A familiar face and a newcomer led the way as New York City FC opened the 2018 season with a statement road win.
Maxi Moralez and Jesus Medina provided the finishes for NYCFC, who went to Children’s Mercy Park and emerged with a 2-0 win over Sporting KC to open the 2018 campaign.
Two of the team’s veterans combined for the opening goal in a half that saw the visitors’ attack prove smothering. It was David Villa that provided the cross and Moralez that provided the finish, as the Argentinian tapped in on a pass inside the six-yard box for the opening goal in the 32nd minute.
NYCFC’s second came from a youngster as 19-year-old Medina scored his first MLS goal. The Uruguayan DP finished with a close-range chip, scoring on a pass from Ben Sweat to double the NYCFC advantage.
In the 79th minute, referee Mark Geieger made matters interesting as Maxime Chanot took down Daniel Salloi, who was an instant spark plug off the bench once joining the fray in the second half, near the edge of the penalty area. Initially, the play was ruled as a penalty kick for NYCFC, but, following review, the tackle was deemed clean.
Just moments later, though, Chanot was issued a red card following yet another review for a foul that was deemed the denial of an obvious goalscoring opportunity. The resulting free kick was smashed off the crossbar.
While Sporting KC did create chances, especially in the second half, NYCFC controlled a bulk of the play, and could have scored another if not for a spectacular play by Cristian Lobato. Following a giveaway, NYCFC had a three-man break alone on Tim Melia, but Lobato darted back to poke the ball away from Villa, ending the first half.
NYCFC now looks ahead to a home opener against the LA Galaxy while Sporting KC visits the Chicago Fire in their next match.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Although he wasn’t credited with a goal, David Villa was far and away NYCFC’s most active and dangerous attacker. His assist to Moralez was on a platter and he was a handful for the Sporting KC defense throughout the victory.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
With 10 minutes remaining and Sporting KC’s momentum building following the introduction of Daniel Salloi, Mark Geiger reversed an initial penalty kick situation, all but sealing the win for an NYCFC team that cruised in the aftermath.
MATCH TO FORGET
In his MLS debut, Sporting KC DP Yohan Croizet struggled to put together anything positive. He was generally poor in the attack and a pre-halftime giveaway was a pivotal mistake for a player that lasted less than 60 minutes in his debut.