NYCFC responded to their loss against the Cosmos perfectly, taking down Eastern Conference leader Philadelphia Union at Yankee Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Going into Saturday’s match against the Philadelphia Union, NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira wanted to see how his team would respond from their embarrassing loss to the New York Cosmos on Wednesday night.

He leaned on his three designated players to get the team to fire back against their critics and the DP trio of captain David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo answered the call as NYCFC took down the Union 3-2 at Yankee Stadium Saturday afternoon.

“This is what you expect from your leaders,” Vieira explained. “I was very pleased but I was looking for more of a team reaction. Everybody was very concerned about losing to the club, and I was looking for the team reaction. I got that reaction from those three players.”

Lampard opened the scoring in the eighth minute, poaching a goal off of a deflected shot from Tommy McNamara at the top of Philly’s 18-yard-box. Lampard stayed onside and tapped in the shot right in front of Union keeper Andre Blake to put NYCFC up 1-0 early.

NYCFC added to their lead 13 minutes later as Jack Harrison dashed down the field on a counter attack, finding an open Villa racing in front of him. Villa tapped the shot past Blake to put the Blues up 2-0.

Villa nearly scored on a shot from 40 yards out on a counter by NYCFC, but his shot just hit off of the crossbar as Blake dove backwards to try to make the save.

Pirlo scored his first MLS goal on a classic free-kick in the 50th minute.

“It was a real team effort,” Lampard said to the media afterwards. “You win or lose as a group, but I think we’re all very determined characters, no matter what we’ve done, elsewhere in our careers. I think you have a clean slate when you come to a club here, and we’re all trying to prove.

“I think when we can make a difference, like we did today with our goals, we can win a game and be happy personally, but first and foremost, as a group we can be really happy today.”

Lampard made his first start of the season as Saturday marked the first time this year that all three designated players started together and the first time in the club’s young history that all three scored.

The win ends NYCFC’s four-match winless streak and ends the Union’s eight-match unbeaten streak.

The win didn’t completely come easy. NYCFC nearly blew a three-goal lead when Ronald Alberg scored on a penalty kick in the 55th minute and Frederic Brillant netted an own-goal off of a Union corner in the 88th minute, creating some drama going into stoppage time.

“This was a win that the team needed to have,” defender Ronald Matarrita mentioned. “As professionals we were able to perform the way we needed. The game got a little difficult in the second half but we were able to get the result we wanted.

“The important thing is that we got the win and that the team is focused on getting to the top of the table.”

Matarrita returned to the club after serving his international duty with the Costa Rican national team during their Copa America run.

The win at home by NYCFC is just their second of the season and their third since defeating the San Jose Earthquakes back on September 19th of last year and the Vancouver Whitecaps back on April 30. All three home wins have come by the score of 3-2.

However, the important part of the win today is how the team responded after their loss to the Cosmos – a welcome sight to both Vieira and the NYCFC supporters.

“I think everybody has been really hurt about the way we lost against the Cosmos,” he said. “So it was really important for us to respond as a football club, as a team to show how good we are. We didn’t make it easy for ourselves today. But the three points were really important for us.”

Featured Columnist for FanSided and Beat-Writer for New York City FC. My #LifeAfterQB is incredibly #blessed.