Strong Second Half Propels NYCFC Past Minnesota

Jack Harrison and David Villa New York City FC
Jack Harrison and David Villa celebrate Villa's goal for NYCFC. Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA Today Sports

New York City FC 3
Minnesota United 1

Goals: NYC: 38’ Alexander Callens (assist Ben Sweat), 52’ Jack Harrison (assists Rodney Wallace, Thomas McNamara), 63’ David Villa (assist Jack Harrison); MIN: 9’ Christian Ramirez

Overview: New York City’s weekday matchup vs. expansion side Minnesota United was one of those ‘tweener matches on the schedule. Coming off a big Derby Day win over New York Red Bulls on Saturday, it was vital that NYCFC take three points before heading out west to face Vancouver. Despite a strong start by the home side at Yankee Stadium, New York City found itself trailing after nine minutes when backup keeper Eirik Johansen (Sean Johnson is with the U.S. Men’s National Team) spilled an easy save and Christian Ramirez was on the spot to take advantage. City would level the match on Callens’ goal and would take full control on goals by Harrison and Villa. In fact, New York City was in control of the match throughout the second 45 and Minnesota did little to bother Johansen.

NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira…
(On Rodney Wallace starting) “I think Rodney, you look at his performance in his first games with us, has been fantastic. He’s been doing really well. He’s worked so hard, and I felt he needed to rest a little bit. This is why I decided to go with Matta – and this is the only reason why.”

(On Eirik Johansen’s first game as goalkeeper) “When you don’t play very often as goalkeeper, I think you find it really difficult especially in the first 20 minutes, just to get used to the game; and I think yes, the goal that we conceded, we could do better, but I was really pleased with the reaction that he had after that. A few times he came out at a really important period in the game for us. I was really pleased with his reaction. I think he showed good character.”

New York City Midfielder Jack Harrison…
“We knew it was important to come out strong in this game and I think we were unfortunate not to get another goal in the first half. I thought we started off really well. And then coming out in the second half we just played so well as a team. That’s what happens. You create chances and we were able to get a goal and another one after that.”

What’s next:
New York City will head out west for a July 5 visit with Vancouver Whitecaps. Kickoff is set for 10 p.m.