Apr 11, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York City FC forward David Villa (7) and Real Salt Lake defender Adam Henley (3) fight for the ball during the second half at Yankee Stadium. New York City FC defeated Real Salt Lake 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
BRONX, N.Y. — Here’s three things we learned from New York City FC shutout of Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Mike Petke respects Patrick Vieira
RSL coach Mike Petke heaped praise on the third-year New York City FC coach after suffering a 4-0 thumping.
“I had a great conversation with him in preseason and before tonight’s game,” Petke said. We played against a superior team – a team Patrick has built up phenomenally in three years. He’s got a player in every position that is technically gifted. That’s the best team we faced – for sure.”
RSL’s matches thus far included reigning MLS Cup champ Toronto FC, along with the New York Red Bulls and expansion side LAFC.
Maxi Moralez is a goal scorer
The diminutive Argentine played the role of David Villa and converted a penalty kick for the second of three NYCFC goals in the first half. Converting a penalty in this case was no easy task. RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando has saved an MLS record 23 penalties in his 19 seasons. Of 83 penalties against Rimando, only 52 takers have had success. The 5-3 Moralez roofed a no-doubt-about it strike for his fourth goal of the campaign. Moreover, his work rate was exceptional from start to finish.
“It’s the 89th minute and there’s Moralez, winning 4-0 and sprinting 60 yards back in recovery,” Petke said.
Vieira: In Berget and Ofori we trust
First-year performers Jo Inge Berget and Ebenezer Ofori received mixed reviews in the previous two matches as starters in place of injured David Villa and Alex Ring, respectively.
“Jo Inge is playing at about 60 percent and Eben also needs time,” Vieira said before the RSL match.
Vieira’s faith in the duo paid off when the internationals scored their first career MLS goals to secure a 4-0 victory versus RSL.
Berget timed his movement off a clever pass from another newcomer, Jesus Medina, and slotted a right-footed shot inside the far post to the left of Rimando. Ofori was perfectly positioned in the six-yard box for an easy first-timer from Moralez.