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NOTES & QUOTES: New York City FC 2 – 1 New York Red Bulls

Following Atlanta United’s Friday night win over Orlando City, NYCFC came into this second Hudson River Derby of 2019 looking to close the gap at the top of the Eastern Conference to just one point.

Victories over FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew SC had the Boys in Blue on a W streak but they faced off against a familiar rival in a derby match packed with intriguing subplots.

The first meeting of the season had ended 2-1 in Red Bulls’ favor in controversial fashion, giving City even more motivation to ensure that they secured a third-successive win and took the local bragging rights.

However, Dome Torrent’s side found themselves 1-0 down inside the opening 10’, after neat interplay between Kaku and Alex Muyl created the first goal of the night.

It’s fair to say it took the home side a little bit of time to get into their flow, but they soon warmed to the task, rattling the crossbar via Taty Castellanos’s header from a Ronald Matarrita cross, with Luis Robles beaten all ends up.

The woodwork was dented again on 36’ in even more spectacular fashion when Héber let rip with a missile of a volley from 30 yards, once again beating Robles but not the post.

Just when it looked like the visitors might escape to the locker room with a narrow lead, an incisive through ball from Alexandru Mitriță found Maxi Moralez who was bundled over by Murillo in the box for a penalty.

Maxi picked himself up and assumed responsibility, drilling his shot low and hard and into the back of the net to make it 1-1 just before the interval.

Going in at halftime, Dome will have urged his team to pick right back up where they left off and that’s just what they did, seizing the lead just seven minutes into the second half.

Anton Tinnerholm, arguably the best player on the pitch through the 90’, took up the charge down the right wing and delivered the cross for Héber who backheeled through the legs of Robles from an acute angle to make it 2-1.

It was the Brazilian’s 13th goal of the season and his second in as many games against the Red Bulls.

Sean Johnson was called into action on 66’ with a fingertip save from a shot from distance as the visitors tried to get back into the game, however City put up a big rearguard action, turning away anything Chris Armas’s side could throw at them and looking dangerous going forward.

There was a late scramble in the NYCFC box after Matarrita had seen red for an off-the-ball incident, but NYCFC were worthy winners and climb to second place in the East with a big Hudson River Derby win.



New York City FC Head Coach Doménec Torrent

On the match…
We practiced a different system, we played a 4-4-2, with Mitriță and Moralez between the lines. We won the second balls which is very important against Red Bulls. I’m especially happy because we were able to show good build up in our stadium against these kind of teams. When I talk about the personality, it’s about that. Sometimes we can play long ball, we have signals for that, but we play much better when we play short.”

On the front two playing together…
Right now Taty and Heber have a good relationship. Both inside the facilities and on the pitch. I said this week that everybody has to defend, without that it’s impossible to beat the Red Bulls, and they did it, and that is the reason why I’m very happy. I thought we deserved to win the game and I’m very happy for everybody because their effort was fantastic. That’s what I mean when I say play with personality… I doesn’t matter if you play against Atlanta, Toronto, or LA, you can play in this style.”

On improvements this time out against Red Bulls…
“The second half was okay, it was a balanced game, but the first half we played much better. We deserved to score maybe one or two more. Red Bulls aren’t easy to play, it’s always a tough game. They have a different style than we do, but today the last 10 minutes we didn’t play well, but other than that, say 60-70 minutes, we played well. The difference this time is we played 70-75 minutes much better than we did at Red Bulls.”

New York City FC Midfielder Keaton Parks

On his approach for the game…
“I was just trying to play my position and stay positional, help the team get the win. They came out with a lot of energy tonight and ready to dictate the game from the start, I think we did a great job of that and continued it throughout the game.”

How did Red Bulls’ pressure affect the team…
“It affects us a little bit, but I think the key is to keep the possession and keep playing like we’ve been the whole year. I think we did that for the most part. Sean was looking for me and Ring a lot and, also, we had our center backs playing out of the back, and that was the key to win this game and creating chances. We played out of the back and played the game. We didn’t fall under the kick ball game because they were pressing us.”

On how he felt the crowd was…
“They were definitely a lot of people tonight and they were loud the whole game. That definitely helps us to play for our fans. [To] have them there supporting us even when we went down it gave us [an] edge out there.”

New York City FC Midfielder Maxi Moralez

On the message at halftime…
“We knew we needed to come out with the same or even more intensity and aggressiveness in the second half.”

