts New York City five points ahead of the Union with four games to play. Also, Atlanta United’s 3-1 loss to the Columbus Crew puts Atlanta nine points behind City.

“The goal is always to win the next game,” said Domenec Torrent, NYCFC’s head coach.  “This is how they are focused. If not, if you lose the focus, you are in trouble 100 percent.”

Playing the team’s third match in seven days, New York City needed to come-from-behind against the Earthquakes.

San Jose would take the lead in the 20th minute and to no one’s surprise, it was Chris Wondolowski who would get the goal.

But New York City responded quickly. In the 26th minute, the home side played a short corner kick and Gary Mackay-Steven fired a left-foot shot that would glance off the crossbar and into the stands. 

In the 40th minute, NYCFC would level the match. Keaton Parks carried the ball through the San Jose defense and found Mackay-Steven whose shot was stopped by Earthquakes keeper Daniel Vega. But Parks would get on the rebound and score his first Major League Soccer goal. 

“I get a lot of jokes around the locker room that I haven’t scored yet,” Parks said. “I’ve had chances and some of them pretty easy. I missed a lot of chances, but it feels really good now and they can’t talk trash anymore.”

Three minutes later, New York City would take the lead. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi was able to slide a pass to a streaking Alexandru Mitriță who took a touch and slotted home a shot past Vega for a 2-1 lead.

In goal, Sean Johnson had another strong game for New York City making six saves.

After a busy period of games, NYCFC will get some time off. The team’s next match is Sunday, September 22, against FC Dallas. Kickoff at Toyota Stadium is 6 p.m.