Sunday, June 24, 2018

NYCFC Beats Toronto In Torrent's Debut

NYCFC's Jo Inge Berget scoring his first goal. USA Today Sports.

New York City Football Club got two goals from Jo Inge Berget to beat Toronto FC, 2-1, in Domenec Torrent's debut as Head Coach.

NYCFC improves to 9-4-3, with 31 points, in second place in the Eastern Conference. They are three points behind Atlanta for the top spot in the conference, and two points ahead of the Red Bulls.

NYCFC remained unbeaten at Yankee Stadium this season, as they have seven wins and a draw.

Toronto dropped to 4-3-8, 15 points, in 10th place in the East, as they still are going through a slow start after participating in the Concacaf Champions League.

NYCFC was dealt a tough blow early in this one, as Captain David Villa had to exit the game in the 27th minute with an apparent knee injury.

Soon after, Toronto got on the board, as Auro lobbed a long pass from their end deep into NYCFC territory, where Victor Vazquez flipped it over NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who came to where the ball was on the right side of the box.

In the 51st minute, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi came down the left side, sent one into the box to Jesus Medina (who replaced Villa), and he dropped it off to Berget, who flicked it in with the back of his right heel to tie it at 1.

In the 68th, Maxi Moralez came down the center of the field, and found Berget on the right side, avoiding three Toronto defenders, and he buried it to make it 2-1 NYCFC.

For Berget, this was his second and third goals of the season, his first in New York.

Berget said of his two goals, "Yeah, it felt good. It’s one of those things where the ball bounced my way, it’s not every day where the ball ends up in the back of the net. It was one of those days where it bounced my way.”

On which goal felt better, Berget said, “Nah, the second one felt better... That’s kind of what I’m about, I run and I make the run. Maxi has been giving me those balls has been giving me those balls all year long and this one I managed to get to the back of the net."
Toronto had one big chance towards the end, in the 91st minute, as Tosaint Ricketts fired one in, Johnson made the save, and it went back to Sebastian Giovinco, who kicked it right back at the NYCFC keeper.

Domenec Torrent.
Domenec Torrent won his first match as NYCFC Head Coach, after taking over for Patrick Vieira, who left to take over France's Nice.

Torrent said of how he felt about his first MLS match, “It was not easy for me because it was a crazy week. We’ve been traveling, but in the end, everything was good. Yesterday was the first training session for me and I think the players are ready. I watched the whole training session and when I saw the intensity and the aptitude, I said, ok, they are ready to try to win the game, but it’s not easy.”

On losing their star striker, Villa, in the first half, and how severe his injury is, Torrent said, “It’s bad news for us because he’s a key man for our team. He has a lot of experience especially in these kinds of games. It’s not good news, but we have fantastic players. I think we have a challenge, and I think quickly, what is the best way to win the game without David."
Torrent, who has spent his career in Spain and recently with Manchester City as Manager Pep Guardiola's assistant, was asked his thoughts on the MLS, and he said, “I’ve seen the last nine games of our team and the last four games of the Toronto team. I think I knew exactly how the MLS played. For me the MLS is a little bit different than the European league. The difference may be in the European league, there’s little bit more organized maybe. I’ve watched 12 games, but normally the MLS team has, two, three, four players with quality. I think the MLS is getting better 100 percent. It’s a surprise for me because people say MLS is good and no, the fans are amazing. I think our fans support the team all the time and sometimes that is the reason why we can win the game. For me, it’s getting better 100 percent.”

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