NYCFC’s 2016 Yankee Stadium Opening Day • Latino Sports


NYCFC’s 2016 Yankee Stadium Opening Day


Bronx, NY – After months of quiet days, Yankee Stadium was opened for business again on Sunday afternoon as NYCFC hosted its home opener against Toronto FC.

The temperature was in the 50’s, there was no chance of rain and a crowd of 30,315 flocked to see soccer again at the iconic ballpark. The large crowd produced the first sellout of the new season.

Both clubs, NYCFC and Toronto, entered the match with undefeated records after each won its first contest of the season. The first goal of the match was appropriately scored by David Villa of NYCFC on a penalty in the 24th minute.

The legendary world class soccer star was the first player signed by the organization; he is the captain of the team, and was NYCFC’s leading scorer with 18 goals and 8 assists during its inaugural campaign last year.

Four minutes later, the NYCFC idol again drew the plaudits of the crowd when he booted the second goal of the match. After the contest ended, Villa described the circumstances of the match that took place often in last season’s matches, “In the first half, we had a lot of chances to score a lot of goals. We worked really hard during the game, but it got away from us.”

After the first 45 minutes elapsed, two European players for Toronto combined to put the visitors on the scoreboard. Damien Perquis of France scored on an assist from Sebastian Giovinco of Italy. Toronto coach Robin Fraser remarked, “Anytime you score a goal at the end of the half, it’s a momentum builder.” Giovinco’s goal in the 76th minute on an assist from Will Johnson knotted the score.

The match concluded in a 2-2 draw.

Giovinco left Juventus and entered the MLS as a designated player in 2015, where he established himself as one of the top stars in the league. He won the Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player award; he was league’s top scorer with 22 goals and 16 assists; he was voted the 2015 Newcomer and a member of the 2015 MLS Best XI. He scored Toronto’s first goal of the year in their victory over the Red Bulls in the club’s first game on March 6.

Toronto’s coach told reporters, “We’re happy to go back with four points [after a road trip of two games.]”

NYCFC’s new coach Patrick Vieira commented on his club’s improvement, “We were better than against Chicago [Fire in the first game of the season.] We will get better as a team [as the season progresses.]”

About Howard Goldin

Howard Goldin is a 72-year-old Bronx native whose passion for sports is evidenced by his 15 years of sports writing with Latino Sports. A former English instructor at Monroe College, his love for sports started with baseball and have expanded since. If there's a sport or a community event, Howard will be in attendance covering it.

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