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Kick it with NYCFC vs Toronto FC at Citi Field

Image Credit: Robert Rizzo/Latino Sports

Flushing, New York- Is that Citi Field? Yes it is. 17,626 soccer fans were in attendance to cheer on the Boys in Blue, NYCFC. New Yorkers aren’t accustomed to Citi Field’s new transition. The soccer layout results in an exciting fan experience close to the action. On a gorgeous afternoon, NYCFC battled Toronto FC in their seventh game of the MLS season. Entering Sunday, the Boys in Blue ranked 10th throughout the Eastern Conference Standings with a 2-3-1 record. 

MLS Ranks between Toronto Football Club and New York City Football Club 

(Stats are based from before play on Sunday, 4/24)*

Toronto FC

Points: 11  (Tied for 10th in MLS)

Goals: 10  (Tied for 8th in MLS)

Goal Difference: -1 (Tied for 14th in MLS)

NYCFC

Points: 7 (Tied for 22nd in MLS)

Goals: 10 (Tied for 8th in MLS)

Goal Difference: +5 (Tied for 5th in MLS)

Jesús Jiménez Two Goals in First Half 

Forward Jesús Jiménez put on a footwork showcase in offensive play throughout Sunday’s affair. At the 13 minute mark, Jiménez scored on a right-footed shot from the center box to raise Toronto up, 1-0. The assist came from Jonathan Osario. 

On a fast break formed by Kosi Thompson, NYCFC’s defense could not sustain Toronto into adding to the board once again. At the 27 minute mark, Jiménez snuck in a goal on a right-footed shot from the right side of the box. This marked his sixth goal of the MLS regular season. 

Valentín Castellanos 5th Goal in Two Games

At the 38 minute mark, NYCFC cut the deficit in half, 2-1 from a Castellanos goal from the center of the box. Midfielder Thiago Andrade completed a beautiful outlet pass for the assist. The Boys in Blue consistently pushed the tempo of play by pressuring and adding intensity in midfield situations. 

Thiago Andrade Ties the Match 2-2

NYCFC continued to power through Toronto’s defenders in the second half. At the 49th minute mark, midfielder Thiago Andrade scored his fourth goal of the MLS regular season. The play was started by teammate Talles Magno, who attempted a shot that was deflected by a nearby defender. Andrade was in the perfect spot to complete the putback for the goal. 

Second Half Takeover from The Boys in Blue

Image Credit: Latino Sports

Immediately following the Andrade goal, NYCFC noticed the intensity on offense began to neutralize Toronto FC. The championship pedigree of last year’s MLS Champions showed during the second half of Sunday’s match. In the 54th minute, midfielder Santiago Rodíquez delivered a strike for the goal to put the Boys in Blue up 3-2. Receiving credit for the assist, the one and only, Valentin Castellanos. 

Four minutes later at the 58th minute mark, NYCFC looked on the brinks of a win with an impressive goal from #55 Keaton Parks. This marked Parks first goal of the MLS season and brought the lead to 4-2. NYCFC cushioned their lead to 5-2 with a Gabriel Pereira dos Santos goal at the 75th minute mark. NYCFC has totaled 11 goals in their last two games. 

NYCFC head coach, Ronny Delia stated postgame: “​​We attacked from the first minute to the last minute. This is the first time in Club history that we came back from 2-0 to win and that says something about the mentality in the team, the belief and the quality of this team.” The Boys in Blue show no quit regardless of the score or time remaining. 

Image Credit: Robert Rizzo/Latino Sports

Toronto FC attempted a late game comeback with two goals within the last 10 minutes of regulation. Torontos, Deandre Kerr scored in the 86th minute with the assist set up by midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo. Followed by a goal from team captain, Michael Bradley in the 90th minute to minimize the deficit to one. 

The championship pedigree and intensity set out by NYCFC was too much to bear for Toronto FC. The Boys in Blue won 5-4. NYCFC is now 3-3-1 in MLS play and currently ranks in the seventh spot throughout the Eastern Conference Standings. 

NYCFC Forward Valentín Castellanos voted MLS Player of the Week

Image Credit: NYCFC Instagram @nycfc

On Easter Sunday at Yankee Stadium, Valentín Castellanos had a performance that will be cherished and looked back upon for years to come. He stunned the crowd with four scored goals in a 6-0 blowout win against Real Salt Lake. Three of the four goals scored by Castellanos were in the first half of play. His final goal, which came from a penalty kick, was scored at the 57 minute mark. Before this match, Castellanos went scoreless in his first five games played of the MLS season. He leads the club with goals (5), shots (27), and shots on goal (12). What an unbelievable two game stretch from the 23 year-old. 

Castellanos was born in Mendoza, a city located on the Western border of Argentina. He began his soccer career in 2017 with the Universidad de Chile and Torque. Within a year, Castellanos joined NYCFC and has already sketched his name as a perennial name across the franchises history. He is the first player in franchise history to score four goals in a single game. In 2019 and 2020, Castellanos represented his homeland as he played on the Argentina National Under-23 Football team. Argentina’s national team’s well-known nickname is the ​​Albicelestes, which means the White and Blue Sky.

Robert Rizzo Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robert.rizzo.1042

Twitter: @drizzyrizz

 

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