Bronx, New York- At Yankee Stadium, NYCFC played their 2022 home opener on Saturday afternoon. The club displayed their 2021 MLS championship banner and trophy in front of the home faithful. They faced off against the Montreal Impact in a wintery mix storm containing rain and snow. Let me just state that soccer fans across the world do not care whatsoever about the weather. Soccer fans will be there cheering on their squad in person, no matter the circumstances.
Coming off a road stretch, NYCFC entered the affair with a 2-1-0 record. In this match, NYCFC were without Anton Tinnerholm (Achillies) and Tayvon Gray (Lower Body). NYCFC began the match by immediately forcing offensive pressure on Montreal. At the 7 minute mark, the first goal of the match was scored by NYCFCs, Alexander Callens on a left-footed shot putting them up 1-0. The assist was set up by Talles Magno.
Alexander Callens- Defender, 6’1, 29 years old
Callens was born and raised in Callao, Peru. He began his career playing for the Sports Boys Association (SBA), which is a football club located in Peru. The SBA was created in order to develop youngsters into becoming future stars. Callens has been with the New York City Football Club since 2017.
Just 13 minutes later (20’ in the first half) Santiago Rodríquez laid a beautiful shot in for a goal from outside the box. NYCFC went into the half up 2-0. He made his shot look completely nonchalant.
Santiago Rodríquez- Midfielder, 5’6, 22 years old
Rodríquez is from Montevideo, Uruguay. In 2020, he began his pro career with Montevideo City Torque, who plays in the Uruguayan Primera Division. Rodriquez is a key contributor to the club’s superior defense across Major League Soccer.
Montreal entered the second half with a scrappy and push tempo type of demeanor. In the 52nd minute, Zachary Brault-Guillard scored on a gorgeous outlet pass from teammate Djordje Mihailovic. The Montreal Impact cut the deficit to just one making for a competitive second half.
However, Montreal were not able to contain their opponents offensive schemes. 18 year old NYCFC midfielder Talles Magno scored his 1st goal of the season at the 63 minute mark. Andres Jasson provided a gorgeous cross for the assist. With the score, NYCFC went up 3-1 in the match.
Magno was fully aware of his historic day during the postgame: “In terms of my game today, I was very happy after getting my first goal at Yankee Stadium, as well as a Player of the Match award in the home opener. Looking forward to what we can do this season.”
NYCFC made this game unreachable for Montreal. Various players set their mark in the contest with dynamic play and consistent pressure. From the center of the box, forward Thiago Andrade scored in the 83rd minute. As the match finished with a final of 4-1. NYCFC is now on a two-match winning streak.
Led by Ronny Delia, in his third year as the clubs head coach, he recognizes the players he has at his disposal on both sides of the field. “It’s very important how many players we have that are coming from the midfield and central defenders. Of course, today, Thaigo scored, Talles (Magno) scored, Santi scored, so that gives confidence to everyone and makes us more dangerous.”
Although there’s a whole lot of season (31 games) left in MLS play, NYCFC currently stands 7th in the MLS Eastern Conference with a 1-1-1 record (4 points). They look to gain momentum as their season continues within the New York area (Yankee Stadium and Citi Field).
Their next match is set for Tuesday March 15th against Comunicaciones in the Concacaf Champions League, second leg of the quarterfinals (3-1 aggregate). Following that, their next MLS match is a week from today, Saturday March 19th, as they face off against Philadelphia Union at Yankee Stadium.
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