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Notes and Quotes: New York City FC 0 – 0 D.C. United

NYCFC kicked off their Season 5 Home Opener against D.C. United aiming to build upon the 2-2 tie on the opening day of the season in Orlando.

The first half started with D.C. United on the front foot, creating early opportunities to score but Luciano Acosta and Wayne Rooney found goalkeeper Sean Johnson in fine form.

As the first half went on, NYCFC were able to gain control, picking apart the D.C. United defense and creating chances of their own. Alex Ring was closest to opening the scoring for the Blues in the first period with two long-range strikes; one flying just over the crossbar and the other drawing Hamid’s first great save of the night.

It wouldn’t be his last…

On his Bronx debut, Alexandru Mitrita made Yankee Stadium his home with an influential performance, creating chances and working well in tandem with Maxi Moralez to develop the connection between the midfield and the front line.

Homegrown James Sands, also showed his toughness in the midfield by making crucial plays to prevent D.C. United from connecting on passes and gaining traction near the goal, as well as spreading the ball neatly when in possession.

It was Mitriță who drew the next great stop from Hamid with a free-kick which had to be beaten away in the early minutes of the second period as City stepped up the search for the deadlock-breaker.

Against Orlando, NYC had to soak up a lot of pressure but this time City were in the ascendancy. Sadly Bill Hamid, like Johnson, proved to be like a brick wall between the sticks, making another unreal save from a diving header by Ring late in the game.

On 82′, United’s Luciano Acosta threatened by curling the ball towards the net, but Johnson once again was there to paw it away with a magnificent save of his own.

Despite late pressure and more close shaves in the D.C. box, both teams had to be content with one point, meaning NYCFC remains undefeated in home openers thus far through five (W3 D2).

Same time, same place next Sunday for LAFC as we go for the first three points of 2019.

QUOTES

NYCFC HEAD COACH DOMÈNEC TORRENT

Thoughts on today’s performance in comparison to last weekend’s match…

The result is a draw, we drew the game. That was the results, it’s not good for us, especially when you play calm in the back. We have a lot of games to try and win the game.

On Sean Johnson’s key performance today…

“The best player today wasn’t just Sean, it was both keepers. We created many chances in the first half and second half and both keepers played amazing. I’m very happy with Sean, not because his job is to stop the goals, but he has improved every single day when we are trying to build from the back especially here at home.”

Thoughts on rhythm of the team so far this season…

“Soccer is not about keeping the ball and having more possession than the opponent. We need to play much better. I prefer to play quickly, one to two touches, but I prefer to keep the ball and not play the long ball like the last game in Orlando. If you keep with ball, with the idea to attack it’s good, you can’t pass the ball to pass the ball. Especially against a team like this, DC defends really well, they are one of the best teams when they defend and you have to play quickly.”

NYCFC GOALKEEPER SEAN JOHNSON

On how he feels with today’s 0-0 draw…

“I think for us it’s an improvement from last week. We wanted the three points, but it was a tough game, it was a tough opponent – they’re obviously coming off of a good game. They were in a good period. For us, I think we have to really go back and analyze the game, but I think 0-0 is a good result.”

On battling with D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid…

“Bill and I go way back ‘till when we came into the league in 2010. We’ve been together along the way, so it was good to see him do well as well. I think it was a solid performance, I think it’s necessary when a team needs big moments, I think it’s important we keep teams off the scoreboard.”

On getting ready for LAFC next week…

“The games are coming quickly. The beginning of the season you want to continue to get better, almost find this happy place where you can continue getting results and find that first win, hopefully against LAFC. We’ll take the week to prepare and really look to come out next week and build off this performance today.”

On his 1st & 3rd save today…

“They were all different. The first one was holding your ground as long as possible. The third one was tough, you’re moving one way, he tries to go back the other way, just fortunate I was balanced and able to drop my knee and make a save. But important moments of the match that helped us get a result today.”

NYCFC MIDFIELDER ALEX RING

First impressions from the game…

“I think there’s a reason why they haven’t lost since August. They defend really well. I thought we kept their big players in check. I thought we could have deserved more. But in the end, both keepers played a great game so I think 0-0 in the end is a result you have to live with.”

How big was Sean Johnson today…

“It’s his job. He’s fantastic. I’ve been playing with him now my third year. I think you can always rely on him. He’s made big stops for us before. But like I’ve said, it’s his job. I think he woke us up a little…our first 15 minutes was too soft. We weren’t in the game. But I think after that, there’s no question of who the better team was for 75 minutes of that game. It was pretty obvious. We just have to, you know, focus on creating more opportunities and then scoring.”

NYCFC MIDFIELDER JAMES SANDS

On getting 2 starts this season so far…

“I think [Torrent] has always believed in me. Definitely this year I’ve felt more ready and he’s seen me as more ready to play. I think that’s just the biggest thing. Physically I’m able to cope more [professionally].”

NYCFC FORWARD ALEXANDRU MITRIȚĂ

On his first game in New York City…

“It was a good game for me and for the team. We didn’t win, we wanted to win our first game at home but step by step comes the victories.”

D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH BEN OLSEN

On todays game…

“I feel good with the point, I would feel better with three points, but I think they’re probably saying the same thing. Bill came up with some great saves, Sean Johnson came up with some fantastic saves. Probably a coin flip over the course of that game, could of went either way, scrappy stuff typical NYC game. The important thing is we got another shutout and we continue to not lose games. This is not an easy place to come and grab something and we did. It was a complete performance, the back four was good and Bill again came up with some great saves.”

On what to take away from today’s game…

“Even on a day where the conditions aren’t great and we weren’t the best in possession we’re still able to create really good chances. I’m not worried about us converting those, I think it was just a night where again we came up against a very good goalkeeper and I think those will fall more times than not for us going forward.”

On the importance of starting the first fifteen minutes strong…

“Yea we had some good looks and some good transition moments, but they did too. It was a back and forth game, again I think that game could of went either way. Two good goalkeepers but no one in the end made the play that mattered for all three points.”

D.C. UNITED FORWARD WAYNE ROONEY

On today’s game…

“Yea, it’s a good point. Obviously, it’s a difficult game and a difficult place to come. I thought both teams had a couple good chances, Bill Hamid was fantastic today for us and made some really good saves, but I think probably a fair result.”

On today’s field conditions…

“Yea, I think the field is not ideal, but it is what it is. We have to deal with it and cope with it and so I thought as a team we coped really well.”

On the team feeling after week 2…

“Yea, I think it’s a good start for us, like I said before four points from the two games, I think we’ll be happy with that. We’ve started well, and we got a home game against Salt Lake next week and if we can win that it’ll be a really good start going into the two week break.”

DC UNITED GOALKEEPER BILL HAMID

Thoughts on earning one point…

“NYCFC home opener and we knew it was going to be a dogfight, especially with them going up 2-0 away to Orlando. We started off well with the storm, and we got a hard-fought point out in the road.”

Whether the team is in good form…

“We’ve got a great chemistry about us right now, and two shutouts in a row is really good in this league. For us we want to keep building on that and not only me, but Sean had an amazing game today too in goal for New York City and I have a lot of respect for him too. I’m just trying to do my job.”

Having two clean sheets…

“Yeah in the back we’re doing solid, like I said we have a good chemistry about us. Fred took a hard knock at the end of the game and he fought to the end of the game. Russell and Junior have the ability to move laterally and protect the back line. It’s working well right now so hopefully we can translate that over to the attack.”

For more information on New York City FC fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.nycfc.com/

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