VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – New York City FC came into this match looking to extend their team-best four game winning streak in league play and their two game win streak against the Vancouver Whitecaps. A win would have seen NYCFC stay in third place, just two points behind Toronto FC, with a chance to overtake them in their next game.
The Return of The Maestro
Pirlo’s inclusion appeared to have hampered NYCFC’s fluid style with passes from Villa, Ring and Herrera catching the Italian midfielder off-guard and slowing down play in the first half hour. However, Pirlo showed he still had it, launching excellent crosses into the box.
Early Goal Bug Strikes Again
In three of their last four games New York City FC had given up the first goal of the match and eventually managed to win each game. While the players had been happy about fighting back, David Villa seemed to express the thoughts of everyone in the locker room at the end of the last match, saying: “I don’t like to comeback, I like to score the first goal.”
Unfortunately it was déjà vu for the boys in blue as Fredy Montero struck in the 3rd minute to put Vancouver up 1-0. Once again Patrick Vieira found himself trying to get his team out of a 1-0 deficit.
Don’t Call It A Comeback
They’ve been doing it so long you could be forgiven for thinking they’ve been doing it for years; For the fourth straight game, New York City have been down a goal early only to come back and take the lead.
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) July 6, 2017
There was a controversial moment just 5 minutes later when in the 39th minute Vancouver’s Kendall Waston shoved Tommy McNamara in the box, forcing him into a collision with keeper David Ousted. Waston earned a yellow card and McNamara earned New York City a penalty which David Villa quickly converted. Once again NYCFC found themselves in front after an early goal as they went in for the half.
Yangel Herrera had to come off early into the second half with a knock and Frederic Brillant was called in to bolster the defense as Vancouver was set to take a corner. The Whitecaps’ Jordan Harvey got the team’s second shot on goal, and scored their second goal of the game. Chanot was moved into midfield but that was a role he only had to play for 10 minutes as Vieira brought in Mikey Lopez for RJ Allen.
The Whitecaps seemed to have found their second wind late in the game and kept pushing for a third goal and forcing Eirik Johansen to make several big saves. Maxi Moralez was the second NYCFC designated player to make his return from injury at BC Palace. Despite NYC’s massive advantage in shots taken, few of them ended up being threatening to Vancouver.
The Streak Ends
Yordy Reyna found himself wide open in the 88th minute and headed home an excellent cross past Eirik Johansen to give Vancouver the winning goal. In the end New York City FC’s winning streak was snapped and they took home their first L since May 28th. Unfortunately for Patrick Vieira the magic that led NYCFC to three come-from-behind victories in their last 4 games had run out.
Full credit to Vancouver for coming into the second half energized and ultimately finding the quality to put the ball in the back of the net more often than NYCFC despite being outshot 10 to 20. Once again Patrick Vieira finds himself trying to answer to the familiar story of why NYC seems to struggle at times in the final third.
NYCFC returns to New York on Thursday as they begin their first of thirteen days off before facing Toronto on the 19th.