On the team’s form…
“We’re doing well. We know what we want and what we’re looking for. We have a couple games in hand and obviously winning the games we have left we can go to the top. We’ll enjoy this moment, but we’ll get some rest to be ready when we come back against Vancouver.”

On the fans…
“The fans always treat me, as well as the other guys, great. We know the effort and the hard work they put in to be here, so we’re very grateful. Obviously, this game is very important for them and it is for us as well, so we’re happy to get the three points.”

New York City FC Forward Héber

On the fans tonight…
“When we play at home it’s different. A lot of energy from them, it was a very nice night. We are very happy when the stadium is full.”

On the significance of the winning goal…
“Very important, I’m very happy to be able to score. For us forwards, we always have a better night when we score.”

On the team’s confidence going forward…
“Now is the time for our team to play nice football like we played today. Of course, anytime you play the derby and you win you get more confidence.”

New York Red Bulls Head Coach Chris Armas
His thoughts on tonight’s game
“I would say that it is almost in many ways, exactly what we thought it would look like. Lots of fouls, lots of emotion, lots of intensity. It is unpredictable which way it is going to go. It’s a close hard fought game by both teams, and I am proud of the fight and the way our guys started the game, the way we finished the game. Derby matches are like playoff matches, when two teams that get together that are good and close in the standings, not much separates them. I would say I am proud of our guys.”

On the momentum change in the first half
“I would say we came here and had a great start and we get rewarded with a goal. Then there was a natural shift for sure, where we are a little bit late with our pressing, we get stretched, we talked about it at halftime. But I think it shifted back to us in a lot of ways in the second half. For me, I am watching the second half and they score, then we make a push, change the formation a bit, Josh Sims comes in, Mark, and then we push. I thought as hard as it is sometimes, against good teams on the road to gain that momentum but I thought we got it and there was a big chance for us there to tie the game late. We fell a little short.”

On NYCFC brining more intensity from the 25-minute mark
“They’re number one in the league in possession, you know, so they can control games with possession, we understand that. So, at halftime we talked, that becomes a balance of ‘are we pressing?’ or ‘are we shifting and waiting for our chance?’ So, in this chess match that becomes one of the things and we got the momentum, at least in our minds that is what happened.  We were going to methodically go after the game, and we thought we did, we created a couple of big chances, and I think we finished the game really strong. Not for five minutes, but for a good period of time and the games go like this sometimes. We came on the road, score first, and then you saw how it went.”

New York Red Bulls Forward Josh Sims

On his MLS debut…
“It was a good first game to get out there, just a shame about the result, but the boys did well and it was nice to get out there. It was tough obviously. I’m still getting used to the time difference and things like that, but the weather wasn’t as bad as I thought it might have been, but it was quite similar to England, so in that sense it wasn’t that bad. I haven’t played in a couple weeks, so I’m just getting my feet again.”

On his performance…
“You saw how the game went. They were slowing the game down. We were trying to speed it up… trying to get that goal. I tried to come on and speed the game up, do what I do best and get at the defense. I think I did that at times, but we just couldn’t get that second goal.”

On the team’s morale…
“I don’t think it’s a dressing room that is down. We all know that, and obviously, you never want to lose in football, but it’s just one of those things. We fought right until the end, we had a couple of chances and could’ve got a goal. We know what we need to do in the next couple of games, but if we fight how we did at the end, we’ll get to the playoffs no problem. We just got to pick it up for the next game.”

New York Red Bulls Goalkeeper Luis Robles

His thoughts of tonight’s game…
“It was a hard fought match against two teams that are trying to take positioning in the standings, with the playoffs the way they are this year it is important to get that higher seat so you can host. Of course, the rivalry comes into play. I think we are both trying not only to do our best but also climb in the standings. They are a good team, but we left it out there and when the game was in a balance, at least in the first half, we had a couple of chances to make it and to get a second goal. In the second half they were better than us, but it was a hard fought match and hopefully we will see them soon.”

On his overall view of their week…
“It’s a mixed bag. We had three games against three teams that are trying to get to the top of the table in a way it’s three rivalry matches…of cours, D.C. and NYC are games that when the schedule comes out you are looking forward to playing them. We had a great result in D.C. and we were hoping to have a good result here, but we didn’t. Overall it was a good week for us and it’s something that we can be proud of, but know that there is still some work to do.”

Some of the positives in today’s game…
“I think it was an entertaining game, both teams were in the front foot and wanting to score and wanting to be as aggressive as possible and as a spectator that is what you want to see. It’s not sitting back and kicking the ball around… it’s two very attack mode teams, two very aggressive teams.”

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