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NOTES & QUOTES: New York City FC 5 – 2 FC Cincinnati

New York City FC returned to the Bronx, after a long four weeks of road games, to take on FC Cincinnati for the first time in MLS history.

As the City looked to keep their unbeaten streak, the squad’s depth was tested with the overlapping international break, meaning Dome was without six senior players.

With Sean Johnson away, Brad Stuver was called upon to be in net for the match.

The defense also saw big changes with James Sands, Maxime Chanot, and Anton Tinnerholm holding it down in the backline. Meanwhile, in-form pair Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Valentin Castellanos made their returns to Dome Torrent’s XI.

NYCFC kicked off Pride Night the City way, scoring the first goal of the night in the 11’ minute. Alexandru Mitriță pushed the ball forward, passing to Maxi Moralez, who crossed it back to Mitriță for his fourth goal in City Blue.

That was only the beginning for NYCFC’s scoring…

City didn’t take long to double their advantage and it was another close-range finish following an intricate move when it came.

This time, it was Héber who profited with his fifth goal for NYCFC, tapping home Anton Tinnerholm’s cross on 17’.

It got even better for the Boys in Blue on 29’ when Tajouri-Shradi hammered in the third goal at the near post from another Tinnerholm assist, to make it 3-0 and set the smokestacks off once more.

Cincinnati hit back before the halftime break after a cross hit the back of Héber and beat Brad Stuver for the own goal, making it 3-1 to home side at the interval.

Coming out in the second half, Héber struck once more in the 49’ minute, scoring his sixth goal the season and it was the pick of the bunch – a delightful cushion and volley into the bottom corner.

In the 76’ minute, FC Cincinnati pushed the ball towards NYCFC’s box, Stuver was there to make the initial save but the ball was deflected off of Sebastien Ibeagha for another own goal, putting the score to 4-2.

There were more cheers in store late in the game when NYC homegrown Justin Haak entered for his senior debut to rapturous cheers from all corners of the stadium.

To cap the night, Maxi Moralez wrestled through the FC Cincinnati defense and, after some more incredible interplay in the box from the Boys in Blue, banked in a goal in the 90’ minute, bringing the score up to 5-2.

NYCFC had quite a night, scoring goals left and right, extending their undefeated streak and bringing three points to the Bronx! Now that’s how you celebrate Pride night…

QUOTES 

NEW YORK CITY FC HEAD COACH DOMÈNEC TORRENT

Talk about how your front line performed today…
“I’m happy just in the first 20 minutes. We were able to create chances and score a few goals. But after that we didn’t play well because there was too much ‘rabona.’ We have to respect the game. I say to them in the second half, we have to respect the game because they’re a good team. When I watch them many games in Cincinnati, maybe they deserve to have more points. And sometimes it’s just not about the table, you have to respect the opponent in the game. But I’m very happy after that because we played with five forwards. This is good news because we can play in this sort of system when we play at Yankee Stadium, which is different sizes at home. Our fans understand and everyone is happy. It’s not easy when you miss three-to-four players, but FC Cincinnati missed four-to-five players as well. But the rules are the rules and you have to accept and adapt quickly and I’m very happy for our fans because it’s the first game after four games away. The most important thing I said to them today is to try and win the game and we did it.”

Giving Haak and Parks minutes before the U.S. Open Cup…
“For the Open Cup, my idea is to play with these kinds of players. Especially Keaton [Parks], Justin [Haak], Danny Bedoya, they deserve to play.”

On Pep Guardiola being in attendance for today’s match…
“Maybe this is why we scored seven goals in today’s game. Five or seven goals, no I’m kidding. But, actually I’m very happy because when Pep [Guardiola] told me he wanted to visit me in New York, it’s always a pleasure. Because for me he’s the best coach ever, but it’s not about that, he’s also a good friend. I worked with him for 11 years and it’s a pleasure for me to meet with him in New York. I’m very happy because he can watch the game. He said it wasn’t a bad game because he was able to see seven goals.”

NEW YORK CITY FC MIDFIELDER MAXI MORALEZ 

On being back home…
“Yes, the important thing is that we won and we did it in good form. In the first half, the first twenty minutes we managed the ball well, but that intensity and scoring three goals in twenty minutes made us relax a little. However, over the 90 minutes I think we played a good game.”

