FC Dallas headed into New York looking to remain unbeaten in 2018. New York City FC looked to extend their lengthy home winning streak and remain top of the Eastern Conference. The FC Dallas defense would look uncomfortable dealing with David Villa all game, and the home side would take all three points in the end.
FC Dallas 1 – New York City FC 3; FC Dallas Defense Disintegrates
It was a matchup worth watching, as both sides looked to continue their strong starts to the MLS season. Both sides would look to run at the opposing defense and cause chaos, and each certainly had their fair amount of chances.
But it was the home side who would strike first. David Villa caused problems all afternoon for Dallas. Just three minutes in, Villa received a quick one-two pass down the left and crossed it to Jo Inge Berget inside the box. Berget side-volleyed a half-chance off the far post, and Jesús Medina was there to finish it off.
Dallas would answer just six minutes later. A poor pass at the halfway line by the NYCFC defense fell to the feet of Maxi Urruti in the New York half. He quickly attacked as the defense dropped off, and played it in front of Santiago Mosquera. Mosquera would take a touch just into the box and finish underneath Sean Johnson to level things up.
David Villa Too Hot to Handle
There were some very good performances from the Dallas side Saturday. Roland Lamah, and Reggie Cannon looked sharp and consistent throughout the match. But NYCFC’s David Villa would steal the show, finding the net twice and scoring his 400th professional career goal.
Reto Ziegler and Anton Nedyalkov, standout defenders and leaders in the back for Dallas, looked off Saturday night. Trouble with the surface perhaps, but they never looked comfortable on the baseball field at any point and time. Ziegler was guilty of a VAR-reviewed handball in the box late in the first half, which Villa coolly finished to put his side up 2-1.
Villa would later put the icing on the cake, with the easiest finish of the night. A through ball to Villa into the final third would be met first by Matt Hedges and Reto Ziegler. Unfortunately, a lack of communication saw both players running right to the ball. Ziegler took a slight touch on the ball back towards Hedges, who did not anticipate it coming back his way. The ball would squeeze through his legs, and right into Villa’s stride. Villa took a touch, and left no room for error as he finished past Jimmy Maurer to make it 3-1.
Keeper Saves and Games Away
Goalies Sean Johnson and Jimmy Maurer made some big stops to keep the game alive. Both made several 1v1 saves, along with some great shot-stopping blocks to total 10 saves between them. Maurer, former goalkeeper for the NASL side New York Cosmos, would have surely enjoyed a more warm welcome home, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Dallas will head home to regroup before heading out west next weekend. Their tough road test will continue against LAFC, who pulled off a thrilling 1-0 victory against Seattle in their inaugural match at the Bac of California Stadium. The high-flying attack of the LA side will certainly be the topic of training this week before Dallas flies out for their 3rd road game of 2018. The FC Dallas defense will need to quickly forget this match and prepare for even more offensive power next weekend.
NYCFC will look to keep the momentum going as they head into their derby match for next Saturday. They will head south to face off against the New York Red Bulls in the Hudson River Derby. Red Bulls hold serve in this matchup historically and will look to move up in the Eastern Conference standings come next Saturday.
Photo: Apr 29, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York City FC forward David Villa (7) reacts after scoring on a penalty kick against FC Dallas during the first half at Yankee Stadium. The goal was the 400th of his career. Credit: © Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports