On Saturday afternoon, fans trekked out to Yankee Stadium to see New York City FC play in their season home opener against CF Montréal. Not even the awful cold weather of rain, snow, sleet, and wind would stop the biggest supporters from seeing the team in person. It was also the first home game since the win against Atlanta United in the playoffs last year.
Additionally, the team celebrated their MLS Cup win prior to the opening whistle, so many did not want to miss the celebration. Plus, fans know that Yankee Stadium tends to be a fortress, and NYCFC’s record at Yankee Stadium is the complete opposite of their away woes, for they have lost just six times in the Bronx from 2015 to 2021.
So, it was not a surprise when the Pigeons beat Montréal 4-1. NYCFC outplayed their opponents, and compared to last week against Vancouver, showed this via the score line.
Meanwhile, the goals from Alexander Callens, Santiago Rodríguez, Talles Magno, and Thiago led the team to the win. Overall, they had a strong offensive effort and had numerous opportunities throughout the 90 minutes of play. It was the midfield though that contributed to the final third, since they consistently won the ball back, and moved the ball into the attack. Moreover, the Bronx Blues had numerous interceptions, and the interceptions led to three of the four goals.
New York City FC beat CF Montréal 4-1 in the home opener
After not scoring in their first two regular season games, New York City FC finally put the ball into the back of the net. In a rather cool fashion, it was Alexander Callens who scored the first goal on a one-touch volley. This was a notable goal, for Callens scored it similarly to how he has taken his penalty kicks in 2021. And, although it was not registered as a goal, the center-back did score off of the final penalty kick in the MLS Cup against the Portland Timbers. Hence, it was fitting he would start off the scoring in the new Major League Soccer season.
In the meantime, Talles Magno once again had a noteworthy match. His performance in the final third was impressive, and he was consistently on the prowl for a goal. He had five shots with three on target, and continues to impress in his second year with NYCFC. But, it was the second half where he finally got his goal, and all of his offensive effort came to fruition. He continues to show growth, and is turning into a well-polished attacker.
On the other hand, Valentín Castellanos is still waiting to score his first goal of the 2022 season. Although, he does have three goals in the CONCACAF Champions League so far, and it is only a matter of time before his frustration leads to goals in MLS too. However, he was a vital part of the team’s performance as always and contributed to the attack with passes and chances on goal.
Thankfully, despite Castellanos short cold streak in MLS, other players came through, for there were four different goal scorers. Head Coach Ronny Deila told the YES Network that NYCFC should have put the game away in the first half, and implied they should have had more goals. Nonetheless, he was impressed with the team’s performance, and they have their first win of the season.
New York City FC celebrated the MLS Cup
As mentioned, NYCFC celebrated their MLS Cup championship prior to the start of the fixture. Ian Joy from the YES Network, a fan favorite amongst supporters, was once again the Master of Ceremonies. He hyped up the weather-caused limited, but still larger than anticipated crowd, for his high energy is always infectious.
Joy also went through the ups and downs of the unexpected 2021 campaign, from the hardships during the season, to the joy of the playoffs. Video montages assisted with the ceremony, both looking back at 2021, and celebrating the star that is now on the logo.
Of course, the MLS Cup was then brought out for everyone to see, and finally, it was home where it belonged. For supporters, it is sometimes still unbelievable how the team turned their season around and ended up winning it all in the end.
But, the team did win, and there is now a banner up in Yankee Stadium that proves the fact. Although the banner reveal, and the banner itself, was kind of lackluster and dull, it did not impact the celebration. Again, the awful weather did not rain on the celebration either, and everyone who did make it out will now have another moment in NYCFC history to remember. In addition, they witnessed another win at Yankee Stadium and a fantastic win too.