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Red or white? NYCFC, Portland Timbers coaches squabble over ‘wine’

Dome Torrent wouldn’t divulge what was at the heart of his lengthy disagreement with Portland Timbers coach, joking it was over preferences in wine.

BRONX, N.Y. — New York City FC coach Dome Torrent and Portland Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese had three spirited exchanges — one as they walked off the field at halftime, another during the second half interrupted by the fourth official and a third that lasted several minutes after the final whistle closing out the Timbers’ 1-0 win at Yankee Stadium Sunday night.

Was it about the five yellow cards to Timbers players in the closing moments of the first half? The harsh fouls suffered by Maxi Moralez, who saw his points scoring streak end at seven games? Perhaps, it was the Yankee Stadium pitch.

No, according to Torrent after the game, it was about vino.

“It’s about Giovanni likes white wine and Dome likes red wine,” Torrent said. “I prefer red wine, Spanish wine, the Catalan wine. It’s about that.”

Shifting gears on short rest

It’s another tricky week for NYCFC, with a trip to Orlando and a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match Wednesday before the first Hudson River Derby showdown at Red Bull Arena Sunday.

Torrent said the focus is on winning Wednesday, but selecting a lineup will be complicated.

“It’s not an excuse, it’s the reality and I have to adapt quickly,” Torrent said. “I don’t know what will happen in the next game with our players because you know how important the derby is for our supporters, for our fans. The first one is another competition and we will try to win in Orlando — with different players, of course.”

With the Open Cup part of a stretch of five games in 16 days in the middle of the summer, and with players recently missing due to the Gold Cup and Copa America, Torrent expressed frustration over the scheduling of the Open Cup matches.

“Right now I understand the reason why some coaches and some teams don’t have interest about the Open Cup,” Torrent said.

However, as one of the final eight teams remaining, NYCFC goalkeeper Brad Stuver realizes how close the club is to its first trophy.

“Wednesday is important for us, no doubt,” he said. “We’ve talked about it since day one, that Open Cup is a chance for us to win silverware. Our focus right now is going in to Orlando and grabbing a result.”

Héber returns?

Héber has missed the past three games with a hamstring strain suffered in a come-from-behind 2-1 win over D.C. United in the U.S. Open Cup round of 16 June 19 at Audi Field.

Torrent suggested the Brazilian forward, who has six goals and three assists in his first 10 Major League Soccer appearances, could be in line for a return against Orlando City.

“Maybe, we can recover Héber or [Ismael Tajouri-Shradi], I don’t know. But when you play five games in [16] days, it’s not easy,” Torrent said. “This is not basketball. This is soccer.”

Sean Johnson and Alex Callens return from international duty, but its likely both will sit against Orlando. Stuver has played well in net and has started each of the club’s previous two USOC games, and Callens will be coming off a long flight from Brazil.

Torrent also all but ruled out Maxi Moralez and Anton Tinnerholm, who have played the full 90 minutes in each of the club’s past three games.

“It’s not easy because we have to travel to Orlando in a few days. We are tired which is normal after three or four games in 10 days. But we will try to win again,” Torrent said. “I don’t know, we’ll have a few players because after this game some players need to rest because it’s impossible for Anton, Maxi Moralez, some players play every single day and every minute, but we will try to win again.”

Should NYCFC advance, the semifinals are scheduled for August 7, which would be even more difficult considering the club plays at Real Salt Lake August 3, are home for Houston Dynamo August 8 and travel to Atlanta August 11.

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