Tag Archives: Ismael Tajouri-Shradi

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.


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.

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.

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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Can’t Stop- NYCFC battles LAFC to a 2-2 draw

Keira Smith - NYCFC/mlsfemale
Official NYCFC Reporter

By Keira Smith // @keiramunsmith

Sunday, May 13: 2-2 Draw

Mia’s Magical Falcon versus the Pigeon

No, I promise this won’t be a drool fest about everything Los Angeles Football Club does right.  Humor me for a minute and I’ll quickly move on.  As a New York City Football Club fan, I’m a bit green with envy.

Banc of California Stadium is beautiful – located in actual downtown Los Angeles, a mere walking distance from the USC campus.  The supporters’ section holds over 3200 supporters.  They have a live falcon.  (Hey, I’m into birds of prey.  Don’t judge.)

The soccer-specific stadium has real grass.  The uniforms are timelessly stylish worn by talented, young international players and they are part-owned by sports phenoms Mia Hamm, Magic Johnson, Nomar Garciaparra, and well-known actor Will Ferrell.  I was nervous that the new cool kids in town were going to defeat us.

I hope that some newbies to soccer and detractors of the sport caught some of this match as it was a nail biter with possession ping-ponging from end to end and it was also a fun watch.  From David Villa‘s 402nd goal which was an easy-peasy header rebound off a penalty shot to take the lead 1-0 to Ismael Tajouri- Shradi‘s game tying rebound rocket minutes after being subbed in, the vibe was positively SoCal.  The sun was blinding and the chanting was relentless and intense.

Major props go out to the almost perfect play of LAFC’s Laurent Ciman and Latif Blessing who dished out trouble for NYCFC from the first whistle.  New York City clearly evolved in their strategy of maintaining possession in tight spaces and constantly trying to thread the proverbial needle to maintaining possession but mixing in deep long low balls and high crosses to penetrate LA’s defense.  This game could have gone either way with plenty of missed finishers, great saves, and clearances by both teams.

The good:

  • Tajouri-Shradi is back and scored his fifth goal in as many games.
  • Villa is back in major hustle mode, applying pressure in every corner of the field and was potent in the counter attacks.
  • Goalkeeper Sean Johnson made some ridiculously incredible saves.

The bad:

  • One of the goals LA was credited for was an own goal off a deflection by defender Sebastien Ibeagha.  Ouch.
  • We still have no stadium of our own.


  • Will we move forward utilizing this new strategy mixing in long balls or will we go back to our short pass possession method?
  • Is Anton Tinnerholm injured?
  • Why are we not more dangerous off set pieces?

“Can’t stop, addicted to the shindig.  Chop Top, he says I’m gonna win big.”  – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Featured image: nycfc.com

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @keiramunsmith

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Lord of the Ring:  Return of the King to NYCFC aka The Curse is Reversed

Keira Smith - NYCFC/mlsfemale
Official NYCFC Reporter

By Keira Smith // @keiramunsmith

Wednesday, April 11: 4-0 Win

Going into Wednesday’s match, fans of New York City Football Club were cautiously optimistic.  Sure, we were yet to defeat Real Salt Lake.  Nope, they were never that strong.  Were they trap games in the past?  Maybe.  This time, was different and we were going to break the curse, even if our anchors David Villa and Alexander Ring still were not starting.  (Hey, they were listed as subs and that meant they were fit to play. Success!) 

The stadium in the first half was sparsely filled as it was a work and school night.  Even the supporters section looked a bit thin.  However, our Boys in Blue took possession quickly and held it, patiently building the offense through successive overlapping runs, through balls, razor-sharp crosses orchestrated by midfielders Maxi Moralez and Yangel Herrera.

Keira Smith - NYCFC/mlsfemale
Medina, Moralez

While our offense rolled over RSL, the crowd built.  As the New York City balls found the back of Salt Lake’s net, snazzily dressed fans settled into their seats.  The supporters section became its frenetic, chanting, drumming self. By the end of the first half, City was up 3-0. 

New attacker and top 2018 scorer, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, was the first one to put one in the back of the onion bag, which was followed by a successful penalty kick by Maxi Moralez, who was tripped in the box.  And finally, Jo Inge Berget finished one off on a beautiful play initiated by Ronald Matarrita

Second half was more of the same dominance by New York but the crowd began roaring when Villa approached the sideline.  Our captain was coming into the game.  After three missed games, he was back.  Sure, his shots were a bit off their past perfection, but he was back to his usual sprinting for every through ball and intensely pressuring the keeper. 

Keira Smith - NYCFC/mlsfemale

Also returning,  jumping in as a sub in the second half, was Ring and all was well in the world again.   The 4th NYCFC goal was scored on one of the most beautiful plays I’ve seen all season which started again by Matarrita on the left, involving creative touches and moves by Jesus Medina and Moralez who ultimately found Ebenezer Ofori in front of the goal to finish it off. 

Reunited and it feels so good

Keira Smith - NYCFC/mlsfemale

Not only are Villa and Ring back and in fighting form to face our nemesis Atlanta United on Sunday, but big props to Matarrita.  Not only did he play well and initiate many of our goal scoring situations but he was positively glowing.  You could tell that he was enjoying every minute of the 90 that he played.  It was infectious, like the growing buzz around NYCFC. 

Images courtesy: Keira Smith/mlsfemale

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @keiramunsmith

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

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