Keaton Parks leads NYCFC to their fourth win in a row and a Revolution sweep

  • NYCFC and the New England Revolution battled it out in Massachusetts
  • The Pigeons came away with all three points thanks to Keaton Parks
NYCFC / Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

After a rough start to the season, New York City FC has been on an incredible run.  Entering the weekend, they were on a three-game winning streak and have won six of their last seven games, with the loss coming from the match against the Colorado Rapids.

Therefore, everyone expected the good times to continue since they were playing against the last-place New England Revolution.  The belief they can win on the road has grown after road wins against Toronto FC and the Philadelphia Union.  The home team’s struggles enhanced the idea that they could enter Gillette Stadium and steal all three points.

This belief existed even without James Sands.  The midfielder has been vital to NYCFC but missed the match due to yellow card accumulation.  However, the Pigeons have done well without him and have the talented Andrés Perea, who filled in for him in the Philadelphia match.  He also filled in for Keaton Parks in Toronto, scoring his first goal of the season.  Since he is more offensive-minded compared to Sands, it was thought Perea would add more to the attack.

Perea did enter the final third often, but he was not the hero of the game.  Instead, a late goal by Keaton Parks saw NYCFC secure all three points in a 1-0 win.  The win completed the regular season sweep over the Revolution. It was not pretty, but a win is a win.

NYCFC beat the Revolution thanks to Keaton Parks

NYCFC started with urgency, taking shots and keeping the ball near and in the Revolution’s box for the first five minutes.  Three of the four first-half shots came during this period.  They could not get the goal though, and eventually, the home team grew into the game.  The Pigeons also lost their steam early on, and the energy of the teams became somewhat even.

However, the Revolution controlled the match throughout the first half.  Their threats were mostly lackluster though.  It helped that Thiago Martins and Birk Risa protected Matt Freese and his goal.  Martins had an incredible moment in the 37th minute where he chased down Giacomo Vrioni.  The Brazilian intervened by poking the ball away from him and regaining possession.

The second half was better for NYCFC, but there were plenty of periods where the attack was lackluster and the Revolution dominated play.  Thankfully, the defense did well to close players down.  They caused them to take poor shots or not take one at all due to the lack of room near the goal.

Moreover, the backline worked hard and diligently.  Their blocks and clearances kept the Pigeons in the match.  It also helped lead to a clean sheet for Matt Freese, who had seven saves on the night. Although, many were arguably easy to make.

The attack also improved.  While some of the shots were not great, all it took was one goal to get the job done.

It was Parks who led NYCFC to the win.  A brilliant pass from Tayvon Gray into the box saw the ball go right to the tall midfielder.  He jumped into the air, headed the ball into the ground, and watched it bounce into the left side of the goal.  It was perfectly executed and took out the air of Gillette Stadium.

Parks’ ability in the air is always impressive, but the pass from Gray was also perfect.  He got the ball to slightly curl so it would go around and meet one of his teammates.  The pass felt magical with how it fell right to Parks.  If it was slightly off, then it is highly likely the goal would not have happened, and NYCFC would be leaving with only a point.

It needs to be said though that the Pigeons did not play well for a good portion of the match. Defensively they got the job done, but there were plenty of mistakes by the backline.  The difference was that they were able to clean things up.  The attack was better in the second 45 minutes as well, for they ended the game with 14 shots and four on target.  The struggles to capitalize though were evident, except for the goal.

Still, three points on the road is always a good thing.  Moreover, NYCFC has won four games in a row! This is something that nobody thought would occur just a couple of months ago.  Winning ugly games is always better than losing… Obviously.