On the seasons calendar and the recent road trip…
“We just face it as it is and luckily it has gone well for us. The last few away games we had, we managed some good results and it was important to keep going forward. We’re happy and now it’s time to rest but also think about the cup game coming up.”

On his message to the fans that came out tonight…
“Thank you for coming out on a weekday, it’s an odd time but I think we did our part and they left with happiness and a lot of goals, so thank you.”

NEW YORK CITY FC GOALKEEPER BRAD STUVER

On how it feels to get a start here at Yankee Stadium
“It was good. It’s always good to be in Yankee Stadium, in front of our home fans. It’s good to give them a win that they needed. We’ve gotten a lot of points away [from Yankee Stadium], but it is always good to win at home.

On starting the game strong…
“That first save was definitely big, it’s always good to do something good in the first 5-10 minutes. Whether it’s a good distribution, good clearance, good save, it just kind of helps you refocus and kind of builds the confidence a little bit.”

On his role in the Play for Pride initiative…
“For me it’s just being able to use this platform to spread the word and just be more open minded with everything. It’s super important because we have a platform that should be used.”

On using tonight as an opportunity…
“It wasn’t a perfect game, obviously there were things I want to take back in the game. At the end of the day, everything is a learning experience. You go out, put in the best shift that you can and hope for the best outcome. You walk away with three points at home, that is all you can ask for at the end of the day.”

NEW YORK CITY FC MIDFIELDER JUSTIN HAAK

On his emotions about his debut… 
“Everybody was telling me to enjoy it and that’s exactly what I tried to do, get on the field have fun and help the team … for me it was just great to get on the field and make my debut. It’s just so difficult to explain, I’ve been with this club for four or five years now so it felt amazing to get out there”

FC CINCINNATI HEAD COACH YOANN DAMET

Thoughts on the match…
“The plan was to defend their system. Have less space in between the lines. We didn’t really respect the plan for the first half. It did not work our way for the first 45 minutes. It was a bit better in the second half but not good enough.”

On the substitutions made in the second half…
“We needed to move the ball more in the midfield, to run the ball more. That’s why we had to sub. Corben is not fit enough for now. He [was] cramping a bit in the second half.

On Cincinnati’s struggles this season…
“There are things we need to take into consideration. There is a lot of little things that created the situation that we are in. Now we are dealing with it. We are trying to move forward. Today is a big disappointment, especially in the first half. In the second half I saw a little bit more of my team. The team that was improving in the past week. There is a little bit of satisfaction but there are a lot of things we need to address.”

FC CINCINNATI GOALKEEPER SPENCER RICHEY

On expectations for New York…
“They’re a very good team, they are one of the best teams in the East and been in good form recently. We say every week that you can look at the table and say Colorado is in last place this week, but there’s no weak games in this league. That’s something I know for sure and we know as a team. It just one of those slumps we are in right now, but we know we just have to roll up our sleeves and stay together to figure out the team to preach the same message.”

On any positives from tonight’s game…
“I would say the positives are even when we go down three goals, we find a way to create one and get ourselves back at 3-1. Two goals is a manageable deficit, we conceded the 4th goal  and that likely put the game away, but I thought at least the guys were able to stay together and keep our head in the game, and we were able to get one back to make it 4-2. At that point you never know even if we nip one late in 85th-87th minute anything can happen when you’re only down one goal, so the positive from the game is the guys didn’t quit.”

FC CINCINNATI MIDFIELDER CORBEN BONE

On getting a chance to start…
“It was good to start. Tough result. I wish the outcome would have been different but starting felt good. It was a great feeling to be back out there. Yea, it felt good.”

On trying to create scoring chances…
“It was ok. I tried to connect and combine as much as I can. Get one, two touches in certain areas and try and create. It’s a part of my game I think works when it’s flowing. Just trying to find pockets.”

Thoughts on the match…
“(NYCFC) is a good team. They move the ball quickly. Give credit to them. They pass well but we can definitely defend as a team better. I think in the first half it took us a bit to figure it out as a group.”

On quick turnaround with U.S. Open Cup coming up next week…
“The Open Cup is a great tournament. We go into that tournament looking to win and advance.”

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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