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Villa, Mullins score to lead NYCFC to win in home opener

David Villa New York City FC 16

photo by Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports


NEW YORK — David Villa sprinted toward the home plate at Yankee Stadium, where the iconic “NY” interlock laid adjacent to his new club’s seal, and raised his arms in elation.

And why not? After all, he had just scored the first MLS goal in the legendary venue’s history to put New York City FC on the board against the New England Revolution before taking home a 2-0 victory in the expansion club’s historic home opener.

Villa’s strike came in the 19th minute after he connected with midfielder Ned Grabavoy on a give-and-go to get past the last line of Revolution defenders before curling the ball past New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth into the right side of the net.

Substitute Patrick Mullins tacked on the other score in the 84th minute — seconds after he entered the match — when Villa found him streaking along the run into the box.

“I’m very pleased with the performance today,” Villa said through an interpreter in the postgame press conference. “We are still growing as a new team, but we are delighted we scored two goals… We have to thank the fans, in a cold day like this, to give us the support that they gave us.”

NYCFC took 20 shots in the contest — nine of them on goal — and even had the luxury of playing with a numbers advantage after New England’s Jose Goncalves was sent off for a challenge in the 66th minute on Khiry Shelton, who had just subbed on.

The deficit could have been much larger for New England if it wasn’t for Shuttleworth’s seven saves, which featured a few that came in critical situations.

The Revs also had several chances to tie up the game in the first half but could not find an equalizer despite taking nine shots.

“I thought we were being very defensive,” Kreis said. “We scored the early goal, which could be good, but it can be also be bad in our game, because often times you’ll see a team that scores an early goal that thinks they now need to defend for the rest of the match, that can’t be our mindset.”

NYCFC controlled the tempo and took back the momentum in the second half and limited the reigning Eastern Conference champions to just two shots before Mullins — who scored four goals for the Revs last season before joining NYCFC via the expansion draft — put the game away for good.

NYCFC will visit Colorado Rapids on March 21, while the Revs — who remain scoreless on the season — will look to bounce back that same day against the Montreal Impact.


  1. Was there for it. A bit cold! Glad to see small touches like vendors wearing NYCFC hats, stores selling only NYCFC stuff, most Yankee specific stuff out of site. I was concerned that the stadium would feel like a ‘rental’ situation with little NYCFC feel. They did a great job making it feel like a stadium for NYCFC. Plus, if you are a Yankee fan, there was NO ONE in monument park and the Yankee museum. That was a nice treat to stroll right in to those places. That never happens at a Yankee game. Great experience, great day, great crowd. Kudos to NYCFC management making a nice match day experience.

  2. Entertaining game.. Agree with posts above about it feeling special. It’s weird feeling rooting for a team so that I can hate them in a few years.

  3. Kreis has already proven he can develop young players, role players and now he has the chance to global stars. If the front office can get their act together (stadium, contract gaffes etc) then this club will be a juggernaut. Let’s not forget that he still has Lampard + one more DP to fill out the roster.

    Let’s hope for more entertaining games like todays.

  4. Was in the crowd at Yankee Stadium today, and have to say that the stadium had some real energy. Diverse crowd, some real excitement. I’ve gone to a couple of RBNY games every year since I moved to NYC 10 years ago, and the atmosphere in the Bronx today had a much closer feel to seeing a game somewhere like London than it did to catching a match in Harrison. Was amazing to jump off the train and walk across the street to the stadium. Red Bull Arena is a beautiful stadium and the baseball field clearly isn’t ideal, but on the whole it was much nicer than I anticipated (even from the 400 section on the left field side). If NYCFC gets another big name or two and keeps cobbling together results, I could see this thing really getting big in NY. Just my two cents.

    • Let’s go ahead and call it like it is. NYCFC has been a huge success so far and looks to have tremendous potential. Well done Don Garber and ownership. Could be a game changer — that was a great game to watch.

      • I honestly can’t tell if this is sarcastic. The Lampard debacle, the stadium, come on man, how is this an unqualified success. Let’s see if a couple of years from now, all these people who showed up for the first came are still coming to a baseball stadium to watch this team. Sustained interest will be the measure of success and NYC in my opinion is not a great soccer town and there isn’t much interest in MLS.

      • That might help prove my point. It felt like a soccer town on tv last night. Yankee Stadium, somehow, felt like a soccer stadium last night. I think they will only pick up steam. Even with some of the controversies, yesterday was amazing. The game was a great watch. Like I said, game changer. Hate to sound like El Paso, but your Red Bulls might have to hope for a Cosmos buy-out if they are going to compete. And the fact that these franchises will push each other was part of Garber’s master plan all along.

      • NYC is a fine soccer town. What it most definitely is NOT is a town that tolerates failure, or anything that’s perceived as second class. So things that are great successes in other areas of the country have little chance. College sports, minor league sports, women’s sports, and others all get far less support than you’d expect. Fans here don’t remain blindly loyal to anything that hasn’t earned it.
        I was a season ticket holder for the first 4 years of the MetroStars, and I can’t even begin to tell you how badly that organization ruined the perception of MLS in this area.

    • Yup, completely different, because going to Red Bulls games requires you take a train, walk to another train, change at Journal Square, take another train, and then walk across two empty parking lots/construction sites to get to RB Arena.

