Parks Brace Helps NYCFC Advance In U.S. Open Cup

NYCFC, Keaton Parks
Keaton Parks scored twice against North Carolina FC. Photo: Brad Penner-USA Today Sports

For the first time in its five year history, New York City FC has advanced to the Fifth Round of the U.S. Open Cup after its 4-0 win over North Carolina FC on Wednesday.

With a starting lineup that featured several of the team’s younger players, NYCFC dominated the USL Championship side in a match played at Belson Stadium on the campus of St. John’s University.

Keaton Parks scored twice and Jesus Medina scored for New York City. The fourth goal was a North Carolina own goal credited to Aaron Guillen.

“It is important for the club because they told me this is our first time moving onto the next round,” said Domenec Torrent, New York City’s head coach. “I’m going to try to win the next game and if we’re lucky we’ll win the trophy.”    

Torrent used Justin Haak, Keaton Parks, Juan Pablo Torres, and Daniel Bedoya in the starting lineup against North Carolina with Torres and Bedoya making their respective team debuts.

With City ahead 1-0 thanks to North Carolina’s own goal in the 25th minute, they would double the lead just before halftime. Two minutes into stoppage time, Tony Rocha played the ball into the feet of Jesus Medina who finished calmly for his first goal of the season.

Early in the second half Park would extend New York City’s lead to three. In the 52nd minute, a cross by Torres would find Parks who headed the ball into the back of the net for his first goal with the team.

His second came in the 76th minute. On a play, Castellanos broke through the North Carolina defense and played the ball across the pitch to Maxi Moralez who found Parks to put NYCFC up 4-0.

“It felt good to get a full 90 under me and to get the win of course,” Parks said. “It felt good to get two goals, I’m just taking advantage of any opportunity that I get.”