NYCFC Fall 2-1 to Orlando: Takeaways, Player Ratings (Highlights)
Apr 23, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York City FC forward David Villa (7) plays the ball against Orlando City SC defender Tommy Redding (29) during the second half at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Takeaways and the quick recap of NYCFC’s 2-1 loss against Orlando at Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

It was a game of firsts at Yankee Stadium: New York City Football Club’s first defeat at home this season and Orlando City’s first road victory of the season. A strong performance from the Lions saw them upend the hosts, 2-1.

Cyle Larin scored twice to continue his excellent record against NYCFC, and a David Villa consolation goal was not enough to avoid defeat. Here are some takeaways and player ratings from the match.

Moralez and Harrison were Terrific

We’ll touch more on this during player ratings, but the two sparks for NYCFC were Maxi Moralez and Jack Harrison. Despite coming out flat on the attacking side, Harrison was terrific in the first half, taking defenders on, whipping in crosses, and feeding energy into the crowd.

In the second half, Moralez was superlative — he had several looping efforts that nearly beat Joe Bendik, and his assist for NYCFC’s goals was terrific — he lofted a free kick from near midfield to the near post, where Villa latched on and slapped it past Bendik. Overall, this was one of Moralez’ finest games for his new club.

Larin Loves to Play NYCFC

This dude EATS against New York City. Larin has scored 9 times against NYCFC in only 7 matches, which is plain ridiculous.

He only had three chances all game and scored twice. He latched onto the ball for a tap-in during the first half after a neat passing move from the right-hand side. Carlos Rivas slipped the ball through to Scott Sutter, whose neat ball across the face of goal found his Canadian strike partner to make it 1-0.

For the second goal, Larin rose highest to meet a cross from Donny Toia and dispatched it past an out of position Johnson.

Overall, Larin is one of the brightest young stars in MLS. Today’s match showed just why.

Orlando didn’t allow NYCFC to Play their Game

Yes, NYCFC had 63 percent of the possession, but they created only a few chances in the first half, and only started to flourish as the game came to a close. Orlando stifled City’s passing lanes, pressed high up the field, and didn’t allow NYCFC to knock it back and forth and pin them inside their own half.

Orlando showed the prototype for how to beat NYCFC, again — let them have the ball, but make life uncomfortable on the ball, and spring the counter. Orlando only needed two chances to win this game, whereas NYCFC had several half chances and only came away with one goal.

The Referee was Poor

I usually don’t like to ridicule referees, but today’s officiating was quite poor. NYCFC had twice as many fouls called, and were denied three handball calls, all of which coming on the edge of the box. At the end of the game, the referee was showered with boos from the crowd, and I can’t disagree with the frustration.

Player Ratings: (1-10, 10 being the best; players introduced after 75 minutes get no rating)

Sean Johnson, GK: 6: Johnson had little to no chance of saving either of Orlando’s goals, but he really wasn’t tested that often in this game. Made a save on Larin in the second half, but the ball was going wide regardless.

Ethan White, RB: 6: Made a few nice tackles, but it was his side of the field that was exploited for both goals.

Alexander Callens, CB: 6.5 Callens led all players with 4 tackles, but didn’t stand out against Larin in the middle. No one did.

Maxime Chanot, CB: 6: See above. Chanot was solid, but could have been better in dealing with Cyle Larin.

Rodney Wallace, LB: 7: Wallace was unlucky not to score, and despite playing at left back in place of Ronald Mattarita, got forward plenty. It was a solid performance from the Costa Rican, who was constantly involved in the interplay. He didn’t have the end product, however, that the team needed.

Alex Ring, CM: 7: Ring was decent as a box to box midfielder. He started with a bang, receiving a corner from Pirlo at the edge of the box and banging a shot right at Joe Bendik. Made a couple of clearances in the box as well.

Andrea Pirlo, CM: 5.5: Substituted very early in the second half after a very ineffective performance. Disappointing showing from the maestro.

Maxi Moralez, CAM: 8.5 Man of the Match: The second half belonged to Maxi Moralez, who was everywhere for NYCFC. He made them tick going forward, he created chances, he bagged an assist — overall, it was a strong display for a player that is beginning to settle in as a key cog for this NYCFC side.

Tommy McNamara, LW: 6.5: Tommy Mac got a rare start today, and played decently. He was involved in some nice passing moves on the flank, and he nearly bent a curled effort in, if not for a timely block by an Orlando City defender.

Jack Harrison, LW: 7.5: Harrison was NYCFC’s best player in the first half, taking on defenders and often drawing double teams. However, he did slip up a few times on the pitch, which cost NYCFC a few scoring opportunities.

David Villa, ST: 8: Villa’s goal was terrific, as he latched on to Moralez’ free kick and slapped it across goal to beat Joe Bendik, who was outstanding all game. He had a golden chance to equalize in the 90th minute, but was unable to convert. The reigning MLS MVP will be kicking himself knowing he very well could have equalized at the death.

Substitutes:

Yangel Herrera, CM: 7: Herrera was much more involved than Pirlo on both sides of the ball; he made some timely interceptions and had some good passes as well. He looks to be a good reserve midfielder who can make an impact.

  • John Stertzer: NR
  • Miguel Camargo: NR

Up Next:

NYCFC have a date with Columbus Crew on the road next Saturday night at 7:30. This should be a good test for NYCFC, a road matchup against one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference.


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Staff Writer at Elite Sports New York. Lead Writer at New York Sports Hub and My Weekly Sports. Twitter, instagram: @skylardarel. Avid fan of the Yankees, Knicks, Giants, New York City FC, FC Barcelona, and Arsenal FC. Sophomore at the College of New Jersey, studying Communication. Aspiring play-by-play commentator. Grew up in Manhattan, and proud to know how to work the Subway system.