      The view is not ideal but it wasn’t half bad, supporters up high behind the goal worked well too.

    • He is good at weaving with the ball but never gonna open up a game. When Lampard arrives, Velasquez will sit. Khiry Shelton might be a big talent

      • Maybe, but I would hope Grabavoy would sit before Velasquez. I’m not sure if Velasquez does the little things that a veteran might do, but in terms of talent, he seems to be way ahead of Grabavoy. Playing in the tight spaces at Yankee Stadium, he is perfectly suited for what they need.

  5. Every dollar spent in that stadium supports that truly despicable regime.
    He’s not just a citizen. He’s the second most powerful man in that skidmark of a government.

    This is far, FAR beyond Anschutz

    Some things in this world are bigger than an afternoon of sport

  6. It’s still a little early to really know what to make of this NYC team. However the Revs back line is clearly awful. 5 goals in 2 games and are lucky that’s all as Shuttleworth has been very good. Farrell just isn’t working out there.

  7. NYC dangerous every time they had the ball in the final third. Not sure if it was awful NE defense, great NYC passing or something between, but NYC was shredding NE D. Mix with multiple backheel volleys plus great flair from Villa. This could be a highly entertaining team.

    • Everyone thought last week Seattle was amazing. It’s starting to look more like the Revs back line is a disaster with Farrell and with out Jones covering up for them.

      • Seattle is amazing, its just San Jose have really improved. I never seen a San Jose team play great soccer, till last night.

  8. The league keeps getting better as it expands but nycfc has a very special feeling. You can feel the difference, you can feel this team is going to be the big dog in the east conference and won’t like to lose. Not the losing apart but nycfc will become the cosmos of MLS and being the biggest dog of MLS.
    The sad thing is that red bull has only 2 options, to open their wallet in get 3 real dps or sell the team. In big markets like LA and NY, there is no room for failure.

    • Auto correction makes my comments look weird 🙂 but I forgot to mention that MLS should let teams in the north open the season in their home stadium even though it’s “cold.”

    • I think they could pull off a mid budget side. They have 2 advantages in that beautiful stadium and a home area that has produced more top soccer talent than any region in the country. They could easily be very successful by making smart midrange acquisitions and intelligently developing academy players through their system. Unfortunately intelligence has never been a word associated with the NYRB front office.

      • Good points but whatever side they put together would always be better with a couple of well chosen DPs. Can RBNY actually choose DPs well? The evidence suggests no, other than Henry, but I’d still like to see them try rather than pocket the cash.

  9. Only saw first 30 minutes, but apart from a brief flash of skill in the box, Agudelo seemed completely out of sorts. He’s been on the shelf for way too long, of course. But in the first two games he’s made horrible turnovers that have been converted to opponent goals.

    Want to see him play well, but not seeing a while lot yet.

    • Agudelo will score an amazing goal, that has everyone talking about him then disappear for a couple matches. Also because his career has been so start and stop, people seem to rate him as if he’s still 18. I’m not saying he’s not a good player but needs to do it more consistently now.

  10. complete joke. no wonder Mark Geiger was world cup ref. staged game, it wouldn’t matter if Barcelona was playing them. New new york would have won. MLS you are sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Shut up dude. It was not staged in any sort of way, game could have easily ended up with 4-5 goals if it weren’t for the great play of the goalies, NYCFC deserved the win. Ref was a non issue for the most part, you could argue that the red card was two players tripping up, but it doesn’t change the fact that it clearly did deny a goal scoring opportunity.

      • within the first 20 minutes, there were at least 8 non calls when revs got the ball in the final third. then just to even out game, Mark would give revs a call on a fifty fifty in the middle third in which went the revs way(a non advantageous call). Not to mention, the phantom five calls when revs has the ball which was called against them. GAME WAS FIXED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I have been watching MLS since 96 in which I saw game made for the betterment of the league. I re watched the game a couple of times. If you like WWE , watch MLS, they love building a fan base except I do not truly realize how many potential ardent life long fans that they disfranchise by these antics in order to get the NEW club a win. More than anyone, I really wanted MLS to succeed but after today, I have succumbed to same belief that so many that I know in youth soccer refereeing and other of far more soccer expertise have said about the league that PRO is puppet organization. As good as referee as Mark Geiger is, he was really challenged to find a way to give new club a win. ((((single entity MLS sucks, I am done with it.))) Besides being soccer junkie, I was also a huge NHL fan. Although not for the same reason (Hartford Whalers were moved the betterment of the league to start to garner a more national aka southern audience) I swore of NHL and havent watched game since. One day if the league does not rehabilitate itself, you might be making this same post as your club loses to far inferior club. So be happy today, it is really good SCRIPTED feel good story but one day your team may not be the one on the end of FIXED match.

      • You should probably blame the Revs d. You might want to start with asking if Andrew Farrell should actually be play in the center at this level.

      • jonf, you think its a coincidence that no one seems to agree or take your post seriously? take off the tin foil hat buddy, if there was a shred of logic to things you are saying people would be echoing some of those complaints.

    • Well done NYCFC, well done MLS. Mullins could be a standout in MLS this season, he looked really good in his substitute appearance in MLS Cup, the kids got skills.


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