On Wednesday afternoon, New York City FC played their first game of the Coachella Valley Invitational. The CVI is a preseason exhibition tournament where the Pigeons will play three matches.
In their first game, NYCFC played against the San Jose Earthquakes. The teams ended the fixture in a 2-2 draw, where all four goals occurred in the first half. Notably, the first 45 minutes had mostly starters in the lineups. The Bronx side had starters like Thiago Martins, Keaton Parks, James Sands, and Santiago Rodríguez.
The NYCFC youth did well in Wednesday's friendly
The two goals were scored by Mounsef Bakrar and Rodríguez. Throughout the first half, there were some great offensive moments and cohesiveness among the players. There were also some shaky moments as well. Then, some of the younger players on the team had their opportunity to prove themselves in the second half. Two players that stood out were this year's draft pick, Malachi Jones, and the player with the most promise, Christian McFarlane.
Jones showed a glimpse of what NYCFC saw when they drafted him. His speed up the left side of the pitch was superb. He could maneuver the ball up the pitch and toward the box. There was even one point where he used his speed to go around Alfredo Morales, who is now with the Earthquakes.
Similar to Jones, McFarlane did well during his time on the pitch. The combo of the left-back and winger led to the left side being a threat. McFarlane was not afraid to go forward and had points where he put the ball into the box. More importantly, his time as the left-back seemed so effortless. The 17-year-old might convince Nick Cushing that he should be a part of the Match Day squads this year.
Meanwhile, Andres Jasson got his minutes in after he came on around the 30th minute to replace one of the new signings, Hannes Wolf. His play was average, but he was fouled numerous times. It is remarkable how the Homegrown player earns fouls at such a high rate.
Hopefully, the younger players will earn more minutes during the next match of the CVI. It was nice to see them get playing time, especially McFarlane, for he has the highest potential.