Tag Archives: Alexandru Mitrita

The yin and the yang of NYCFC vs Colorado Rapids

Official NYCFC Reporter

By Keira Smith // @keiramunsmith

In last night’s Rocky Mountain duel versus the Colorado Rapids, New York City Football Club came away with the 2-1 win. It was not an easy result.

The team, near full health with Alexandru Mitrita, James Sands and Héber returning to the lineup, dominated possession with a continuous onslaught of attacking chances on Colorado and yet had a hard time with finishing. The match was filled with dualities which seemed to both hold the victory a bit out of their grasp and yet also paved the way for them to walk away with three points.

Many New York fans were eager to see Colorado’s Jonathan Lewis face off against his old teammates.  Lewis has been a welcome addition to the Rapids with his speed on attack and was the player who orchestrated the first goal of this match.  Lewis easily sped past Sebastien Ibeagha and fed the ball to Sebastian Anderson who buried it in the 6th minute.  

There was definitely a sense of poetic justice for Lewis as he struggled to gain playing time while at NYCFC.  Minutes later, 16-year-old Anderson was shown a red card on an apparent studs up tackle on Ronald Matarrita.  The highs and the lows of soccer seemed to happen within minutes for Anderson.

Rapids played down a player for most of the game but were able to defend well against NYCFC who just could not finish.  Colorado was up 1-0 until the 40th minute when Héber put one in on a ball by Maxi Moralez.  

From the television camera angles, Héber looked off side but the goal stood and the game was level.  Although NYCFC continued to dominate, they struggled to put the last piece into the offensive puzzle until Mitrita came in and they found their missing attacking element. Mitrita converted the goal that fans were salivating for in the 83rd minute.

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Oh, and did I mention that Colorado Rapids had to utilize their backup goalkeeper Clint Irwin for half the match as Tim Howard went out with a strained calf?  

In theory, this should have been a easy and decisive victory.  Despite being down a player, Colorado continued to park the bus in front of their goal with occasional attempts to counter attack.  These counter attacks were particularly scare-inducing during the last 10 minutes when almost the entire NYCFC team was above the half line.

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Perhaps the referee gods were on the side of New York City during this match.  There was the early Colorado red card, the lack of off side calls and a lenience by the referee on players like Alex Callens, who elbowed  off the ball on the edge of the box in extra time.   Was all of this karma for last week’s “Throw-in Gate” versus the New York Red Bulls? We will never really know.

Next test for NYCFC is at home versus a bruised Sporting Kansas City on Friday 7/26.

All photos:  NYCFC

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NYCFC scores all seven goals in win vs FC Cincinnati 5-2

Official NYCFC Reporter

By Keira Smith // @keiramunsmith

New York, New York: The city so nice, their team scores twice for the visiting team.  Who said that New Yorkers weren’t hospitable?  New York City Football Club proved to be a humble host to FC Cincinnati on Thursday by putting two goals into the back of their own goal.

In a beautiful spring evening celebrating LGBTQ pride in New York City, NYCFC took control quickly over the match.  MLS newbies FC Cincinnati had trouble stringing together passes and gave away their limited possession in the middle third of the field.  

NYCFC accessed its roster depth via some lineup changes. Due to to injuries and international call-ups City was without a mix of starters, including Sean Johnson, Alexander Callens, Ben Sweat, Ronald Matarrita and Ebenezer Ofori.

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The team also appeared to be utilizing about five forwards in a bold play for a big win. The first thirty minutes would have been tough to watch if you were a FC Cincinnati fan as NYCFC scored about 1 goal every 10 minutes of play. However, in the 37th minute, NYC did foul up a defensive play in the box and suffered an own goal, which was “credited” to Héber. Half time score was 3-1, making it once again a ball game.

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Héber at work

In the second half, within minutes Héber put in another one off a Maxi Moralez assist. In a quick sequence of events in the 76th minute, Brad Stuver made a difficult punch save off a hard FCC shot but the ball ricocheted off the leg of Sebastien Ibeagha and went into the back of New York City’s goal, making the score 4-2.

Still not content in the 90th minute with the victory claimed, NYCFC finished off the match with a gorgeous weaving pattern into the box where the master of webs finished off the ball via a difficult angle.

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Héber and Maxi Moralez celebrate a goal
Justin Haak
Justin Haak of Brooklyn, NY, makes his 2019 debut

Moralez was credited in this match with three assists and one goal, Héber had a brace, while Alexandru Mitrita and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi had one a piece. Also worth noting is homegrown Brooklynite Justin Haak made his debut in the second half.  

This match was a definite team effort while being down some starters, and while giving the guests a few goals to help with their goal differential. A win all around for NYCFC. However, this news put a definite damper on the celebratory vibes:

The anchor of NYCFC’s defensive line suffered a broken arm in a collision with Stuver near the end of the match.  Although this is bad news for the team, he may only miss two league games.   Fans of the team are hoping for a speedy recovery for Sands.

All photos by Tisha Gale

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @keiramunsmith

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